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To all the mothers before me, I apologize.

Posted by Anonymous
  • 146 Replies
61 moms liked this
Once upon a time I was a smug mother.

When exactly? 2009 to be precise.

Kevin Rudd was the Prime Minster, Tiger Woods was crashing into fire hydrants while his wife enthusiastically belted him with a 9 iron and my days were spent googling things like ‘Names Matt Preston gives his cravats”.

And when I wasn’t doing that I was swanning around our apartment with my first baby: making my own baby food, going to mother’s group and fastidiously filling in my daughter’s baby album with the intensity of Dustin Hoffman in a Rainman audition.

“Oh I have NAILED this motherhood gig,” I frequently said aloud to myself because I was, um, weird. “NAILED. IT.”

And in some ways, I had.

My six-month-old daughter slept often and easily.

Financially, I was able to work for myself from home doing whatever hours I chose.

I had supportive friends. A mother willing to babysit. A husband who loved being a father.

So what I’m saying, people, is that I was nauseatingly smug.

(How smug? On a scale of one to ten -, ten being say  Gwyneth “Espanola por favor” Paltrow, I clocked in at 275. I was Miranda-Kerr-combined-with-Andrea-Moss-with-a-dash-of-Carol-Brady type of smug.)

But the worst bit about how I behaved back then was that deep down I judged other mothers. I judged them as foolish for not having their baby in a routine. LIKE ME. I judged them as disorganised for not having a neat and tidy home. LIKE ME. I judged them as irresponsible for not putting their kids to bed at a respectable time. LIKE ME. I judged them for not being able to keep calm and not lose their minds LIKE ME.

This is because I was an idiot with NO FREAKING CLUE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD.

Yes my baby slept but I was lucky to have a healthy baby who just so happened to sleep often and easily. Yes I worked but I was fortunate to be financially stable and to be able to work from home when and how I chose.

Little wonder I found motherhood a breeze when I wasn’t battling PND, I had just one healthy child and I was #blessed to have supportive friends and family I could call on when I needed.

Of course I realise that now but back then, not so much. I was foolish enough to think it was 8 parts me and 2 parts luck. In truth it was the other way around.

I think back to the mother I used to be and I want to send her a “Congratulations, You’re An Awesome Mother!’ card LACED WITH ANTHRAX.

Because five years and three children later and ladies and gentlemen I have turned into the type of mother I once despaired about.

Last night my two-year-old decided for the first time in history that he no longer likes spaghetti bolognese and communicated his displeasure by pegging random meatballs at our dog before tipping the entire contents of his bowl onto the floor and screaming ‘IPAD!” in a tone reminiscent of say, Kim Jong-il in an Apple store.

In my laundry, there is a load of washing that has been in the washing machine for 24 hours.

Meanwhile my 11-month-old has no routine. None. He gets carted around between school picks ups and drop offs and sleeps when he can. Oh and I have homemade his food ONCE in 11 months. ONCE.

Meanwhile despite the fact my daughter didn’t even really know what McDonald’s was until she was four, my two-year-old son has been known to actually fist pump and cheer “Donald’s! Donald’s! Donald’s!” when we randomly drive past the golden arches.

(I’ll just pause for 3 minutes and play Wrecking Ball on Ava’s toy xylophone while you email Noni Hazlehurst to nominate me for the Barnardo’s Mother of Year 2015 …)

At 6.30pm last night I contemplated hiding in our pantry with a bottle of Moscato and a bowl of chocolate-coated blueberries. But I didn’t. Because I feared my three children would stage a coup.

So this post is an apology of sorts to the mothers who came before me

Back in 2009, I didn’t know how tricky and exhausting and gruelling things can get when you have more than one child.

I didn’t understand that the mere thought of loading three small children into the car to do a kindy drop off can make you want to weep tears of exhaustion.

I didn’t really know (until I later saw a friend go through it) how truly crippling PND can be. Or what a difference it is to have the emotional support of a partner or family around. Or how truly truly lucky you are to have a healthy and ‘easy going’ baby at home.

Some babies are just grumpy or fractious or they have health issues that can take a toll on an entire household.

I didn’t know that strict-to-the-minute routines don’t matter! That – guess what? – a baby who gets schlepped about here and there can still get plenty of sleep and be happy and thriving.

I didn’t know that a two-year-old who is more adept at using an iPad than Bill Gates or a four-year-old who has a Happy Meal once a week is not going to stop the world from turning.

It didn’t dawn on me that different approaches work for different families and that NEWSFLASH – who cares? And mind your own business.

So to the mothers who came before me – who knew all this stuff long before I got it – I apologise.

And to the Judgy McJudgersons who are still out there,  I say this (and wish someone had said this to me):

Shut your mother lovin’ cake-hole.
Stay in your own lane. Stick to your own movie. You think everyone else is a terrible parent and that you’re the best? Good for you. Call Oprah. Hold a tickertape parade for your fine self. Start up a “how to be an awesome mother like me” blog and all your friends can pretend to read it while hoping you get salmonella poisoning next time you make your own salmon tartare.

I was once a smug mum. Now I’m just a mum. Not terrific. Not terrible. Just a mum who’s doing her best, one Happy Meal at a time.

Are you guilty of being a smug mum?
Posted by Anonymous on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by 8.21.1831 on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:09 AM
8 moms liked this
Great post.
I love this.

Im far from smug.
As long as my kid survives and is happy day in and day out, im doing the best I can
by Ruby Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM
4 moms liked this
Love it. I was a perfect mom....before I had kids. Now, we do what we have to do just to make it through the day.
by Mother of Dragons on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM
3 moms liked this
I'm innocent!!!! Love love love your post! It made me lol in the car and DH stared at me weirdly.
by Anonymous 2 on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM
I, too, was smug and absolutely loved this post. We can only laugh at the smug mom's today in hopes that tomorrow they will also understand the demise they did not foresee! Haha! Do you have a blog?
by Anonymous 3 on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM
4 moms liked this

ahahahahahaha I was the perfect mom in 2008 flash forward to present day and I have learned the hard way the children should NEVER outnumber the parents. 

by Kaylee on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Hello fellow Canadian. :) Cute post!

My kids cheer for target. LOL
by All the makeup on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM
What's PND?
by Emerald Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:18 AM
I loved every single word of this post!!!

Thank you!
by spitfire_bobbie on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Great post. I was never smug and judgemental but I would love to send this to my niece. She NEEDS to read the last paragraph really badly.
by Ruby Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM
6 moms liked this

I've seen my share of smug moms.  One incident comes to mind that just makes me want to laugh and shake my head at her stupidity at the same time.  I was with three other moms.  Two had more than one teenager, I had two pre-teens and the other mom had one four year old.  The one with the four year old let that child run the show and never told her no.  One of the other moms who had teens was trying to nicely and tactfully interject into our conversation that it's good to give kids, especially little ones, boudaries and rules.  Mom of four year old looked at us all smugly and said, "I don't need any help.  I've got PhD in motherhood."

Bwaaahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!!  Come. On. Lady.  Give us a collective break.  No mom of a single four year old should ever say that to moms of teens and preteens and expect to be taken seriously.  If you've only been a mom for four years, you are just barely scraping the tip of the iceburg and you so do not have a corner on the market of motherhood yet.  Not even close.

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