Guest posting today is Beth Ritchie from the blog Write or Wrong I’m Doing it Anyway. Her blog is about her misadventures as mum to 2 (arguably ferral) boys, 2 highly expensive cats (they cost her a holiday), and life as partner, lover and best friend to “the man”. Trying to work out the answer to life’s unanswerables: why am I here? Should I actually be doing son number 1’s homework for him? Is there a God? Does my mum really need 3 purses?
I think she’s hysterical and I hope you do too!
There is more than a slight discrepancy between the person I would like to be and the person I actually am. I’d like to be able to walk past a box of chocolate gingerbread without eating four of them. I’d like to be able to drink more than one glass of wine without suddenly insisting everyone drink shots and acting like a frat boy in Freshers week. And I’d like to be Supermum.
On the school run (more often than not wearing yesterdays knickers scavenged from the bedroom floor because I haven’t got round to doing the washing yet), you often see women who have perfectly turned out, clean nosed children, and you just know that this woman also manages to hand make all her Christmas gifts without looking tight and will put herself forward to organise the school Christmas Fayre (“oh I’m sure I can squeeze it in around Pilates and my work with blind people”). Her kids are happy to eat their five a day (unlike the rest of us desperately convincing ourselves that a box of raisins, some orange squash and the tomato sauce on a pizza counts), so she never experiences the guilty feeling of throwing away yet another bunch of black bananas or bag of wizened apples. And her most enviable trait in my, slightly shallow, eyes, is that she does all this whilst maintaining an effortlessly glamorous (but never inappropriate) state of dress. Short of wearing her delicate hand wash only La Perla underpants on the outside of her impossibly tiny skinny jeans, she is the embodiment of a super hero. Some people may hate these women in all their fragrant smugness, but I am neither fragrant (unless you count Eau de 2 Year Old) nor smug, and so idolise them.
One of my friends told me that the secret of being a Supermum was being organised, having everything laid out the night before and not letting the washing get to the point where it spills out of the top of the basket like a regurgitating volcano. Organisation has always eluded me, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.
Every now and then, usually spurred on by some mishap like sending son number 1 to school commando because I forgot underpants (yes is has happened, but only once), or giving son number 2 a shower at 2pm because I’ve run out of baby wipes, I decide that I can’t possibly go on like this and turn into my version of Supermum, making lists, timetables and routines, the kitchen becomes Operations HQ and I’m barking out orders like family life has become a military concern.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with striving to be the best you can be but after another stress filled, disorganised start to the week I’m wondering if I should just accept who I am and embrace my disorganisation. There is an element of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole about my self improvements.
They are always saying on the X Factor, be true to yourself, be real. But why do they always seem to say that to the worst singer or the people with the most hideous dress sense? “I like that girl, she’s real” they say of the girl dressed in a cardboard box, while the other judges nod along in agreement with an earnest look on their faces. This makes me wonder if the new meaning of being real is just another word for people’s acceptance of weirdness.
So is Supermum real? In my darkest moments of envy I convince myself that she’s not. She can’t possibly be spending the recommended number of hours a week doing crafts and playing with her kids, home cooking all her family’s meals and also keeping hubby happy, if you know what I mean AND be happy herself.
I’ll never give up my quest to be Supermum. But deep down I’m pretty realistic. Like men, new homes and the “perfect” winter coat you’ll never tick all the boxes, despite the message Supermum is giving out.
Son number one is still convinced, aged five, that he’s going to grow up to become Buzz Lightyear. Saying to him that this is an impossible dream would be the same as someone telling me I’ll never be Supermum. I refuse to shatter his dreams. We’ve all got to have something to aim for, even if that aim is totally unrealistic.
So watch out for me wearing my 3-for-a-fiver knickers on the outside of my skinny jeans, because I will get there one day. But even with my starry eyed ambitions I know La Perla knickers will always be way out of my league.
Check out more of Beth’s witty observations at Write or Wrong I’m Doing it Anyway! And if you want to guest post here at Manic Motherhood, drop me a line at laurie (at) lauriesontag.com.