Am I the anti-mum?

Growing up in a large family, I always ‘knew’ I wanted to have children some day.  I knew which aspects of my parent’s techniques I wanted to mimic, and I certainly knew which parenting mistakes I would not make!  I grew up in a happy, albeit dysfunctional home.  There was always enough love for all of  us and we knew that we were supported.

When I had my first child in my late twenties, I had very clear ideas about who I would be as a parent.  Bwahahaha!  What did I know?  I thought I would build train sets and bake cookies, create crafting sensations and fill our home with kiddy love.

Then reality set in.

I’m not a mumsy type.  I love to work and relish in deadlines and career pressure.  If I spend a day ‘putting out fires’ in the workplace, my evenings with my family are blissful.  There’s an intrinsic need that I can only fulfill with the pressures of work.

Chatting to a friend today, I realised I’m not alone.  She too uses ABC Kids as a break to have a hot coffee.  We both struggle to sit and play incy-wincy-spider for hours on end and sometimes it’s ok to feed the kids pesto pasta (it consists of pesto and pasta.  That’s it).

I remember a White Wings advert many moons ago that showed some kids eating their ‘little lunch’.  They were sitting under a tree and one child says to the other “My mum baked this from scratch”.  The other child says “My mum used a White Wings packet cake because she has a life”.  Or words to that effect.  Even now that makes me giggle.  Not because I think I have a life and the other mother doesn’t, but because I secretly hide the empty packet mix at the bottom of the recycling in case anyone discovers it!

It’s not that I begrudge anyone else their choices in life.  In fact this piece highlights the fact that I second guess my own failings as a working mum.  The truth is that I’m simply not that person.  I would love to enjoy sitting and making salt dough into shapes, baking then painting them.  The thought makes me want to stick chopsticks through my eyeballs.

So instead I do what works for us.  Sometimes I google a salt dough recipe and we make those dastardly creations because it makes my children happy.  But more often than not, I don’t.

What I’ve realised is that that’s ok.  My children thrive and flourish even though I’m the anti-mum.


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