After years of women trying to have it all, be the perfect mother, have a high flying career, wear matching underwear, have the perfect body and be a perfect wife/homemaker a new mode of parenting is gathering. Like a snowball hurtling down a hill it’s been building for a few years now. Bad parenting is the good parenting of today.
It’s not necessarily revolutionary, I imagine the bad parenting has been going on for years, Mums I assume have always been eating chocolate behind cupboard doors mumbling “nothing” when their toddlers asked them what they are doing. They just didn’t admit to it.
Brave souls have paved the way for honest Mums across the globe and we now have a voice, a loud one it seems. New Mums aren’t feeling so alone anymore, so at sea or inadequate, because they aren’t the only one not to have showered, to have left the house without a spare nappy and had to be resourceful with toilet roll and haven’t got round to teaching their four year old to ride a bike yet. They feed their children fish fingers and potato waffles far more often than its cool to admit but seemingly the same amount as most mums do and they’re too shattered to pretend otherwise. They aren’t alone in needing a drink as soon as the tiny heads hit cot pillows and rightly so have no shame in admiting it.
Scummy Mommy launched in the US in 2008 ‘as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, and quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. It continues to serve as a trusted resource and breath of fresh air for millions of imperfect parents.’ http://www.scarymommy.com/about-scary-mommy/
In the UK Molly Gunn started Selfish Mother http://www.selfishmother.com in 2013 and has since built a community of strong likeminded Mothers writing about parenting warts and all. As Mother Pukka, http://motherpukka.co.uk/ Anna Whitehouse is honest about how hard this parenting lark is and vlogs the parenting honesty with humor and originality; Mother of all lists https://motherofalllists.com/2016/08/01/is-it-me-or-has-everyone-else-got-their-shit-together/; Too Much Mothering Information https://toomuchmotheringinformation.com; And the amazing Unmumsy Mum http://theunmumsymum.blogspot.co.uk/p/about.html. Just a few of the honest, self-professed honest Mums out there blogging about parenthood without the gloss and smoke screen, without the judgement, without the impossible rules to follow. Just brilliant women, supporting other women they may never even meet with their online musings and honesty.
I called my blog #Badparent because my sisters had been calling me this for about three years by the time I got round to finally launching the blog and it kind of stuck, I couldn’t think of a better way to embody what my blog was about. A self-professed Sh*tty parent and more increasingly lately proud of the fact my parenting isn’t perfect, but the best I can bloody do. I also kind of wanted to get in there before the potential trolls started to call me a bad parent when I blogged honestly about my short comings.
I am a bad parent in so many ways; I swear like an old fish wife (sorry Dad) I’ve tried but I just can’t curb it and failed miserably, I feed my kids packet noodles with chopped up flat ham and frozen peas and not just when I’m too busy. But this acceptance of bad parenting almost (and I say almost because I know admitting you’re shit does not make that O.K) makes me a better parent. I know what my short comings are, and I know how to balance those with the good stuff. But I also know I’m not alone in those short comings due to the mum gang I’m in. We’re all a bunch of crazies who happened to make a human or two muddling our way through. The difference between now and ten years ago is we’re now prepared to admit we ‘Don’t have our shit together’, that we’re ‘Winging It’, and that we all feel decidedly un-adult at times.
Finally there are parents out there being honest about the fact having it all still involves sacrifice behind the scenes. Being super mum does not come without a price it seems. There are strength in numbers and my the bad mums are swelling. The blogging community is being filled with how not to’s of parenting, its less dictatorial, there is no one size fits all babies rule book anymore. It’s now cool to be a less than perfect Mum. Which is just fine and dandy for this lady, who sees getting all of us to the end of the day unscathed as a massive parenting win that deserves a very large G&T to celebrate – even if it’s only Tuesday. I wear my Bad Mum badge with pride, parenting might not come naturally to me but so far so good and that can’t be bad.
My name is Emma and I’m a Bad Mum, wanna join my gang?