By Anna Hook
My name is Anna and I’m a
alcoholic judgemental mum.
Every woman has an idea of what sort of mother she will make. From the moment those two little lines appear you build up the ‘mum you’ in your head. It might be a broad idea (I’ll be nothing like my parents) or it might be a little more rigid (I can’t wait for little Hermoine to finish pre-prep and start violin). When I found out I was expecting I had a few very definite ideas: I was going to get so much freelance work done (I have done exactly zero), my husband would come home to gourmet meals every night (M&S ready meals are nicer than my cooking anyway), and I would be joining a gym when my bundle was 6 weeks (*hysterical laughter*).
My biggest and probably boldest statement was that I would never be a judgemental mum. I saw mums struggling daily, and was full of sympathy; I did not know their situation, and so would never glance daggers or mutter under my breath. We would exchange knowing smiles as we squeeze our prams through the aisles of Tesco and all would be right with the world. Super mums, we be. Girl power.
“Well from where I was sat they were all tiny blobs of human that aren’t too bothered about laying in their own shit.”
Fast forward 6 months, and my perfect bundle arrives. The stitches heal and I actually wash my hair. My baby is spotless in designer clothes. I have managed to pull on a Primark tracksuit AND I’m wearing a bra. I am ready for my first Mother and Baby class. It is going to be amazing. We will all have so much fun. We will laugh and high five over the fact we have kept the little blighters alive for another week. Maybe there will be wine.
Ladies, let me tell you. The room is full of false smiles and catty comments. “Did you KNOW that Bethany doesn’t breast feed?!”; “Lisa is sleep training far too early”; “Oh little Hugo rolls over now, he is so advanced”.
Well from where I was sat they were all tiny blobs of human that aren’t too bothered about laying in their own shit. Do whatever works for you and your blob. Passive aggressive articles were plastered on Facebook highlighting ‘baby stress levels’, always backing up the poster’s views, never containing any actual facts. I lasted two sessions before retreating to the safety of my cave…ahem, I mean house. I will NOT tolerate that judgement. I am not like that. Plus, there wasn’t any wine.
Fast forward again. I am sitting in a doctor’s waiting room. Another mother comes in; her daughter is maybe 18 months old. The woman hands her baby chocolate buttons. CHOCOLATE BUTTONS. Practically child abuse.
My child will never have that crap. My face contorts into a sneer which the mum clearly sees. Good. I rush home and tell my husband of the neglect I had witnessed. He laughs. Points out to me it isn’t as bad as the mum I told him about whose toddler was out without socks. This was the moment I realised – I was a judgemental mum. Never mind that MAYBE Chocolate Mum had used treats to bribe her child to a tricky doctors appointment, and MAYBE Cold Toes mum had already been through a 4-pack of socks that her child had ripped off and discarded in the street while she ran her errands.
The woman hands her baby chocolate buttons. CHOCOLATE BUTTONS. Practically child abuse.
I am telling you. The way I do it is right. The way you do it is wrong. I don’t know your circumstances, but I can assess your situation with no background information and be entirely correct in my assumptions of you.
So ladies, let’s all hold hands. Let us judge each other, but for a change let’s do it in silence. Let us smile and keep our eyes kind. Let’s just not talk about all the ways in which everyone is fucking up their kids…and drink some wine.
Image Source: Yourdost.com