It’s been a rather stressful few weeks in the Neat Freak house.
A seemingly never-ending bout of illness finally culminated in a spell in hospital for blue-eyed boy, and although everything’s pretty much back to normal now it’s been a case of muddling along as best we can for a while.
My never-ending ‘to do’ list is now the length of a short novel and I’m actually getting genuinely scared of being eaten alive by the laundry pile.
Being a long-time convert to the philosophy that a tidy home equals a calmer, happier person, I think what I find hardest about being a parent – apart from the lack of personal space – is the lack of space in general.
The plethora of ‘toddler tat’ in our lounge often feels like my biggest bugbear, that and how my kids manage to leave their sticky fingerprints and footprints on everything. But hey, it goes with the territory.
What’s harder to admit is that sometimes I find it hard to remain serene in the face of mini-me emptying out every toy she owns. Or that I love the fact that she does cake making and potato printing at nursery so I don’t have to at home.
Personally I think the sanest thing you can do as a mum is to accept the fact that you’ll never be ‘perfect’, try not to feel guilty about the decisions you make and above all never forget to laugh at yourself – whether at home or in public.
After all being a good mum is many things, but it’s certainly not black and white.
So why do the smug mums brigade, Smug Mums Incorporated if you will, seem to feel it’s okay to look down their noses at the rest of us?
You know the type, the ones who wouldn’t know self-deprecation if it bit them on the arse and who recoil in horror at the thought of feeding their offspring anything that’s not locally sourced, organic and prepared from scratch.
Queen of the Smug Mums, or at least the celebrity face of the campaign, has to go to Gwyneth Paltrow, her of Goop, or as I prefer to call it Gloop fame.
You know that lifestyle website with ‘useful’ tips on the perfect capsule collection wardrobe, the importance of owning a black designer jumpsuit and hearty recipes. Chickpea soup anyone?
To be fair Gwyneth herself has waxed lyrical about how we mums don’t cut each other enough slack. But then she always goes and spoils it by dropping clangers such as how office jobs are easier if you’re a mum than being paid millions to make a film. Or how she only allows her children to watch TV if it’s in French or Spanish.
And while describing herself as a ‘working mom’ as she did recently at a political fundraiser – of course we all host these regularly where I’m from – might be technically correct, in reality she presumably has staff and nannies by the dozen on standby.
Oh Gwyneth if only instead of writing about the benefits of juice cleansing on Gloop you could recount that time when you broke wind in a baby sensory class and blamed your unfortunate offspring.
Or when you let your kids have cheese and a bag of maltesers for tea one night because you couldn’t get them to eat anything else.
Or when you stuck them upstairs for some ‘quiet time’ with the iPad so you could indulge in 30 minute’s uninterrupted trash TV.
We’d like you, and the other Smug Mums, so much more…