I recently heard a chap describe his wife as a “great Mum because she was happy to stay at home”. My first feeling was guilt because I love the days I work. Does that put me in the category of “great career women, average Mum”?
Research shows that the personality type most likely to thrive at being a stay at home Mum would be intorverts. That would make sense but I also think it takes a real nack. It takes patience. The ability to keep calm is also highly useful. Some days, finding the balance between being caring and firm can feel impossible.
What makes a great Mum is down to opinion. Perfect Mum is all bull.
I asked my 5 year old what makes a great Mum. She said the following:
Giving her food (that’s my girl).
Giving her chocolate (food on the brain).
Giving her a place to stay and a place to wash.
Giving her a brother.
Giving her storage for her toys.
Buying her special disney dolls.
Teaching her to write her name.
Taking her to Mimi’s bakehouse for cake.
Giving her yummy yummy jelly.
So what is my take on being a great Mum?
Asking for help when you are feeling emotinally or phsyically drained. Remember it takes a village to raise a child. Happy Mum = happy kids. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
Cherishing the hugs and the calm moments when you get them.
Feeding them (I am with Bonnie on this one).
Wiping their bum.
Encouraging them to share their feelings as they get older.
Enouraging them to keep active and to embrace their interests.
Teaching them the value of hard work and effort over showering them in contant praise.
Taking them on fun adventures but encouraging them to use their imagination. Encouraging them to entertain themselves and not filling their days with so many activities that they get frazzled.
Allowing them space to make their own decisions. Giving them creative freedom to pick clothes they want to wear (I find this really hard at times, especially when my little girl begs me to wear old t shirts and shorts when she has beautiful dresses hanging up).
Allowing them freedom to decide what clubs they want to go to and what subjects they want to focus on. Trying not to mould them, stepping back and letting them find their way. But giving them boundaries. Saying no at times.
Teaching them that it is ok to fail. That we can learn amazing things from failing.
Staying true to your passions, so they see your eyes and face light up. Teaching them to stay true to theirs.
Teaching them that it’s always important to be nice. Reminding them that everyone is dealing with their own stuff, smiles, laughs and all.
Actually, I’m feeling better now writing this. A memo to parents who love their work – you are still a full time parent. You are still amazing. Career Mum does not = averaage Mum.