Am I a slummy mummy?

Me wearing a hood, scarf and glasses looking angry

The recent Daily Mail article bemoaning the rise of the ‘slummy mummy’ movement really got me thinking. I don’t often say ‘Daily Mail’ and ‘thinking’ in the same sentence, but there’s a first time for everything.

It didn’t get me thinking because the author has a point – she doesn’t, and The Unmumsy Mum explains why far better than I ever could – or because she’d said anything new (the Guardian covered the ‘slummy mummy’ movement back in September with fewer references to gin-soaked Georgian mothers killing their babies). I got me thinking because it made me wonder – am I one of these slummy mummies that she’s moaning about?

I never really labelled myself as a parent before, but I’m arguably more on the slummy than yummy side. Like 70% slummy. Slummyish.

I feed my kid fish fingers and lots of baked beans. She can go an entire day without seeing a vegetable.

I don’t do Pinterest-worthy crafts with my daughter. I don’t even have a Pinterest account. My idea of crafting is letting her put stickers all over the coffee table – or herself.

A toddler's white socks covered in cat stickers

We don’t bake together. I let her watch TV – and it’s not always age-appropriate. I bathe her only occasionally and sometimes forget to brush her teeth. I often enjoy – and feel like I’ve earned – a glass of wine in the evening. My blog is less “Isn’t parenting lovely and precious?” and more “Isn’t parenting kind of weird?”.

This isn’t me going, “Haha, look at me – I’m a bit shit at this, aren’t I?” I’m not proud of it – but I’m not ashamed of it either. It’s just how it is. I’m glad that there’s a community of mums out there who aren’t afraid to embrace their imperfections, and I love that I get to be part of it.

And as for those mums who want to flaunt their perfections? There’s space for you too. Post pictures of your well-behaved, Instagrammable kids, the ridiculously adorable lunches that you pack for them and the matching outfits you made for the whole family out of organic cotton. It’s not my thing, but it’s a lot of people’s thing. You’ll get a lot more followers than I ever will moaning about having to take out the bin bags with my toddler.

I’m okay with my slummyishness. It fits me like a pair of old, stretched-out leggings. It doesn’t mean that I’m a bad parent. Actually, I could argue that being able to see the humour in the less-than-perfect aspects of parenting (like when my daughter ran away from me in the middle of changing her nappy and peed on the carpet) makes me a better parent. Rather than crying over spilled pee, I laughed about it. Then I scrubbed the carpet while my daughter tried to steal the brush and demanded raisins.

Motherhood, eh?

Naptime Natter

6 Comment

  1. I agree with all of these points! TM bloody loves a fish finger. I definitely think it’s better to be honest and realistic about parenting and to be able to laugh at things rather than trying to pretend that being a parent is always rosy. I hadn’t ever paid much attention to the Pinterest perfect picture of motherhood until I started blogging which I think is lucky as I may have put too much pressure on myself if I had.. as it was I’d already begun to embrace the slummyness!!

  2. I think I’m with you – somewhere in the middle ground. I think I’m an “aspiring yummy mummy with some slummy tendancies thrown in” (like fish fingers and KFC!) #blogcrush

  3. Totally agree. I share the highs and lows but not all of the dull detail in between. #stayclassymama

  4. Haha!! I love this – I am definitely erring on the side of Slummyish! With you all the way here, we’re not proud but we’re not ashamed either, and neither should we be! #StayClassyMama

  5. I’m slummy, I try really hard not to be, but I really am. I also let my 8 year old watch Mean Girls with me and it was a fantastic evening. My house is clean but untidy, my kids had frozen pizza for tea (I cooked it first). Aren’t we all just pretending?

    #stayclassymama

  6. I think it’s great to be able to laugh when things go slightly wrong and see no problem with fish fingers or baked beans. They are both good for you. I don’t think I’m one or the other and in fact believe that mother’s are both in different ratios like you mention. I feed my kids fish fingers and let them have ice cream as well as watch tv in the morning so that I can actually get them and myself ready without anyone getting killed but will also do a lot of the other seemingly more perfect things because i enjoy them. They are however far from perfect moments. We bake together but what you don’t see is the huge mess everywhere that nearly gives me a heartattack. you get the gist. Each to their own I say. You parent and do things your way and not anyone else’s because you are you and not them! People need to stop writing pointless articles shaming the way people choose to live their lives. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyamama

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