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18th Nov 2019

This ‘truth bomb’ about parenting will totally change the way you see yourself as a mum

Trine Jensen-Burke

lessons to teach your children

I watched the movie ‘Bad Moms’ on Netflix the other night (having never gotten around to see it when it first came out in the cinema, because, you know, kids and life and never having enough hours in the day..)

It was sweet and funny and just the perfect ‘I have the remote to myself’ thing to watch on a Sunday night.

My favourite bit? Mila Kunis’ speech at the end, when she is trying to win the PTA presidential elections, and gets the whole room to admit they are all, in fact, bad moms. Why are they bad moms (in case you haven’t seen the movie – which you should, btw)? Well, because they get stressed out, and they mess up and they try and fail and most of the time, as every bloody parent can relate to, they have no idea what they are doing.

Often, though, I think this not having it all together feeling leads so many of us to feel like we are not doing good enough as parents, as mums. Like, if we only got out s**t together, then we’d be excellent parents.

Sounds familiar? I know I have felt like that, on mornings when nothing goes to plan and we are all running late. On supermarket shopping trips that have ended in chaos and calamity with a toddler tantrum so epic I bet the Tesco staff are still trying to recover from it (I know I am). And many other times.

However, I recently came across a post on just this on Facebook, by Australian mum-of-three and blogger Laura Mazza, and her “truth bomb” words should be read be every mum ever, I think.

Here are Mazza’s words in full:

I see a psychologist every couple of weeks to keep all my emotions in check. This particular appointment I had no one to watch my children and came 25 minutes late with them both screaming as we walked in.

“I’m sorry I’m late, I’m a terrible mess. I’m a bad mother. I can’t get my shit together, yadda yadda yadda… you know how I am… I’m so sorry” Pointing to my two children “I had no one else”

She smiled at me and said, sit down. I let out a big sigh and sat down and wanted to cry.

She said, “You’re not a bad mother, you know how I can tell? Because of all the things you’ve just said.”

She asked, “why are you late?”

I responded “because my son didn’t like the t shirt I wanted to put him in, so I changed him.”

She said “so you took the time to clothe your children and even respected what they wanted to wear to express themselves…. why are you a terrible mess?”

“Because I have a cereal stain on my skirt from the kids breakfasts and my mascara is running down my face from the heat.”

She said, “so you fed your kids breakfast and helped them eat it, and you made the effort for yourself and wanted to look presentable for our time together….Why can’t you get your shit together?” She asked smiling at me…

“Because I had no one to watch the kids and because I’m late.” I responded

She said “so rather than cancelling on today, you did the most hardest thing in the world for someone with anxiety and for someone with two young children, you got dressed, you dressed your two kids, you fed them, you brought them out of the house, and you came to an appointment because you want to better yourself for them.”

And then she leaned forward, and said, “and you know why I know you’re not a shit mother? Because you did all of that. And you do all of that every day. You put all of their needs first. Every need from their emotional, to physical, to wellbeing. Everyday.
For kids to grow up emotionally stable they only need 30% of us. Only 30% each day to grow up happy and loved, but even though you have your time right now, you’ve already given them more than that. You’ve handed them a toy when they’ve wanted it, you’ve looked at them as you’ve spoken to me when they’ve wanted your attention, and you’ve come late because their needs were first. They know all of that, and they’re so comfortable with knowing you’re there for them they came in like they owned the place because their mother makes them feel safe and comfortable no matter where they go.
Mothers only need to give 30% but we give more like 90% if not more, every day. Now does that sound like someone who doesn’t have their shit together? Or does that sound like someone who is doing her damn best despite any adversity thrown her way?”

I said “I guess…” and smiled, and then I asked, “you said 90%, what about the other 10%?”

She said “the other 10% is usually because mothers have to hide in the toilet to poo… so we will give them that 10% as leeway to have 2 minutes peace to themselves”

So whenever you go anywhere, your kids are screaming, your clothes are stained, your eyes are bloodshot from being tired and you feel like you are a mess, remember THESE are all signs that you are mothering, and you are doing it damn right.