Sunday, 13 November 2011

Big Shout Out to all the Mummys ... Now Go Easy on Yourselves

I don't know what category my blog falls into, or even that I need to think of it in that way, but I do remember when starting it that I didn't want it to be another Parenting or Mummy blog. I think of my family and friends reading when I blog, not the WWW. Overly excited though I am to read that someone in Malaysia and Russia is reading mine. But I try and keep mine more general so the folks at home don't get bored. Not that my parents would ever tire of hearing about the kids.

And just the fact that I have to try, think and pre plan what I write to make sure that I don't just write about being a Mum, is a testament to how much being a Mum has taken over my life.

And not that there's anything wrong with Parenting or Mummy blogs, I like reading them. One of the most wonderful things that social networking (and I'm a huge fan myself) has brought about is connection with more people. Nothing helps us validate and understand ourselves more than other bods going through all the same crap.

I search out the blogs that excite and interest me and they're at times inciteful, intelligent, well funny but often also very stressed and sad writings.

And Mum's everywhere are blogging like ce-razy because they at last have an outlet for their previously hidden thoughts and feelings about motherhood. I say it's a good thing me. May blogging do for this and future generations of mother's what Valium and Prozac did for those past. Ha!

That being said, why do we need a 'secret' outlet for our thoughts and feelings? I encourage my hubby to read my blog, he says he will ... I wonder how many don't though. As many struggling mummy blogs as I find full of humour, intelligence and edgy survival techniques I also find many filled with fear, low self esteem in BUCKET loads and a lot of them are hiding in their blogs. Terrified one day their husband/Mum/work colleagues/friends might stumble upon their blog and realise what a terrible person/bad mother/insane looney tunes they actually are.

Thing is, for the large part, they're so not (a terrible person/bad mother/insane looney tunes).

Can you shout out loud "I AM NORMAL!!!!" (whatever the heck normal is). Imperfect is cool!

The saddest part is, for the most part, women do this to themselves. Ladies, my sistas, we really could make life a lot easier for ourselves. You know?

We think too much. We worry too much. And largely about what other people think of us. Care what your kids think. Care what your hubby thinks. Care what your family and friends think too but geez, who gives a flying monkey what the world at large think. Really, am I that interesting?!

Media doesn't help, we know that, but we really must find a way to live to be happy and ignore those outside pressures.

I mean, who the heck's this ..
And why do I let myself feel bad sometimes that I'm not her? (I know, don't write in, it's that chick from Sex and the City .. imagery people).

WTF. I'm smart, I know all about airbrushing. Not to mention the personal stylists, make up artists, hairdressers and designer clothes. I know these images I see everywhere are not real.

And come on, I've grown up. It was okay to be self-obsessed with how cool and gorgeous I appeared when I was in my late teens, that's part of being that age and stepping out into the world thinking everyone's watching. But I'm forty now, I've lived a bit, stopped thinking everyone's watching and I know better than to rate my self worth on how I look or based on unreal comparions to my looks, lifestyle, achievements ...

I'm lucky, I talk to my hubby. I know a lot of women don't. I mean, they don't sit in silence or anything you get me, but they don't share a lot of their real and most important feelings. Isn't that lying? He might not take it all in but he does care, he is supportive. And he loves and wants me no matter what I look like/manage to achieve in the day. He also knows all about airbrushing. ALL MEN SHOULD BE TAUGHT ABOUT AIRBRUSHING!!

And here I'm adding a pic, and sorry Mads - but use that much airbrushing and you kinda deserve to be outed for it!

But what about the pressures closer to home than your common and garden plastic celeb?

I was reading ChildMag last month, which I pick up largely because we're in the business of making playgrounds but I also find it interesting if a little too 'Northern Suburbs' for me. I mean, I live in the Northern Suburbs but I'm not really a 'Northern Suburbs' kind of gal. Apologies if I just offended anyone. You know where to send the angry email ...

I digress. There was a letter written in by a Mum with concerns about dressing right to do the school run. 'Right' dress code being determined by an aloof sounding gang of Super Fabulous Mum's at her school. Poor love. She was distressed, and I so hope it was somewhat tongue in cheek, that she had worn her on-trend boots incorrectly. I know, shocking stuff. They should have been outside her jeans or something, I don't recall the details. Largely because I don't GIVE A TOSS ABOUT THIS KIND OF STUFF! Anyhoo, she consoled herself on her terrible faux pas by remarking a little unkindly on Mum's who do the school run in their slippers.

I just thought to myself "Jeez, I'd rather hang out with the Mums in slippers any day of the week my friend".

So come on guys (for guys read gals). That lady you're comparing yourself to across the school car park is another Mum. Stop comparing and go say hello.  Don't compete with unreal images and ideas, do what feels good to you and don't beat yourself up (or your kids, ha) when you have a bad day, or even a major f@*k up. Everybody does.

Whether we work or stay at home, Mums generally struggle with trying to be everything to everyone, and nothing or very little to ourselves. Look after yourself and your dreams and needs too, it's important and beneficial to you and all those around you who care. Share your feelings with your loved one's and who gives a fig about anybody else thinks, right? Ya with me???!

And those aloof sounding Super Fabulous Mum's I mentioned earlier don't exist in the real world either. They just hide their imperfections, making them good liars is all. Still want to be them? Grit your teeth and befriend one for a few weeks. It may mean you have to learn how to wear your boots right but stick with it. Get yourself invited to their house and then mission to catch them out. Turn up hours early and catch them sans make up and unprepared. Check under the beds for dirty laundry, inside cupboards for hastily stuffed toys and mess. Ask her kids innocently "what makes Mummy lose her cool?".

And when you're ready to end your friendship, just turn up for the school run in your slippers. I'll come over and say howzit!