Mama OWL Blog: I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately

I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Because I am a good mum.

I'm not one of those people who berates myself for not being good enough, not doing enough, not having everything perfect. I will not aspire to be something that does not exist, setting myself impossible tasks and having unrealistic expectations. I do my best, and while it isn't perfect, it is perfect for me.

My children are clean, fed, well dressed and neat & tidy (when they leave the house, what happens after is mostly out of my control particularly where school is concerned, and they come home looking like they have been dragging each other through the mud), polite & well mannered (most of the time...) and well behaved (again, most of the time, they're children not robots and we're not immune to fights, bickering and being called fartface or bumhead) and they are happy, healthy and LOVED.

I'm a good mum because I hug each and every one of my five little ratbags every day, I tell them I love them every day, I ask them how they are or how their day has been every day. I always tuck them in at bedtime, and I always kiss them goodnight.

I let them bring their toys out and play with them wherever they want around the house (even though I would prefer Harrison didn't line up his fire engines on the draining board when I'm trying to wash dishes truth be told, but he likes to be next to me and I won't argue with that) because this is their home, and their right to do so. Once they have finished playing, they pack up their things and put them away. Sometimes they do it without me asking, other times it takes one, two etc times for me to remind them to put it away and it eventually gets done, but in the grand scheme of things it isn't a big deal, this is our home not a show house.

I'm a good mum because I take the time to do things with and for my kids. It isn't the fact that I can bake a mean cake (thanks to my mum, nan and sisters), or that I prepare most of their meals from scratch, or that I set up arts and crafts & activities for us during the holidays and time off school. Anyone can do that, baking a cake isn't rocket science and nor does it make you a wonderful mother.

The thing that matters is like I said, that I take the time to do it WITH them and FOR them. Not so I can rub it in anyone else's face, or use it as a stick to beat others with to make them feel bad for their choices as parents, what they do or don't do with their kids. It is something that I as their mother do, because I enjoy it, because that is how I was raised, because that is important to ME.

I'm a good mum, because I like to take pictures of my kids just being my kids. Being themselves, being how they are in their natural surroundings, having fun and being silly. Making funny faces, pulling bunny ears behind each others heads, giving each other piggy back rides. I take zillions of pictures because I want to absorb every last minute of their childhoods. I want to remember spending weekends watching them zooming around the park on their scooters, hanging upside down from the zip wire, rolling down hills, sitting watching sunsets, running through the woods knee deep in mud. And when the time comes that maybe I can't remember as well as I could do, then I will have pictures to look at and help me remember. And when I am gone, my kids will have the pictures to look at, and remember the time that their dad and I spent with them, doing things with them, being a family.

I'm a good mum because last night we sat and watched TV together for an extra half an hour before bed time, because their dad was working late, and I wanted just to sit with them. Which meant that this morning, I ended up stood in my pants & a t-shirt in the utility room at the crack of dawn ironing their school shirts because I didn't do it last night. I hadn't even had a coffee, it astounds me that I didn't iron my hand or something because I am useless in the morning without caffeine.

I'm a good mum because I make time for my kids. Time is precious. It is slipping away from me even now. I look at my children in the evenings when they are tucked up in bed sleeping and I wonder when they all got so big.

Our eldest is thirteen, a young woman now. I won't say lady, because quite frankly her attitude at times makes me consider locking her in her room but that is part and parcel of being a teenager and I wasn't any better (my mum can barely conceal her glee when I complain to her that Alicia has done this or said that... "You weren't any better", and "Payback...!" are her usual words of choice). But I look at her and think that before I know it she will be a young lady, and she will be gone, out into the world to pursue her career and her dreams and begin her life.

The boys are 10.5, 8 and "nearly six!" and they are just beasts. They're big strapping lads like their dad (6'1) and my brothers (who take after my dad, who is an impressive 6'4, both of them are younger than me, and both of them are head & shoulders taller than me and I'm 5'10). I look at my boys and wonder what sort of men they will be.
I hope my sons will be just like their dad, and their grandfathers. Good, strong men with their priorities in order, who take care of their families, who work hard for what they have, and are caring and decent. I know I won't have to wait long, soon enough they too will have grown up and gone, and I will miss having fire engines on the draining board.

The baby is 17 months old today, and I swear I have no idea where the past year and a half has gone. How is she so big? She was just born! I'm enjoying every minute of her and her siblings, because time is precious, and so is my time with them.

I'm a good mum, because sometimes we've had a busy day and been out doing this & that, and we stop off and pick up a takeaway on the way home. Balls to the routine, sometimes things happen and you have to roll with it.

I'm a good mum because most days I am lucky if I can drag a brush through my hair (or indeed even find a brush...) before getting out of the house. But I don't care, because the kids have left the house looking clean & tidy, and are fed & watered ready to start their day.

The bottom line is, I'm a good mum for the time I take for my kids, even if I sacrifice a little of myself to do it.
And if you are doing your best, then you're a good mum (or dad, or guardian) too, and don't let anyone tell you any different. Keep up the good work.


  1. What an absolutely lovely post! You most definitely are a good mum. Don't just say it out loud...SHOUT IT! ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Come back to the BritMums Blogging Prompt of the Week next week too! ;)
    Karin @ BritMums

  2. Awww such a sweet post :) and so true! xx

  3. It's nice to hear (or should that be read?!) a mum who feels confident within herself enough to say that. A refreshing post - super dooper!

  4. And I am a terrible Mum because every night I promise myself I will spend more time playing with my kids, and every day I wonder how I managed not to. I will try harder to be more like you :-)

  5. Excellent post :) sounds like you are a really wonderful mum

  6. Fantastic post! It's so easy to focus on the things we get wrong isn't it?

    I love your blog theme - it's so pretty and those little owls are really cute.

  7. I so enjoyed reading this post - it was lovely to read and to be able to associate with it. Your home sounds lovely,warm and inviting - a lovely place to grow up. Thanks for sharing this it brought a big smile, a few giggles of recognition and a warm buzz.


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