Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The 'Slummy' Mummy

Today I was excited to find out that I got a small mention in an article in The Guardian. Focusing on 'real' mummy bloggers. HOORAY FAME AT LAST. I thought. HOORAY FOR GETTING A BIT OF CREDIT FOR HELPING LOADS OF MUMS! I couldn't wait to tell my Dad as I knew he would be super excited. And then I saw the headline...


And it slowly dawned on me that I was the 'slummy' part of this modern parenting myth (side note my Dad was livid). The article then went onto say that as a backlash to 'smug' parents there was a new breed of Mother. A new group of writers who live to look relatable and evidently the more difficult my day the better we look to our readers. I'm kinda used to people being pretty damming about my blog so it wasn't anything new. What I didn't like was the implication that I 'slummy mummy' was in a war against 'smug mummy'. Because? I'm not.

SMUG

It is the age old bizarre world where women are pitted against each other. If you breastfed your baby then surely you despise those that bottle fed. Families that co-sleep are meant to be thought of as bonkers by those who happily tuck their babies in a cot on day 1. Evidently as I sometimes struggle with tantrums, occasionally wear a dressing gown (OK I do that quite a lot) and generally feel a lot of Mum guilt I am 'slummy'. In the same vein women who manage to cook every evening, do crafts with their kids and look immaculate are 'smug'. I am here to tell you that 'slummy' and 'smug' parents don't exist but 'different' ones do.

You would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks that they are cracking it all the time. Rather each of us have our own slummy moments as we do our smug moments. I would prefer to call them the moments where I struggle and moments where I rock. And if you think about it you have all those moments too. Sure some days it may be weighed in favour of one way or the other. One day I can be stupid shouty Mum but in the same afternoon I read a story to my kids in the best Minnie Mouse accent EVER. I have friends who I think are the most marvellous of Mums. One can knock up a sausage plait, breastfeed a baby whilst doing painting with her daughter. I don't hate her. I admire her. Just as she admires elements of my life.

SLUMMY

I have never EVER said that I dislike people that are amazing (in their own way) at parenting. If anything I will often touch on how I wish I was better. I write about my life. A warts and all account. I don't dislike people who don't show the difficult side of being a Mother. What's good for them isn't for me. And that's fine. What's not fine is to insinuate that I am standing up against women who I deem as smug. I quite selfishly I am only really interested in my own story. I am only interested in how I am working my way through this journey of Motherhood. And of course you will come across the odd Mum who offers unsolicited advice, judges your choices and is downright mean. But they aren't smug? They are just d*cks. And they come in all walks of life don't they? Even journalism.

12 comments:

  1. Gr - I hate it when the media fuel the whole 'Mummy Wars' thing. You write a lovely, honest, funny blog about your life - and at least you don't have to resort to slagging other people off to get readers! *cough* unlike some journalists I could mention. Bless your Dad for being cross!

    I often write about the harder bits of parenting rather than the glossy, happy moments, because that feels more natural and comfortable to me. Doesn't mean I resent the more shiny lifestyle blogs!

    Hope you have a good week and don't let it get to you x

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  2. The media does anything to rub people up the wrong way and get a supposed reaction! How bloody ridiculous! Xx

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  3. It's sensationalised crappy journalism on a Tuesday when they haven't got anything better to say. It's complete bollocks! I'm pleased to read someone else struggles with daily life as a parent but mortified that this apparently means I'm a slummy mummy!!!
    Rock on us different mummies and daddies for that matter!

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  4. This is my pet hate because people start to believe it. And they get "sorry" before they do anything like anyone would be bothered Eg either "sorry I bottle feed" (and maybe feel they need to explain when they don't) or "sorry I breast feed but I'm not a hippy or anything".
    It's all completely set up though. If the kids are OK the vast majority of people (bar Internet trolls) don't judge.

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  5. Great post! I love 'I quite selfishly I am only really interested in my own story'!! If more people admitted this then they might spend less time trying to judge others. I'm a bit sad to see this kind of article in the Guardian though. Feels very tabloid.

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  6. Really well written, great response

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  7. How sad. Keep your chin up. Some journalists and writers attacking bloggers has been around a long time. I suspect we've put many of them out of jobs, as we do it for free, and tend to be nicer about it too....

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  8. Annoying journalists- they twist everything. Keep mounted funny posts

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  9. Spot on - we all have our 'slummy' and 'smug' moments (if they are the tired labels the Guardian has chosen to use - yawn) and as you have rightly pointed out it is overly simplistic to try and categorise us Mums accordingly AND wouldn't happen to Dads! How disappointing of a paper I usually hold in esteem. BTW I want you to go on the next series of the 'Last Leg' as you and Adam Hill would make an excellent doubleact picking out all the d*cks in the world :-). The more of your blog I read the more I love what you stand for - smug bits, slummy bits and all xx

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  10. Well im slummy mummy today and proud i have been up since half 3 with my 11 month old and my 3 year old was up at 6! However i have also done 2 loads of washing and cleaned up and the school run so im smug mummy to and proud. What aload of bs. There is no difference between a smug mummy or a slummy mummy we are all just mummy's and we do a damn good job no matter how we do it or how we portray our lives. You are funny and real. Keep it up!

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  11. Well said Em! I have written about this over on my blog too :)

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  12. The media did something similar to me back at the end of July - and said that I was destroying my partner's sex life. The content was OK but it was the headline that infuriated Ross and made him jump to my defence. I have to say, I think that the papers are getting less and less readers now because of the internet and the fact that there are so many people who have a platform to have their own say. They are just sensationalising things and starting this type of thing in a bid to sell papers. Very underhanded and completely wrong!

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