Do you ever feel like the world’s worst parent?
In theory, I accept that there may be many far worse mothers out there than me out there. This week I am not convinced.
This week I have have not been home to read my daughter a bedtime story once. Each night was taken up with dealing with work. Except today, on Frocking Friday, when I managed to make it home by 8.oo pm. The poor wee thing was so knackered by the time that I got home waiting up for me she was talking backwards.
Luckily I managed to read her a story, or rather look with her for little tiny things and visual jokes in one of the I Spy books.
Work is work and in many ways I am luckier than most – if I was working at a big law firm, 12 hour days would be standard. That doesn’t help me stop feeling like the world’s crummiest mummy this week.
My mum tells me frequently that she realised that being a perfect mother was impossible but being an okay mother was entirely within her capabilities. In fact, as she says, if you can get your children through childhood without inflicting serious injuries or neuroses upon your children you are doing OKAY.
Elizabeth Taylor died this week aged 79. In her honour Fox in Flats posted a lovely visual tribute to her entitled
I found some other rather nice photos of Liz Taylor and her children online. This photo was taken in 1956 of Liz and her son Christopher, who was about a year old at the time. It is a beautiful photo but somehow almost too theatrical to be believable. Those were different years of course, when the film studios did not really want publicity shots of actors and actresses with children. If the children were to appear it was as quiet, well dressed and preferably good looking accessories:
Now there is always a camera around to catch the moment that you step outside with your children and someone in a newspaper or magazine to evaluate and criticise one’s parenting skills.
Exhibit 1: Gwen Stefani
Celebrated for: Having a handsome father for her children. Kingston and Zuma, and dressing the aforesaid children in funky clothes.
Crummy Mummy Points Awarded for: Getting her cut glass abdominal muscles back within months of childbirth with allegedly indecent haste.
Exhibit 2: Heidi Klum
Celebrated for: Being gorgeous, slightly eccentric and head over heels in love/lust with singer SEAL
Crummy Mummy Awards given for: Losing weight and getting in lingerie catwalk modelling within weeks of having her children, having a nanny for each child and telling the nannies to hide out of sight when the paparazzi show up.
Exhibit 3: Victoria Beckham
Celebrated for: Designing some really rather nice frocks and having a sense of humour (the latter being unusual in celebrities apparently)
Crummy Mummy Awards for: Just about everything from being too thin to having funny shaped toes to numerous breast augmentation operations. Most recently criticised for wearing 6 inch heels while pregnant.
It occurs to me that many women spend so much time castigating other women for their parenting techniques as a kind of deflection. After a week like this when I have not managed to make it back home from home until after 7.30 pm every night, I have a huge motherload of guilt of my own. Perhaps having a go at the beautiful and successful for wearing the wrong shoes or having Botox while pregnant will collectively make us feel so much better that we have unwashed dishes in the sink. I doubt it though.
Being a mother involves trying to juggle a bunch of things and dropping most of them. If I could afford to have a nanny, I would. If I could work from home, I would. There are a lot of things that are outside my control and I suspect that this will forever be the case now that I have children.
Meantime, I asked my husband to take this picture of my daughter and I so that she will hopefully remember that now and again, I did actually spend some time with her.
Frock: Bang by Messina
Peep toe, bow suede pumps by Memo’Saccs
Vintage Stockings: Seamless Mesh Roxy(R) in Beige via eBay seller eyeholesinapaperbag
Date Worn: 25 March 2011
Find out what the other Shoe Challengettes wore this week here