On the weekend, I headed to see the movie 'Bad Moms' with a group of school mums. There was bad language and themes that were definitely for adult eyes only, but the movie pointed out something that all of us mums need to remember -- we don't really have it all together no matter what type of façade we like to put across. We all wonder if we are doing a great job and measure how we're doing by comparing ourselves to each other. Or we try and live up to a ridiculous expectation that we can do it all.
No matter how organised and together we look on the outside, on the inside we're wondering if we're doing the right thing by our kids. Sometimes we just don't have it all together the way we'd like to.
As I was reflecting over the weekend about the movie and my realities over this past year, I thought about all the bad things I do as a mum that I know I could do way better. So I thought I'd share why being a bad mum makes me a good mum. Because I know I'm a good a mum, I just sometimes don't do a lot of things right.
1. Sometimes I bribe my kids to get them to do what I want. I'm a good mum for making the bribe a good deal.
2. I will escape to my office, or go out with girlfriends during the hell that is the dinner-bath-bed routine. After a long day with the kids, I sometimes don't have the energy to battle kids that won't eat their dinner because they don't like it or fight in the bath over the same toy or find an excuse not to go to bed. Time out for me means I can be a better mum the next day.
3. I will eat all the chocolate during nap time. This makes me a good mum because it removes the temptation for my kids to eat junk food.
4. I take my kids to the park so I'm doing something fun with them, but really I just want 10 minutes of peace so I can respond to my emails and maybe read a blog or two -- it helps me get through my day.
5. I'm often rushing (and running late) to school drop off or church. I don't like running late, and I do want to raise my kids to be punctual, but I also want them to know they can live life to the full and use their time wisely before heading out the door.
6. My eldest daughter got a hole in her baby tooth because she drank too much watered down juice when she was little. (In my defence, she was a very fussy eater and so my logic was at least the juice would fill her if food didn't!) I was a bad mum for letting her drink more juice than she should have. I'm a good mum because I got the dentist to tell her why she could no longer drink juice and I now save $4.00 a week by not buying apple juice in my weekly shop. As a result, her younger sisters rarely drink it and have great teeth.
7. Sometimes the book that is read on Playschool is the only reading my younger girls get in the day. I'm a bad mum when I don't get time to read books to my younger girls like I did with my eldest. I'm a good mum because I've got the TV on standby.
8. My kids are good with screens. They know how to take photos, speak on snapchat and they can work their way around the apps on my iPhone and iPad. I'm a good mum because they're learning vital skills for when they're at school because by the time they are at school, all their learning will be done on screens. (As a side note, I find it ironic that parents are being told to limit our kids' screen time at home while the education system is looking at increasing screen-based learning.)
9. I'm sometimes a bit lax about rules. Sometimes I will let the kids play on the furniture because it's a distraction I don't have to provide. If they hurt themselves they will learn not to do it again. I sometimes let my girls fight so they can learn how to compromise. I also let them play with their food because sometimes their shenanigans are just too funny and they provide potential photo opportunities for their 21st birthdays.
10. I swear. It's something I'm working on. But swearing gets the emotion out and doesn't let me bottle it in. The bad part about this is that sometimes it is within ears reach of my girls. But I have taught my girls that bad language is bad and my girls aren't afraid to pull me up on it. Despite being a bad mum, I've used this flaw to teach my kids what not to do which is what every good mum should do.