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Rubbish Mum

I’m normally politically correct on my little corner of the web. I don’t swear. I show the pretty things we make and write about the nice stuff we get up to. I normally give quite a lot of thought to what I publish on this blog. This post is everything but.

You know what? I normally sugar coat everything, because that’s what I’m like: I love fun memories, nice photos and happy kids. I want to remember the good moments in life rather than focusing on those days when I doubt as a mum, when I think I might be messing up in my all-important role as a mother, or worse, completely failing at this raising little humans malarkey…

I was looking at my Instagram feed earlier. Some would say it is curated; others might snigger and think I just post stuff that makes me feel like I’m a good mother. Oh gosh, maybe I am!

I thought I was just sharing snapshots of the good moments, but I am now seeing my feed in a whole different light. I think I might just be trying too hard to prove what a bloody good mum I am (or hope I am). Oh woman, get a grip, if you were a good mother, you wouldn’t have anything to prove!


What I thought when I posted this photo:

Ooooh, look at Crevette eating ice cream after a lovely walk in Devon.


What I now realise I was trying to prove:

Look at me gloating about being on holidays, showing we’ve got dirty boots (hinting long walk in the mud – adventurous outdoorsy family: check!) and of course proving I’m such a cool mum getting my kids ice cream after making them traipse around muddy fields for an hour. To be honest I didn’t even fancy that walk. It was cold. It was muddy. I had to carry Wriggly most of the way.


What I thought when I posted this photo:

Check my new ‘Maman’ T-shirt!


What I now realise I was trying to prove:

Hey, look at me people! I can get dressed in a nice outfit that’s not caked in kids’ mucus. I’ve even put lip gloss on and I’m so 2016 for taking a selfie of what I’m wearing! The real me? Always caked in mucus (mine and the kids’), rarely seen with makeup on, wearing the same outfit most days.


What I thought when I posted this photo:

Isn’t Wriggly the cutest baby in the world?


What I now realise I was trying to prove:

Look at my baby: she is so happy! I am the one making this gorgeous little girl laugh. She’s in stitches! I’m such a fun mum!


What I thought when I posted this photo:

Tsk, tsk, tsk… Have you seen (cute) Jumpy having a tantrum?


What I now realise I was trying to prove:

Oh look, I’m just a normal mum. My child is having tantrums, too. But she looks so cute with it and check out her new socks! Wriggly does have a lot of meltdowns. I don’t write about them very often. I just tell myself, “It’s a phase” like a mantra, until I really start to believe it myself.


What I thought when I posted this photo:

Look at Beanie throwing salt at the fire with her grandad to cause a chemical reaction.


What I now realise I was trying to prove:

We’re not just about the fun and the happiness in this house: we learn stuff!


Oh please pass me a bucket so I can puke! I feel sickened by my “look at me I’m such a good mum!” Instagram feed.

There is only one way to say this: I’ve been a crap mum this week.

On Monday, I wanted to make sure the house was impeccable for my mum’s arrival the following day and I left Wriggly playing on her own and watching Peppa Pig on my phone most of the day whilst I was running around like a headless chicken tidying up this, cleaning that…

On Tuesday, I wanted to get so many things done in town before playgroup I ended up spending 2 hours running around the shops bribing the girls with sweets and chocolate, and less than 30 minutes at playgroup.

On Wednesday, I gave the kids a bath just so I could take photos for a post. I got snappy when they started playing around rather than looking ‘normal’ for the camera. (The more I type, the more I wonder whether I am really going to press the ‘publish’ button.)

On Thursday, Beanie was crying as I picked her up from school. I had no idea why. I had missed ‘parents coming to school to read to their children for 15 minutes’ and she’d been desperate for me to be there, reading to her and her only, showing off her mummy cared enough to remember the one really important thing in her day.

On Friday, I was so caught up with work that I asked my mum to pick up the kids. The school was setting up a shop for Mother’s Day so the children could go in and choose a present for their mum. Beanie had the money in her bag all week (‘cos I’m good like that and I plan stuff ahead). It slipped my mind, didn’t it? She didn’t go to the shop, neither did she use the £2 to choose the present she wanted for her mummy.

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon in IKEA. Despite Beanie’s plea to run to the toilet, I kept stopping on the way to look at stuff, so much so that my 5 year old didn’t quite make it to the toilet.

On Sunday, I just want to be a decent mum… I don’t want to be the best mum. There’s only one mum for these four gorgeous kids, and that’s me. I just want to try and be the best mum I can be, with no distractions, no proving anything to anyone. I don’t want to fail my children. I just hope I’m not a rubbish mum today.


  1. Ce
    06/03/2016 / 8:08 am

    Oh my Mel!!!you are so tough on yourself!!! You are an amazing,fun, loving mum!!Your kids are kind, full of life, polite and beautiful human being!!! You just have a busy life, too little sleep and sometimes trying to do to much… But you know what don’t we all!!!
    You don’t try to prove things to others that’s just not you, you just share a slice of your life a moment and you are how may with it.. Some people like it some people don’t and that’s life!!
    YOU ARE AN AMAZING MUM!!!! If you ever doubt it again, just call me I will give you a list of reasons to prove it to you. Xxxx

    • Mel
      06/03/2016 / 9:45 pm

      Merci ma belle, you’re the best friend anyone could wish for. How do you always find the right words at the right time?

  2. 06/03/2016 / 9:29 am

    I love this post Mel! We all know that’s how all our lives are behind the pretty pictures so it’s lovely to hear someone spell it out. Everyone is a crap mum sometimes but I’m sure your kids will shower you with love today because they wouldn’t want anyone else xx

    • Mel
      11/03/2016 / 12:16 am

      It’s hard to remember that we are all crap mums from time to time when all you see online is (almost always) nothing but perfection. We show off what we do best, our best photos, nicest recipes, favourite moments… yet we’re all snappy or forgetful (I hope) from time to time. xxx

  3. Julie's Family Kitchen
    06/03/2016 / 10:37 am

    Oh Mel, I think you’re doing a wonderful job being a mother. Hope you and your beautiful family are having a lovely day. xxx

    • Mel
      06/03/2016 / 9:47 pm


  4. Viv'Maman_Bas
    06/03/2016 / 2:32 pm

    Oh ça m’a fait rire j’avoue ! Mais pourquoi être si dure envers toi même ? Jamais évident de trouver l’équilibre et de passer du “quality time” avec les enfants quand il faut travailler et faire tourner la maison en même temps. Joyeuse fête des mamans :-). Gros bisous.

    • Mel
      07/03/2016 / 11:38 pm

      Tu mets les choses en perspective. Pas facile “in the heat of the moment!” Bonne fête ma belle!

  5. 06/03/2016 / 5:16 pm

    We all have bad days….. no make that weeks! I’ve had plenty of them…. snapping and being ratty, distracted and thinking I should never have been entrusted with a child…. and I only have one!…. It doesn’t make you a bad mum….. Just normal! As my husband often says to me….. ‘stop hitting yourself over the head with a stick….. She’s fine!’
    So…… stop hitting yourself over the head with a stick…… you’re doing fine! x

  6. Allie R Taylor
    07/03/2016 / 1:09 am

    Dear Mel, we’re all doing our best to be the best mom we can for the children we are blessed with. Some days/weeks are better than others. What I thank you for today, is your authenticity. Being real. Because we’ve all had weeks like you had, but not all of us are honest enough to admit it. Have a beautiful week ahead, my friend. XOXO

    • Mel
      11/03/2016 / 12:07 am

      Thanks my lovely Allie. Your message means a lot. I think I felt so awful because it was like I’d focused on one of my children and made sure I’d forgotten absolutely everything that was important to her that week. Failing her and seeing her sad was the worst punishment you could imagine. She didn’t begrudge me though: she was just sad. That’s probably what sparked this confession… She is such a happy little girl. I think it’s all forgotten about now (for her, not me!) and that reminder at the back of my mind will hopefully mean I focus more on my gorgeous children rather than things that matter a lot less (i.e. everything else!).

  7. 07/03/2016 / 1:29 pm

    Mel I have to say I think you’re an amazing mum. Your crap mum moments are the type of moments we all have if only we are honest enough to admit it. I have to confess I’m glad it’s not just me who tries to set up photos for the blog and then gets a bit snappy when the children won’t fully co-operate. Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and enjoyed a day focusing on the children without too many distractions. And if not, don’t be too hard on yourself. We are all human, none of us are perfect mothers but as long as our children go to bed each night knowing they are loved and having had their basic needs met, we are all doing just fine xxx

    • Mel
      11/03/2016 / 12:14 am

      Oh Louise, thanks a lot for your comment. You are so kind! We sometimes forget we’re human after all when we see all those perfect lives shared online, don’t we? Tonight, I feel I’ve succeeded as a mother: they are all in bed and they had a great time after school meeting with friends, eating a yummy dinner and they’ve even had a shower! Gosh I can nail that motherhood thing sometimes, he he! I’ve still got last week at the back of my mind though, and it’s a good thing I think: it reminds me that I must always put these gorgeous little people first and stop worrying about little things that matter a lot less. xxx

  8. 07/03/2016 / 4:11 pm

    Don’t be so hard on yourself hon, sounds like you’re a normal mum! We all get caught up in posting apply snapshots that don’t tell the full story on social media. For my part though I love reading the full truth as it makes me feel like a normal mum. But you haven’t written the full truth cos you’ve just focused on the bad stuff. I am sure for all the stuff you’re beating yourself up for there is plenty more that your kids love you for. Xxxx

  9. 07/03/2016 / 7:48 pm

    Lovely lady you are absolutely anything but a crap mum. I get what you mean though, and i’m starting to really dislike IG for these very reasons. It’s all BS at the end of the day, and those who are projecting perfection and happiness the most, are usually the most miserable… sending lots of love and hugs your way. Hope you managed to have fun yesterday… and today for that matter xxx

    • Mel
      09/03/2016 / 4:58 pm

      Thanks sweetie. After I’d beaten myself up, I felt a teeny bit better. There’s nothing like a big wake-up call to start rethinking priorities. xxx

  10. 07/03/2016 / 9:29 pm

    You are not a crap Mum, you are a Mum trying her best like we all are. Your kids are loved beyond measure and are happy. Give yourself a break ma cherie OK xx

    • Mel
      11/03/2016 / 12:03 am

      It’s so easy feeling guilty, isn’t it? Thanks for your comment honey. You’re right: I love these little people more than I ever thought possible, but gosh I messed up last week…

  11. Emma Fox
    09/03/2016 / 8:23 pm

    Thank you for not making your life sound perfect. This sounds like my sort of week!!

    • Mel
      09/03/2016 / 9:47 pm

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to write a little message, Emma. It means a lot. Until the last second, I wasn’t sure I’d hit ‘publish’!

  12. 15/03/2016 / 9:23 am

    I know I’m late to the party here, but I just wanted to say: it’s okay! Everybody knows that everyone else has crap mom moments (I mean, maybe not every particular, but we know it’s not everyone putting up their dirty laundry all the time… if it was, I mean, who’d want to see that, anyway?)

  13. 15/03/2016 / 4:21 pm

    I honestly think that IG is all about the curation – I prefer it that way, as a poster of pics and also as a viewer. So definitely nothing wrong with that. Also don’t beat yourself up too much about what feels like the little fails – concentrate on the little wins because we’re none of us perfect and we’re all functioning on not enough sleep and too many demands on our time and superwoman doesn’t exist. Xx #thetruthabout

  14. 15/03/2016 / 8:00 pm

    Aww bless you. You are a fab Mum, with a job, a house, a family and sometimes things do slide a bit! It is never perfect and never will be but those littlies will always love you xx #thtruthabout

  15. Eva
    16/03/2016 / 9:05 am

    Tu est une vraie maman Mel et une bonne maman! Personne est parfait les 24 heures et encore moins avec 4 enfants!! C’est sûre qu’on Instagram on partage que les beaux moments et tout pareil tellement parfait même si la réalité c’est parfois une autre. Mais peu importe, on sait tous que la vie n’est pas si simple et que parfois c’est dure. C’est très courageux de ta part nous montre “the other side” et je suis convaincu que tu est une maman génial ! xx

  16. suzanne3childrenandit
    16/03/2016 / 11:26 am

    Well what a relief, I’m not the only one! Sometimes I think it’s hard living our lives online, we simply cannot share all of the crap stuff we and our children do (certainly not with teens!). The down side to that, is that we often make ourselves out to be perfect and the blesses no one. I think we shake it up a bit with real life, ‘I’m a crap parent’ posts and then everyone realises that no one is perfect. Keep going girl. You made me smile today anyway!

  17. maddy@writingbubble
    16/03/2016 / 10:04 pm

    You’re not a crap mum AT ALL you’re a normal mum! We all forget stuff and try and get things done while the kids watch tv etc etc. This is a lovely honest post and I understand the motivation behind it too – I wrote a post about social media and honesty very recently which touched on these sorts of issues. I also like to post the good things because that’s how I want to remember my days/weeks etc and because I’m generally a pretty positive person… but sometimes I look back and think it’s just fluff, it’s not real! Thanks for sharing this chunk of realism about your lovely family. xx #thetruthabout

  18. 18/02/2017 / 9:37 pm

    Oh God I love this post Mel, I feel so much better now you’re not a crap mum, I’m not a crap mum…it’s just sometimes we feel crappy! …not the same thing xxx

    • Mel
      19/02/2017 / 11:01 pm

      We do, don’t we? Sometimes, I feel completely in control (when all the children are asleep generally, ha ha!), but at times, I feel like I have not got one thing under control. It’s normal I guess. We’re not Supermums. We do our best every day…

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