“Mum where’s my science book?”
“I don’t know”
I reply, cue one liners to beat a stand-up comedian,
“Well you’re not exactly mother of the year are you?”
I’m impressed she insulted me so well without swearing but I’ve never attempted to be mummy of the year; so I don’t care.
I have noticed mummy of the year contestants, I wonder what first prize looks like. These mums look great while they squeak about cake recipes with clean, tidy, colour coordinated children by their side but Daisy suspects thing aren’t as good as they look, , “This kind of super-duper robo-mothering is creepy: repressive – not just to our children, who become soft, spoilt and entitled – but, no less importantly, to ourselves?”So how does over mumming effect the kids?
According to teachers making their lives too easy is bad for them, “Far too many children are waited on at home hand and foot. They don't do the washing up and they don't do the hovering and they don't have to make their own beds. It doesn’t do them any good “"We are not doing them any favours if we make them into little Buddha’s at home," she said. And it certainly doesn't do them any favours in school".
Doesn't super mummy need some time off? she probably works,
“Since 1951 the number of UK mothers in employment has more than tripled and the latest figures show that 68% of women with children are now working.”
Now here’s a point for working mums, after a hard day at the office why not get the kids to do some housework, put your feet up and read some trash, it will make you a better parent.
But, I hear you cry women used to do it all, their kids’ lives were perfect, really? This is a list of chores from the golden domestic age, the 50’s
“From the age of about 10 my jobs included;-Chopping firewood & stacking it in coalhouse.Taking out coal fire ashes each morning & return with firewood.Fill coal scuttle.Fill Flora Viceroy oil heater with paraffin.Fetch paraffin from hardware shop as required, often 2 gallons / week.Fetch daily paper & Mum's cigarettes every morning from paper shop.Take my dog for an hour's walk, before & after school.Feed the dog & change her water.Friday, after school ;-
Go to the grocers opposite for the weekly order, take it all home & help put it all away.Kids probably went to school too exhausted to misbehave at school, mummy didn't do it all and she even had the luxury of smoking. Imagine the tantrum if you tried to get your little darlings to do half the things on this list.I hear modern indulgent parents cry, was this child happy? Whose job is it to make your offspring happy? Maybe kids should make themselves happy this report is scathing about parents who try too hard“, but there is a real downside.
“By trying to make the child happy, they don't give the child a chance to learn to make herself happy. Overly involved parents don't give their children a chance to develop their own capabilities –“ If your kids have a strop because you don’t give them enough attention and wait on them the result will be very similar if you do too much.....They can become overly dependent or overly compliant, or conversely, become angry and resentful and reject what the parent is trying to teach them. You want kids to develop certain essential skills and if you're over parenting then you are interrupting these naturally occurring skills”
Supermumy is taking power away from her kids and the results may not be what she expected Did we really need a bunch of experts to tell us this, couldn't we have worked it out for ourselves, don’t we all know an over loved twit? Don’t we also know an anti-social rebel bouncing from one crisis to another not listening to anyone, it may not have been a neglectful mother who produced them but one who cared way too much.
Most people understand spoiling kids is not good and these mums must be running on empty so what drives these women? Is it their overwhelming love for their beautiful and unique little treasures? No, it may be their own demons keeping them up doing the ironing all night,
“Many turn to external structure, control of environment and others, and rules-based systems to deal with their insecurities and need for perfection and/or certainty. The resulting demands and unreasonably leads to a high level of family dysfunction. Many of these parents make constant attempts to regulate their environment and their experiences.”
So while they laugh confidently and read the childcare books instead of mummy porn they may be hiding dark secrets the rest of us happily admit to, the skeletons in their cupboards are tucked well away from prying eyes.
So even if I did run around looking for my diva daughters science book like the obedient little mummy I should be, I wouldn't have done her any good. The aim of parenting should be to send your children into the world with realistic expectations and be smart enough to cope with any scrape. The ability to cook, wash up and hoover are pretty useful too.
The book was on the bookcase, I had tidied it. Maybe my little rock star in training should have helped clean up so maybe in my muddled, slummy mummy way my girl has been spoilt too.