It’s a long standing joke in our house that I am a ‘terrible’ mother. To be honest I think the main problem is that Pie attends an outstanding school. This would be fine, apart from the fact I am not an outstanding parent. In fact if Ofsted rated me I would probably be inadequate in many areas. I am a rubbish cook – despite my best efforts. We don’t do crafts at home and I cannot teach Pie to ride his bike as he only ever pedals backwards. My driving skills are fair but my in car singing could be considered harmful… I do apparently make good sandwiches and give great cuddles (thanks Pie).
The other problem is I fail to get involved in the middle-class motherhood game. I don’t do yoga, therefore I never turn up to the school in my yoga pants or with a fabulous post gym glow. Usually poor Pie is lucky to see me at all at the school gate. If by some miracle I am there at 3 I am either in my scruffy jeans, with no make up and the ‘thrown through a hedge backwards look’. Or I am in my uniform, looking slightly harassed because I meant to get off early to pick him up with plenty of time. But I am in fact late and running from the car feeling slightly harassed and rather hot.
Of course the other Mum’s all ask there little darlings how they got on at school. Pie always races out and announces that his pants are wet and can he watch Avengers when he gets home. This compounds the belief of the other parents that I am in fact a terrible mother in two ways. Firstly I am unable to potty train my 5 year old and secondly I allow him to watch TV. I just grin and unfold the plastic bag from my pocket for him to sit on in the car (it’s on hire purchase don’t judge my need for seat protection). I challenge anyone to toilet train this child – in fact I would pay you!
Worst of all are school projects, you know the ones where that damn bear come home for the weekend and you have to keep a journal. I can hardly write that The Bear watched me tackle washing pile mountain, wrestle Pudding into clothes and fail to cook a meal without cremating some part of it. I am pretty sure that the other entries in the book are utter bull. The person who gets The Bear after us must be like ‘winner, anything I write is gonna be better than that…’
So no I don’t do yoga, I don’t have a gym membership and no my child has not mastered the toilet yet. I can’t attend the PTA, charity fun run or help out at the bake sale. I barely manage to keep up with the reading record, let alone complete the ‘optional’ (it’s not optional AT ALL) homework. I can’t stand the obligatory costume days, Easter bonnets or other such parenting requirements. I have tried to be as pulled together and perfect as the other parents at the school gate but the reality is I can’t manage it. I am just another frazzled looking mama who loves her kids but is never gonna win parent of the year. And you know what I can live with that. Motherhood is not a competition. It’s an ongoing battle, that you occasionally win but inevitably more often than not lose!