What sort of Mum are you? Do you know?
Maybe you are the mum who is mostly winging it day to day? Or the frankly, weirdly named ‘crunchy’ mum? Working mum? Career mum? Exhausted mum? Or perhaps the best of all, an ‘earth mother?’
Well ladies and gents, I’m not any of those things. I don’t know that I even have a category to label myself with. If I did it would probably be called the ‘I don’t give a f*** about your labels mum’. That could catch on, right?!
So, where is this rant coming from?
It’s coming from a baby group that I recently attended against my better judgement.
After the inevitable awkward silences, staring at the new girl and cold-shouldering that is de rigeur for such groups, I finally picked my morale off the floor and muscled my way into a conversation. Or rather Sophie bum-shuffled her way into it. She has no shame.
Anyway, I was in and the semi-polite interrogation got under way.
“What’s her name?” (Not me, I’m just the giver of life you understand) Sophie.
“How old is she?” 11 months.
“How are you feeding her?” FML – Through her MOUTH.
And then the blow from left field..
“So, what sort of Mum are you then?” Erm. Well.. Erm.. Awkward wipe of Sophie’s snotty nose to delay the inevitable. “A good one?” I ventured tentatively, feeling completely out-mummed.
With raised and patronising eyebrows, they explained that they were “crunchy” Mama’s. Presuming this didn’t mean they had gone a bit stale I ventured up the courage to ask what this meant.
Apparently a crunchy mum is someone who not only cares deeply about giving her children the best life possible but also about making sure she’s leaving the best world she possibly can for her grandchildren.
Ah. Ok then. “Me too” – I smiled feeling confident.
“But are you using cloth nappies?”
“Moon cups?!” (Do NOT even ask – I had to google it)
“Then you’re not a crunchy mum” they declared, half turned their backs and mean-girled me out of the group. I felt like I’d worn a tank top two days in a row.
So is this a thing then? Are we labelling our mothering these days or have I just had a bad experience with the plastics?
Nothing gets my goat up (what the actual friggity do-dah is that expression about by the way??) more than a label. And do you know why? Because smacking a label across your open all hours chest is akin to making a big fat judgement. Those women were saying that I can’t be in their club if I don’t parent in the same way as them. I’m not GOOD enough if I’m not doing it the way that they deem to be best. And probably worst of all they were inferring that I don’t love my children as much as they love theirs because I didn’t do things the “right” way. Or their way.
If they had lowered their judgey pants for a second they would have found that actually, we both pushed a baby out of our hoo-hoo’s. That I don’t judge them for their moon cup choices, despite NEVER wanting to do it myself and that although we both love our children we also both hide in the bathroom so they can’t find us.
We are all going through exactly the same sh!t day and mostly night. And we are both mum’s who need a friendly smile, a hot cup of coffee with another semi-functioning adult and a sanity check about the state of our babies poop.
Crunchy, stale, hippie, old-school or just plain incompetent – we are all Mum’s and it’s hard enough without the label.