Usually on a blog you’d expect to see instagram filtered photos of avocados, bath bombs and ombre hair. I quite often think that I’m either a rubbish woman or just a rubbish adult because today I ate cake for breakfast and haven’t brushed my hair since yesterday (?) morning. That’s as good as I get.
I used to picture myself being a made-up wife who laughed, baked and made crafts with my young children; and the type of mum who would get a three course gourmet meal ready for her hard working husband (feminists everywhere, do not judge). The house would be immaculate at all times and I’d host dinner parties and drink expensive wine with my friends on a “night off”. I’d sew and keep a book of my favourite recipes and would only ever keep fresh food in the house; I was going to be A PINTEREST MUM.
Then I had a baby and realised I was entirely useless at being a grown up!
Other mums on my Facebook would upload their selfies in their tidy houses with their faces looking like they’d never had a single sleepless night in their lives. Hash tagging away at their cute little fucking cupcake photos and homemade pom poms! Surely having food fights, messy play, dancing, ugly selfies, loud music, disney films would be enjoyed by my son just as much?
I mean, have you tried baking with a one year old? You get them to stir the mixture with what looks like a giant spoon and a second later they face plant the bowl. When you take them away to actually, you know, bake… world’s biggest tantrum COMMENCING in 3, 2, 1…
Then you hand them the spoon again to try to avoid that inevitable screech that makes you worry the neighbours will definitely be knocking on the door to make sure you’ve not murdered your own baby. That annoying show from cbeebies comes to mind and you start singing the theme tune (and you’re weirdly proud that you remember the lyrics to a childrens show that usually makes you brain dead) to distract your baby that they were about to start screaming bloody murder. All because you took the mixing bowl away. Then you start making inhumane noises and pulling ridiculous faces (the kind of face you pull when you get leg cramp) and not caring how utterly mad you look because you want them to “be happy for mummy” which you say outloud, half begging. But the scream is inevitable and it comes pouring out. You give them a toy, it lands on the floor. You give them juice, it lands on the floor. You give them a cuddle and they smack you. You put them back in their highchair and end up just giving them the mixing bowl that still has a small amount of leftover cake mix stuck to the bottom and sides of the bowl. That shuts them up. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do for some peace. You think to yourself “Cake is rising in the oven, baby is happy and I am so good at multitasking. I’m like a proper GROWN UP” You see your baby sticking his head in his hard-earned mixing bowl and licking at the leftover mix which you notice has stuck to his chubby cheeks when he lifts up his head.
Ironically, you caption it ‘Making memories. Baking a cake with mummy’ and manage to capture about eight pictures. You choose the one he looks happiest in of course and show the world a small fraction of your baking experience. The perfect edited version.
Next time you buy a cake from the bakery (feels more like a homemade treat than a supermarket cake right?) and go home to eat it with your baby in front of Toy Story. No screams in ear shot. But to the mums who can manage their crafts, diy and homemade hobbies I absolutely praise you!
So why am I saying this? Well, this may be me talking about being a mum again but it’s just an example of what we have all been guilty of pretty much our entire lives. Comparing ourselves to others.
If you need proof that you’re not less important than anyone else then just ask people what they think of you. I’ve had people tell me they’re envious of my naturally straight hair, my big eyes, my big hips, my confidence and even my son. We are ALL jealous of each other but where does the cycle end? I can tell you that the above things that people have been jealous of aren’t things that I feel about myself. I hate my hair, my hips are fat and I’m not at all confident even if I’m perceived that way. But we don’t ever really see what other people see do we? Next time you’re envious of something or someone try to remember that comparisons are unfair, we find the worst things about ourselves and compare it to the best qualities in somebody else.
Comparing yourself to someone else could also lead to unintentional bullying. A few years ago I lost two stone whilst working, it was an active job as I’ve written in my last blog post. I barely had time to sit down and often had to do my paperwork at the end of my shift and eat lunch walking on the job. So I lost a lot of weight and people noticed it massively, I was really pleased with how well I’d done but a girl I know used to joke about us being “fat girls”. Now this only started when I lost weight and she was probably the size I was before I lost weight. Then it hit me, she was jealous. I was angry that my self control and hard work made someone else mean to me but I tried to understand her point of view. But in all honesty I still can’t understand it! Women should be empowering each other and encouraging each other. But obviously she was comparing herself to me, despite her having a nice car and lots of money spare every month whilst I was scraping by on minimum wage, she was picking on me because of how I looked.
We all have our flaws and we all hide what we feel the need to hide. We all have different qualities and perceptions. You want to dye your hair the same as that girl who you think has everything spot on in her life? Do it. But then what? It won’t stop there and eventually you won’t be unique anymore.
Einstein said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing that it’s stupid.”
I’m not going to copy people, if I come across something I want to do then I’ll do it. I’ll thank the people who give me advice and recommendations for things I could use as a mother but the end result will always be ME deciding what I think is best. But one thing is for sure, my friends and family love me for who I am. My husband married me knowing what he was getting himself into (lucky lucky fella) and my son couldn’t care what I looked like or what activities we do, as long as he’s loved and cared for.
So I’m happy with being who I am. I’m not perfect and there are things I’m working on changing but by being me I have gained the best people in the world.
That’s why I’m okay not being a ‘Pinterest Mum’. I’m Dexters mum.