Emma Conway, blogger at Brummy Mummy Of Two
and panelist on our guest blogging platform BISS
, was labelled a ‘slummy mummy’ by a national paper. But what’s with all the labels?
When your child says ‘Mummy’ for the first time it is one of the best things you have ever heard. You long to hear it from the minute you conceive. If you are anything like me in those first 8 months you repeated the word time and time again at your tiny baby to ensure it was the first thing they uttered. It’s amazing. But recently I have noticed that they are different words that can be attached to ‘Mummy’ to make it not quite so positive.
You could be a ‘smug’ mummy, an ‘earth’ mummy, a ‘competitive’ mummy and most recently a national broadsheet paper called me a ‘slummy’ mummy. This was based on the fact that I write a blog that highlights some of the tougher aspects of motherhood. Because I talk about tantrums, take photos of myself drinking gin in no make up and confess that I am crap at crafts this makes me slummy. A pre-requisite to being slummy is that you must hate smug mums.
A smug mum is someone who finds parenting a breeze, can breastfeed whilst baking their perfectly behaved toddler a healthy meal and still look half decent for when their husband gets in from work. But the thing is? I don’t hate smug mums. I don’t even believe that this label exists. To me if you are managing to be successful about motherhood it doesn’t make you smug it makes you wonderful. Just as those times when I’m exhausted and crying with guilt over one thing or another doesn’t make me slummy. It just makes me human.
Yet the media wants to portray that mothers are constantly in competition. If you breastfeed your child you therefore hate those that used a bottle. If you love crafts and baking you must be mumsy and boring. What the media doesn’t get is that as parents we all have smug moments just as we have moments of being slummy. And 99.9% of us aren’t interested in what other women are doing as we are focussed on our own journey and how we are coping at any one moment in time.
Interestingly men are not called slummy or smug. They don’t get criticism if they moan about sleepless nights or get called smug if they make a home cooked meal for their family. If anything they would be praised. If they carry their baby strapped to their front people don’t presume they are an earth father do they? It’s seen as an attractive thing to do.
Each woman can not be tied to one word. We have moments when we rock at being a mother just as we have moments when we feel like we are failing. And the best thing to do is celebrate or support your female friends and ignore these silly made up labels.