My good friend Harriett put a really interesting post on Instagram the other day about having to define herself whilst eliminating certain criteria such as gender, your place within the family, your career and so forth. And it got me thinking. How do I define myself.
A term we all, so often, hear banded around is Yummy Mummy. For me this draws visions of Abbey Clancey style Mums; Mums who are honed within an inch of their life within weeks of giving birth, not a bag under the eye, not a lone chunk of rice cake stuck to their hair. And that irritated me; I had irritated myself for drawing this conclusion (and that I was unwittingly judging Abbey Clancey – perhaps she spent the first three weeks post birth in her pyjamas like the rest of us and I just don’t know it). Because a Yummy Mummy shouldn’t be defined as a glamorous, seemingly easy life complete with the latest designer changing bag and a nanny behind the scenes holding the fort whilst you work out with your personal trainer two weeks post partum.
No, no, no.
I have decided, here and now, that I too am a yummy mummy.
Let me set the scene for you; and brace yourselves, it’s a realistic one. I am sat here typing this as Josh naps. I am in my maternity jeans, and top, of which I’ve pulled up thus exposing my baby bump to the freakishly warm air this mid October day (seriously warm weather, do one. I need cosy knits, hot chocolate and Hocus Pocus, not a desperate need to shower twice in one day because it’s so warm my boobs have a sweat on)! The hair is scraped back into a Mum bun (first hair appointment since April is booked for this week – praise the Lord), make up is minimal, and even if it wasn’t, it would be ruined by the chocolate icing around my lips from the cupcake I just devoured.
Doesn’t sound like your typical yummy mummy right…..
Then we need to change the definition of a yummy mummy. Let’s make it a realistic definition, one we can all be proud to be labelled as. I know there are some women out there who hate the term and it’s up there with Girl Boss to them as insulting. But I don’t mind it. Because I make my own definitions of these labels.
I’m a huge supporter of other Mums. I champion them. I don’t care if you’re head to toe chic in Boden or if you’re dragging yourself through the day with lipstick on your teeth and that bit of rice cake still discarded in your hair (toddlers are weird; they are like squirrels, determined to store random bits of food anywhere). I salute you because you’re a Mum. You get through each challenging and/or fulfilling (let’s also face it, kids move the goalposts at a moments notice) day having kept your babies fed, watered, warm, loved and alive. You might still have a full face of make up at the end of the day, or you might have mascara streaming down your face from the tears of frustration you have cried because your toddler felt it entirely necessary to hide your car keys and not tell you where they are 15 minutes before your health visitor appointment where you were determined to show you are a full on “I’ve got my shit together” Mum.
It’s OK!!!! It is more than OK to have those days of frustration. It is OK to give yourself some slack; so you didn’t do a washing today. Who cares. You couldn’t be arsed to wash your hair and relied on dry shampoo for the fourth day running; join the club! You are yummy because YOU ARE MUMMY! You are your childrens reason for being; you’re their world, their hero, their sole survival kit.
I am a yummy mummy because, despite doubting myself far too often, I am a great Mum. I don’t mean that in any sort of arrogant way, I simply know I am a great Mum because I do the most important thing; I do my best. I do everything I can to be a good Mum. Does that mean I always get it right; No. But I am trying every day, and that is enough. It’s enough for Josh; I went to collect him from nursery today and the pride I felt when he was so happy to see me. That’s all the reassurance I need.
Do I need the washboard abs and perfect heels to be a yummy mummy; No. And thank goodness because I still have two dark chocolate oranges in my cupboard and my feet are getting too fat for the heeled boots I long to wear on autumn days (when it’s not so hot I could weep that is)! I refuse to be swept up in the culture of what a yummy mummy is supposed to be, and instead, I choose to define it myself, in my own way, and wear that label with pride. We don’t always realise quite how much we take in our stride as Mums; the poo explosions, the fact you can actually catch vomit when your little pukes, the amount of drool and snot disposed upon your (stripey t shirt clad in my case) shoulders on an hourly basis. No biggy. Because you’re committed, puke, poo and all, to your little person.
Yummy doesn’t have to equal Gucci loafers, Range Rovers and “snapping back” (eww I hate that expression) in three weeks. Yummy can equal whatever you want it to be; whatever you determine it to mean. Because you are the boss; you are the Mama and you, my darling fellow Mummy reading this, are smashing Motherhood. You don’t realise it all the time but trust me, you are. There isn’t a value on being a Mummy; it’s priceless.