Listening to the radio last week, I heard about a ‘Mother of the Year’ competition where people could enter their mother based on criteria that, frankly, made me cringe. So I thought I’d write my own criteria on a fictional ‘Mother of the Year’ award.
1. A mother who puts herself first
She must have lots of time to be able to put herself first!
My fictional mother of the year MAKES time to put herself first. She plans weeks in advance who she will leave her children with. Then she spends the days leading up to it packing bags with toys, snacks, water and lunches and confirming and reconfirming arrangements. In the hours before, she travels to the place of said carers, allowing time to provide enough polite conversation to ensure it doesn’t seem like she is just dumping her child/children when all she wants to do is get out of there.
Then when she’s out the door, she rushes to the beauty salon to sit in 3 hours of heavenly bliss to have her hair dyed, cut and blow dried whilst reading a magazine and talking gossip with the hairdresser. Ahh… bliss.
2. A mother who puts her feet up
Oh yes, all mother’s should make time to put their feet up at the end of the day!
That same mother builds some time into her day to just put her feet up. It happens every day around 5pm when the kids turn feral, dinner should be started and the house looks like a bomb has gone off. Dishes are piled high, it’s a balancing act to get that tissue to stay in the over-flowing bin and… she just stepped on a piece of lego.
So she sits down and holds her leg up to inspect her foot while trying to keep the expletives at bay. Yep, she’s putting her feet up again.
3. A mother who volunteers her time for others
It is expected that a mum help the community every spare minute she has!
Perhaps it’s a community of gold fish. Perhaps it’s a community of dishes. Or perhaps it’s just the community of children she’s caring for that she keeps alive for free. Every. Single. Day. Job done, go mum!
4. A mother who contributes to healthy immune systems
Yes! A hospital-grade-clean-house is a must for EVERY healthy family!
THIS mother knows about super bugs. THIS mother knows that to have uber clean floors, benches and children is actually detrimental to their immune systems. So THIS mother gets the kids outside rain, hail or shine to get as dirty as humanly possible. She smiles watching them race snails, dig holes in the lawn and make teepees out of sticks while almost poking their sibling’s eyes out. Then she shoves them in the shower/bath to rinse and repeat.
5. A mother who keeps her husband happy
Well of course, husbands work hard you know.
[Firstly, mother’s don’t always have husbands. They can have wives or they could have no-one. So let’s get that old notion out of the way.
Secondly, mum, it’s not your job to keep anyone but yourself happy.]
So this mum encourages her partner to follow their heart and not their head (like she would anyone). To listen to their instincts/intuition. And this mum has fun with her partner because that’s what life is all about. She makes sure she’s silly with her partner around her kids so they can see how relationships can work. And she has fun doing it herself. And that makes her partner happy.
My mother was most of the things a ‘traditional’ mother was supposed to be. But she died at 61 from cancer after giving to everyone but rarely herself.
All the mothers I know are doing a damn good job and I spend my days teaching mothers to stop being so harsh on themselves and start giving themselves permission to do something for themselves.
A ‘Mother of the Year’ award paints the picture that a mother who gives their all to everyone else is rewardable is both unrealistic and unhealthy. So I want to encourage all the mums reading this to be the mother you want to be, not the mother you think you’re meant to be.
And do something for yourself.
Share with a mum you know who fits this description 😉