Friday, 17 May 2013

I'm a member of the Unfit Mothers Club and proud of it.

I remember years ago having coffee with a friend who had children older than mine and telling her how guilty I felt about not bathing my water-hating child every single night- but not guilty enough to actually do it! I remember clearly her smiling at me and saying;"Welcome to the Unfit Mothers Club."
The rules of the club are just like the first two rules of Fight Club.
 Rule one-You do not talk about the unfit mothers club.
Rule two - You do not talk about the unfit mothers club.
I'm going to break those two rules now.
English: Photograph of American-style puffed r...
 rice cakes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We've all been there - sitting in some draughty hall or in someones kitchen while a "proper" mother wafts on about how much their child loves her homemade baby food, hand-crushed and made from organic vegetables grown on her allotment. Meanwhile you are hoping your child doesn't get hungry and ask for the tinned choc pudding/bag of crisps/chocolate bar in your bag. I spent years carrying round a box of raisins and a bag of rice cakes to pull out on these occasions. None of mine would touch them but it looked good in my
So- first real rule of unfit mothers club (learned from experience). Your child can thrive for a while on chocolate mini rolls and porridge. Or dry bread and plain pasta. Or brioche. They will grow up and grow out of the fussy stage if you keep offering different food. I have a six foot teenager who now loves curry to prove it.
And for those in the middle of that stage- one mother I know told me she had convinced herself that Jaffa Cakes provided adequate nutrition as they contain carbs, dairy and fruit.
More top tips - don't worry about the dummy, or comfort blanket, or special teddy. They might still be clinging to it at 2, 3 or even 4/5 but despite what your mother, mother in law or "friends" say, they won't still be using it at school. Peer pressure will put paid to that. So stop worrying about it, trying to bribe them out of it or hiding it.
TV. Not gonna kill them. Might even teach them Spanish. (Thanks Dora)
Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas the Tank Engine
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Make sure you know what they are watching and maybe sit with them and chat as you watch together if you feel really guilty. My bright 17-yr old is studying for 4 A levels and is doing very well thank you very much, even with Dyslexia, and you couldn't tear him away from Thomas when he was little. Doesn't seem to have affected his brain, eyesight or attention span. If the electronic babysitter stops you from going into screechy banshee mode, then it's ok occasionally to let them veg.
After school clubs exhausting and expensive? Limit them for your pocket and sanity and let your child learn to entertain themselves. Sometimes it's good to for them to not have organised activities so they can learn to work out how to banish boredom. Swimming lessons were a nightmare for me with lots of kids and a baby carrier car seat to lug around steamy changing rooms. So I ditched them. Schools in the UK have to provide swimming lessons in yrs 3/4 and once again peer pressure proved effective and they all learned to swim very quickly!
And finally for this introduction to the Unfit Mothers Club- our motto.
                                                        Parenting is not a competition
Don't feel bad, inadequate or guilty listening to the perfect mother at pre-school. Go with a lifestyle that suits you and yours, don't sweat the small stuff (my kids are always in odd socks) and console yourself with the likely truth that the smug b*tch is probably lying anyway and has a bag of chocolate buttons in her bag for toddler silencing purposes, just like you!
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Eats only brioche, still loves his dummy and chooses
 his own clothes, but this stage will pass.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.

3 comments:

  1. I want a like button on this blog post. As mother's we don't share this stuff enough. Being a mother is hard enough, without us putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect. thanks. Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Ruth and plum leaf. Like your blog btw plum leaf

    ReplyDelete

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