Monday, 5 October 2009

I'm a bad mother - tell me something I didn't know!

Why do people always want to make mothers feel bad about the choices they make? I haven't met a mother yet who doesn't live with self-inflicted guilt every day - did we smile just the right way when they came into our rooms at 6:30am? Do they really understand just how much we love them? Are they eating the right things? Have they done enough exercise today? Have we done everything we can to make sure they succeed in class, in the playground, in life? No matter what we do we'll never get rid of that nagging doubt that we should be doing something more.

So when a 'study' came out last week saying that the children of working mothers are more likely to be obese, watch more TV, eat more sweets (candy) and do less exercise than the children of stay at home mothers, I was annoyed! Then someone else announced that daughters of working mothers perform better in school, are more confident and have more successful careers than daughters of mothers who stay at home, I was even more incensed!

I should clarify, at this point, that I'm a working mum four days a week and a stay at home mum three days a week, so according to the two studies I'm either the best or worst mother around! I get really annoyed with sweeping statistics that are used by people who have their own personal agendas. They want to make other people feel bad for not making what they see as the 'right' choices. Most mothers are doing the best they can, if that's not good enough for other people I don't care, as long as the children are happy and loved.

By the way, neither of my children are obese, they are both (too) confident, watch a maximum of 5 hours of TV a week, walk, run, swim and eat sweets (!) but most importantly they are deeply loved, and they know it! Instead of a yummy mummy, I think I've turned into a smuggy mummy - can't decide which is worse!

Now I can go to bed without that nagging guilty feeling tonight, by tomorrow morning I'll have thought of something else I won't have done...

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