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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. 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’!

  2. 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?)

  3. thenthefunbegan
    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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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