Veggie Lentil Moussaka – Let Autumn Commence!
19th September 2016
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#ABloggingGooodTime Week 17
21st September 2016

Mums: Judge, Jury & Executioners

woman pointing a finger
The other day, we needed some milk so my mum Alyssa and I hopped in the car and headed to Tescos. However, once out we realised we needed to run several other errands and as madam had dosed off in the car we decided to head out and get on. It turned out that we’d actually end up being out for 5 hours. This posed a problem about an hour and a half in because whilst I’d put bubbas changing bag in for Tesco poop emergencies, I had not been prepared for a longer outing and had not packed a drink or snacks for my little one. What was a mamma to do…

 

red faced crying baby

The realisation that my little girl needed something to eat and drink arrived post Tesco visit when weren’t near any large supermarkets just a small shop and garage. I headed inside, not very hopeful I might add, and stood staring at the chilled cabinet for  few minutes. What was I going to give her? How was I going to feed her and maintain good mummy status?! In the end I grabbed a squeezy fruit water (without sweeteners which took a while to find) a bag of quavers and an apple (thank God for a random pile of fruit!)
woman dropped an icecream staring up at the sky upset
Back in the car, my eager daughter gulped down some fruit water and then devoured her quavers and apple. As I handed her each mouthful of drink and each quaver, waves of guilt went through me and I even said to my mum “And the bad mummy of the year award goes to…” and she told me not to be silly. This made me think after. Why did I think I was a bad mother? What was I worrying about exactly?!
Let’s look at this separately… why did I think I was a bad mother? Well for two reasons – the first that I had neglected to pack my daughter a snack and drink and when I did give her something it was natural, organically sourced nutritious snacks that had been sprinkled with unicorn glitter. Okay, so firstly I need to cut myself a break- I didn’t know we’d be out longer than 15 minutes which doesn’t require a full snack menu you be packed. Secondly, with such a limited choice I did what I  could to make the best of a bad situation… I mean it’s not like I handed her a bottle of coke and a Mars bar is it?
baby drinking a can of coke
Secondly, why was I worrying and feeling anxious about my decision? My daughter had been thirsty and hungry and I had solved the problem the best way I could. Then I realised the primary worrying thought going through my head was… “What would everyone think?!” Err hang on a second… who’s everyone? There wasn’t exactly a queue of people lined up outside the car window to witness this non-failing in my parenting and unless I said anything to anyone (yes I know I’m telling you but I’m making a point) who would know?! Well, the mummy’s would wouldn’t they? That special species of all seeing all knowing yummy mummy’s would know of my crime and I would be judged. I would be judged and convicted of my #mumfail…. um no!gavel and books
When I actually stopped and thought about this I was genuinely shocked at my thought process because actually the only person judging me… was me! I was my own Mum: Judge, Jury and Executioner. Despite doing what I needed to do for my child I had judged myself and branded myself as a bad mum sure to be judged by all. I then realised I did this every time I experienced some sort of mum guilt – she had a shower tonight instead of a bath = bad mum. She had a pouch of food this evening instead of home cooked = bad mum. I have been so worried about being judged by others that I have been judging myself first…. and quite harshly too.
I realised this judgement stems from social media and what the general consensus of good and bad parenting is. I took a peek at the hashtag #mumfail over on Twitter and some of them were quite humorous such as a woman who’d sprayed herself with milk whilst expressing claiming that this shouldn’t be done so soon after waking. However, there were other messages such as “I’ve given in and let little one watch Peppa pig…am I a bad mum?!” Well, in my opinion no. A little television is very different from your children being glued to it 24/7. Alyssa loves In the Night Garden and Doc Mcstuffins and sometimes this means a half an hour of TV so I can get a drink and pee or a snuggle with mummy whilst we sing the songs… I’m not a bad mother and neither is “Peppa Pig mum”.
hands in handcuffs
I’m not saying that other people will never judge you because they will for good and for bad. However, I think the worst judge of us as parents is actually… us.  We are our own Judge, Jury and Executioner and I’m as guilty as anyone else for doing this. At the end of the day my daughter is healthy and happy and that is what counts. She’s not going to be harmed by a random packet of quavers or twenty minutes dancing with Lamby, Stuffy and Doc. So I’m stepping down from the bench and granting myself parole… and to the all seeing all knowing mummy brigade out there, I know that you are a figment of my warped mummy guilt imagination, but I’m throwing the book at you and locking you away… for good!!! Well that’s the idea anyway….
Run Jump Scrap!
Cuddle Fairy
Tammymum
Mummuddlingthrough

51 Comments

  1. I love a quaver. So does my son, who is the same age as Alyssa. We shared a packet today. #quaverfansunite

  2. Brilliant post lovely – I couldn’t agree more! Emma is currently refusing to eat anything except for potato waffles and sausages, which after 9 months of making homemade food, feels like a failing. But you’re right, we are our own worst critics and it’s better than she eats something than nothing at all. I was in your position a few months back when I drove back from my parents in rush hour, forgetting my house keys so had to turn back through gridlock traffic…Emma had Ella’s Kitchen fruit pouches for supper and I felt awful but I was doing my very best I could at the time. You’re doing amazing mama and it shows from the smiley pics of your gorgeous gal xxx

  3. You want to see some of the crap that Moo eats because I’m caught unawares! Not that quavers are actually that crap. Hardly a kebab. Don’t let anyone judge you lovely, you’re one of the good ones xx

  4. I am definitely guilty of doing this all the time. I am my own worst critic for sure! This post and the questions you posed really made me stop and think about why I do that. I would never think anyone was a “bad mum” for feeding their baby quavers and an apple but I can picture myself making the exact same quip to myself that you did. Weird huh?! Great post x

  5. Claire says:

    This is lovely, you’ve really nailed it! #bloggerclubuk

  6. Rebecca says:

    Went to see Bad Mums last July get and all this rings so true!! We’re all bad moms really… No one truly gets it perfectly right!!! We’re all muddling through making the best for ourselves and our kids! Lush post <3

  7. We are are harshest critics and your right need to step back, little one was fed and had something to drink and i bet she enjoyed the treat, an adventure. I remember our road being closed for resurfacing and i could not get home and staring at a garage fridge for what to buy little man to eat. was an interesting lunch that day #bloggerclubuk

  8. Excellent post! In one day I am the best mom and the worst mom…every single day.

    #familyfun

    • and yesterday the toddler twins threw the most epic tantrum at school picking up the bigs. I am talking on the ground screaming. Both at one time- hundreds of kids and parents at dismissal looking on.

      Then today I had to be back for a field trip.

      Gah!

      #ablogginggoodtime

  9. Lucy At Home says:

    Well said! I worry all the time what the ‘other mums’ might be thinking. I went to a school meeting the other night and it overran by 45mins and my toddler got grouchy. I ended up walking out with her and waiting in the car for my hubby and older daughter. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed and I was really worried about going to school the next morning. But nobody said a thing. And even if they had, it’s hard for a toddler to sit quietly for that amount of time and it wasn’t my fault that the meeting overran, it was school’s… I still worry about it though! #FamilyFun

  10. Absolutely right. I definitely blame social media for a seeming rise in mummy angst and guilt. People have always judged others, but now that it can be done facelessly, it is far too easy to criticise. You were absolutely right to question yourself and came to the correct conclusion – no more mummy guilt. We are all doing our very best in any given situation and no-one has the right to judge, unless they are in our very own shoes 🙂 Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  11. My gremlin is sat next to me now watching Peppa as I feel snotty and pregnant. I always feel guilty putting the telly on but sometimes you need that break. And you are so right! No one is judging me apart from ME! Great post and I’m sure you do a fab job. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  12. Emma says:

    I read this post last night on my phone and then I couldn’t get to sleep afterwards. You had touched a bit of a nerve with me. I always feel like I am not a good enough mum, and I feel guilty all of the time when really I have no need to feel like this! We just need to be kinder to ourselves xxx

  13. I have felt like bad mum when I bought a few pouches of baby food and got the wrath of the checkout woman staring at you as she scanned them through. Would I get the same stare if I went through a checkout with a 16/17 year old serving me? Probably not! It made me feel guilty as hell. xx

  14. You’re so right. I often feel guilty for stuffing the Popple with Organix snacks on the bus and feel like people are judging me for not giving her something healthier, like fruit. But you know what? They probably don’t give a toss – it’s my own insecurities getting in the way. And if anyone did say anything, I’d explain that I’ve tried to give her healthier snacks, but she refuses to eat them, so unless they want to listen to a screaming toddler for the next 20 minutes, corn puffs it is.

  15. You’re so right. I think there are a few judgey types out that who make enough noise that it subconsciously seeps into our brains. After a Health Visitor telling me it “will be nice to get your daughter back on home cooked food though” after giving her Ella’s Kitchen pouches for 3 days whilst we moved house, I now judge myself like you! I also feel bad for giving her mainly shop bought snacks. But I work. And I then see my friends doing the same. So I remember that we all care for our children and want to do right by them so we have nothing to feel guilty about! #familyfun

  16. Hi Katie, You are so right. This is something as a counsellor that I try to get people to understand – our judgements come mostly from within. Once we know that it is hugely helpful and it really changes things as it did for you. Fabulous post. I will be sharing it everywhere! #ablogginggoogtime

  17. Rhian Harris says:

    We really shouldn’t be bothered what other people think of us – that’s not the reason to parent! The reason to parent is to care for our littles in the best way possible, and sometimes yeah, we forget to pack EVERY SINGLE ITEM of the kitchen. So what? Tomorrow is a new day and as long as we are not feeding our kids crack, they’ll be fine. In fact, I am an advocate for a bit of ‘real’ food so that my daughter doesn’t have hang ups about what she isn’t ‘allowed’. Thanks for being honest x #ablogginggoodtime

  18. Emma says:

    Just popping back to say I love quavers. Nothing wrong with a quaver! #ablogginggoodtime

  19. I find we are all our own worst enemy and judge. It’s that internal voice that rings in our heads. Finding the volume button requires work, but the rewards are fabulous. Bravo for solving a problem on your outing in a great way! #ablogginggoodtime

  20. Yes, totally agree with you. I am my own worst critic and you’re right, where is that line of critics waiting to condemn you? I think in the real world, people are too busy to even notice but it definitely gets amplified on social media. If my child is healthy and happy, that’s all that matters. I love your voice. #ablogginggoodtime

  21. I thunk there is more pressure to be like this in the early stages of raising children and then you just relax into it more. I’d be a mess if I beat myself up for all the mistakes I’ve made – there’s been heaps but I’m just trying to do my best – my children didn’t come with a manual and no one else has my children so how can they judge? Great read lovely #blogginggoodtime

  22. It’s things like this they don’t tell you when you have a baby – the mum guilt you will suffer. If you’re not feeling guilty about what you’re feeding your child, you’re feeling guilty about how much tv they watch, or about how long they spend at nursery. I didn’t read anything in your post that you would be judged for – but as you say we are our own worst critics! I’m slowly beginning to realise that I should stop judging myself and give myself a break #coolmumclub

  23. My eldest loves quavers! There’s nothing wrong with a treat once in a while!

    #ablogginggoodtime

  24. themotherhub says:

    i would be thrilled if the biggest failing I had as a mother was a packet of quavers! its this constant message thats being pushed that we’re just not good enough whatever we do and its not acceptable and its not true. I think quavers should form a part of every childs diet! pity the poor child who lives off kale and broccolli #ablogginggoodtime

  25. Talya says:

    As long as they are fed, clothed and happy what else matters? I have learnt to not be so harsh on myself…you have to remember there are other people who do some really neglectful things and definitely not trying to do the best they can…that’s when it’s a real problem! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

  26. Jane says:

    Hurrrahhh. At last , so my darling I won’t be hearing that question again then? “Mum, am I a bad mummy? ” My answer as always is no , you are an awesome mummy xx

  27. Well said! I would of grabbed a packet of chips and a soda… (whoops), did I just say that! hee hee #ablogginggoodtime

  28. Cherry Newby says:

    I loved this post – I often feel judged but when my husband questions me about who is judging me – it’s only me! I find it happens even more when I do the school run, I think that other parents are watching when my son is having a tantrum and I pull out a chocolate bar to keep him moving so we won’t be late! I’m absolutely with you on this! #ablogginggoodtime

  29. Twin Pickle says:

    Slightly off point but can I say… this made me really miss England. I moved to the US two years ago… Quavers? Mars Bars? Peppa Pig? Sigh… its just not the same here!
    But yes, I’ve read a few posts about Mum/Mom guilt recently and I think its a real problem. We put so much pressure on ourselves – or other people do- and its good to remember what’s important. Does you child feel loved? Will he/she survive the day?

  30. I agree with you that a lot of the judgement comes from ourselves, and from the idea that others might be watching and finding us wanting in the parenting department. I have to keep checking myself as I find I’m always thinking “oh I can’t do this, what will people be thinking?” Then I remember that it doesn’t actually matter what they think as they don’t know the situation! You’re a great mum and have nothing to worry about. #ablogginggoodtime

  31. I am totally guilty of this. You’re so right, who do we think is standing behind us waiting to judge? And even if there are sancti-mummies there to judge, who the hell cares?! We all need to cut ourselves some slack and know we’re doing the bloomin’ hardest job in the world and a packet of quavers is fine! #ablogginggoodtime

  32. Sharon Parry says:

    Oh my god I remember feeling like this! I thought my kids would spontaneously combust if anything other that organic pureed veg passed their lips. They’ll be obese!! They’ll get nasty diseases!! Just because they had a bag of crisps!! I beat myself up as well and you are so right – there is no need to. She was hungry and you fed her. You did a fantastic job. If it’s any comfort to you – mine are teenagers now and probably eating all sorts of rubbish but the difference is I can’t see it! #ablogginggoodtime

  33. Sonia says:

    We all want to be and to be seen as the ‘perfect mum’! Truth is, the majority of the time we are because we love our kids and do the best we can for them. We are our own worse enemy when it comes to this type of guilt. At the end of the day we are only human and I’m sure even Mary Poppins only had a pack of Quavers in her bag on occasion! #ablogginggoodtime

  34. Lynne says:

    Good for you. Parenting is hard enough without piling on self judgment. Glad you are challenging those “bad mum” thoughts… what good are they anyway! #ablogginggoodtime

  35. Kerry says:

    My ‘mum guilt’ is definitely diminishing as my daughter is getting older…sometimes all I can do is get through the day and keep her alive! Some days she eats fruit and vegetables all day, others she has smarties and slush puppies, and I couldn’t give a s**t what other people think! #abloggingoodtime

  36. Tammymum says:

    Oh you bad bad mum. Ha you certainly won’t hear any of that supermum shit coming from me! You did nothing wrong, and shouldn’t feel bad. Although let’s face it we pile the pressure on ourselves waaaay too high. I think it is the mum gene. So yeah be easier on yourself lovey your doing just fab xx thanks for shrinng this at #familyfun. Hope Tia we you again next week xx

  37. The fact we worry makes us good Mums I believe. I’m eaten up with guilt everyday about the mildest things, I have to remember to stop and put things in perspective all the time. I do my own head in ha!
    #ablogginggoogtime

  38. Very well said – we can be so hard on ourselves! I used to really beat myself up about food with my first but now I think if they have ‘treats’ and things one day (like a pizza for tea) I know that there are plenty of days they have a homemade veg curry or something so it all works out. #ablogginggoodtime

  39. exact same thing happened to me last week. We went for a walk and ended up going for a longer walk that happened to be past a pub. We had nothing with us and I bought mini cheddars for Robert! So not only was I feeding him cheddars we were both drinking pints outside the pub. Yes I got the boob out too for some milk. No shame here! happy story! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun you’ll be more than welcome again next week!

  40. Helena says:

    Don’t judge yourself so harshly. At least you fed her and something nutritious and healthy too. #FamilyFun

  41. We are certainly very good our being our own worst critics, I think that you’re right, we have so much thrown at us on social media and the like that often these are the first thoughts that pop into our heads. My little boy had French fries crisps last week, just a few but the guilt was massive over how salty they were. He also refuses to eat just about most fruit right now. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow and not give into our own pressure. Xx

  42. This is why i enjoy reading your blog. Your honest, down to earth and to the point. I have felt exactly the same worrying about how other people will judge me on parenting or what i occasionally feed my children. My children, are loved, healthy and not neglected in anyway so i think that means we are good parents, – even when i stop off at the chippy for dinner or buy them a chocolate bar on treat day! #ablogginggoodtime

  43. Crummy Mummy says:

    I’ve given my kids far worse than Quavers and an apple – far far worse! #ablogginggoodtime

  44. Yes!! We are definitely our own worst critics – fab post #ablogginggoodtime

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