Every night I read with my 3 year old daughter, and tonight I asked her to “read” me a story. Her reply was as follows:
“I’d like to Mummy, yes please. I think I’m very good at reading and it makes me happy! Let’s do it ok?”
(I fear she’s picked up the “ok” from a hideous mummy/ Topsy and Tim mummy hybrid that has formed in her psyche...)
Later on in reading corner I read her a particularly brilliant line of “Bonting” (Shirley Hughes is such a treat to read), and dear E proclaimed:
“Mummy, you’re a brilliant mummy. You always read to me don’t you, and that is brrrrrrrilliant) (she is experimenting with rolling her rrrrrrrs).
By now I had the happy tears (wouldn’t you?!) That line “I think I’m very good [at it]...it makes me happy!” nudged me close to the edge, and her mummy compliment pushed me right over it, slap, bang walliip as she’d say.
And it got me thinking. I want my daughter to always have this joyful confidence. To be proud of her talents and to revel in them with glee. I also know that, as Mum, I am a humongous influence on her. So, tonight (Matthew) I am putting aside all the self-depreciation, all the #mumguilt, the #sorrynotsorry, the #mustdobetter, and am celebrating 10 ways I am a brilliant mum. It’s not been easy thinking of 10, but I kinda like the ones I’ve chosen...
1.I always have ALL THE snacks. I truly think I’m 90% human, 10% vending machine. Need a pack of raisins? I’m your woman. Cheeky pack of Aldi safari snacks? Tap me up.
2. I always save the centre of my slice of toast for the kids. All the peanut butter in its nutty glory, ready for them to devour. Ooooh, crunchy peanut butter.
3. Carrying on the food theme yet further, they always get to lick the spoon/ bowl when baking... jealous, moi?!
4.Every day for the past THREE WEEKS I have let my 3 year old and 21 month old play Doctors on me. The latter (he’s the nurse) seems to think this involves testing my gag reflex by pushing a pair of plastic fake-tweezers down my throat, shouting “aaaaaaah” and giggling.
5. We are members of the National Trust. A luxury for many, I know, a nightmare for a few and a clear sign I’m #oldbeforemytime, but come on. Who doesn’t love muddy puddles, hills to roll down and the best cake you can guzzle down in England.
6. I am awesome at pop-propriation (an #AdamandJoe reference there) e.g. take the tune of “Wind the Bobbin Up” (always a winner) and replace with “Ben and Holly time, Ben and Holly time, THEN. WE’LL. HAVE A BATH.” Yep. Pure lyrical gold.
7. At bath time I let the kids “wash mummy’s smelly face”. This often involves mild waterboarding-esque peril.
8. Sometimes I go out WITHOUT MY KIDS.
This makes me remember that I have a world that doesn’t just revolve around wiping the kitchen floor and being told “Mummy you’re not Mummy you’re 5 Amelia, I’m 6 Clenna and we’re going to big school now OK?!?!” There’s that OK again).
9. I share parenting with my husband - he doesn’t “help me”, he shares the parenting (and yes I know that this is sadly all too rare, but why should I be “so lucky” to do it? His kids too and all that).
This means sometimes he does bedtime while I drink wine. This means sometimes I do bedtime while he does life admin. This means our kids are blessed to know they have two parents who are fortunate enough to be in their lives a lot.
10. I remember the woman I was before I had kids. I know the woman I am now I have them. I work hard to make sure the two versions of me aren’t too dissimilar, that I take the best qualities of BCme and ACme. I am kind to myself (mostly). I remember that I’m me, but with the Power of Mum. And that power makes me brilliant - after all, my daughter told me, so it must be true!
Power of Mum