Has ‘Real’ Mothering gone too far?

PREFACE About a year ago, I wrote a post on Instagram discussing this topic, and although it was received well, I deleted it the following day out of fear of bullying. A year on, I’ve learnt a lot, mainly that you should never allow anyone to intimidate, bully or belittle you, prevent you from sharing your voice, be uniquely you, and to stand up for what you believe in. So here we are, I’m sure there may be a few people that ‘unfollow’ me, and you know what, that is totally ok. I can’t please everyone and nor do I aim to. Also if our views don’t align, then I’m possibly not the right person to be following in the first place. This article won’t contain any name pointing, however if the shoe fits or if it hits a sore spot, then I urge the egos to be put aside and to really sit down and digest all that is written. Even I have reevaluated myself, my life and my parenting after reading different perspectives from others, and I’m grateful for allowing my eyes to be opened. ENJOY 🙂 and feel free to leave feedback below or on my instagram post 🙂

Living in this day and age, with all the conveniences that we have, you would be right to assume that us mothers would be aiming to be the best parents we can be? Right? We are priveledged with modern medicine that is exceptionally advanced to that of 30 years ago, when our parents were new parents. We also know more now about children and their development, then we ever have. So why is it that we are seeing a rise in what seems to be contenders for the crap mum awards? Why are some women so proud to gloat and show off their poor parenting? Shouldn’t we be raising each other up, and encouraging mothers to be THE BEST MUMS THEY CAN BE. Not praising, laughing and glorifying these behaviours that are often down right disgusting. And this isn’t about doing it for us, for the notariaty, the pat on the back, or competition. This is about our children. They deserve the best parents life has to offer. If there is any award to strive for it should be to be the BEST Mother/Father/Guardian for YOUR child/ren. Whether you admit it or not, when you chose to exit the hospital doors with a newborn baby you made the commitment to raise your child. To raise them with love, kindness, dignity, respect, morals. To teach them how to thrive as healthy, happy, confident human beings.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for keeping it real. Motherhood is NOT a walk in the park at the best of times. It is not all rainbows, butterflies and lullabyes, so we certainly shouldn’t pretend it is. Because of social media in this day and age we have the never ending comparisons – homes, cars, clothing, money, travels. People only show you what they want you to see, which often results in ‘false realities’ or picture perfect lives, as well as a lot of oversharing. So of course because of this, we were bound to eventually become advocates for sharing the ‘real’ to counteract the ‘staged’ perfection. However it seems as though some have taken this a step too far. I absolutely LOVE seeing the raw and real lives of other mothers, the times where you just cannot muster the energy to pull together dinner – which results in tinned spaghetti on toast – that was me three nights ago! Or those LONG, sleepless nights of torture – when you hear another mum talking about these, you instantly feel relief (and pity) that you aren’t THE ONLY ONE dealing with the nightshift, night after night. But where is the line drawn? Sadly, when I take a quick glance through social media, I can’t help but notice groups of mothers that are touting messages of ‘realness’, when in actual fact their behaviour is borderline rotten So how did some women shift from sharing real moments, to losing respect – for themselves, their children and those around them? They are inadvertedly creating this false sense of ‘acceptance’ within our society, that this is the new *low* benchmark to strive for. That it’s okay to feed the children nuggets every night of the week, and lay on the lounge all day everyday whilst the children ‘entertain themselves’, that cleanliness and hygiene is non existent and that swearing like a sailor with no vocabulary is the norm. We need to stop glorifying this kind of behaviour as socially acceptable.

We live in a society that shares (and overshares) our every waking move, parenting included. Whilst this is amazing in some aspects – it is a fabulous way for us mums to easily connect, relate and escape isolation, however it is bound to have it’s downfalls and negative impacts. Case in point (which I’m sure many of you viewed in horror and disgust) recently I stumbled upon a youtube video depicting a (step)mother and father playing a ‘prank’ on their children (for ‘laughs’ – their own, their viewers and at the expense of their children). The language spoken in this home was utterly disgusting, but what was even more horrifying was the looks of terror in these poor childrens eyes as they were being abused! Yes this was an extreme case, and I am 100% not likening this to anything I have personally witnessed on social media here in Australia, but it is the perfect example to show just how far some people/parents/adults are willing to go for their 5 minutes of fame.

Without a doubt, most of us like to drop an f bomb in times of need, during frustration, when you’re at wits end etc. Theres no denying it, nor should there be. But what is with replacing everyday vocabulary with FUCKS AND CUNTS? *shudders* that C word!! and in front of children even?? I would be mortified if my child repeated one of those words based on hearing it come out of my mouth on the daily. Let’s be positive role models, because as the saying goes, ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’. This isn’t about pretending we are perfect, that we NEVER swear, as I said, these things happen to the best of us. This is about creating a home that doesn’t rely on Cunt or Fuck to complete a sentence.

Some of you have asked me why Kruize doesn’t feature in my insta stories a lot anymore, and there are a few reasons why; Firstly, he attends Kindy 3 days per week so isn’t around the days where I’m mainly on my phone and working. Secondly, I try not to be on my phone a lot when he is around as he is old enough to be noticing, picking up on these behaviours and I would hate for him to feel like the phone is more important than he is. And Thirdly, the accountability for his behaviours, personality and things he says / does has risen, and if caught on camera or shown to the whole world, these can potentially impact his life and his future. I also hate the thought that I’m using my children as a pawn to gain benefit from. Yes the argument could be said that I still film Nylah – First point doesn’t apply, she is around on my work days, Third point is also irrelevant – she is still young and her actions don’t hold baring on who she is at this age. However I do still try to limit my time on the phone when she is around – and generally what I share is only a few quick vids in the moment, some light hearted fun, sharing of an activity we are doing that you all may like to implement in your own home, a cute little outfit that we have, or something that is simply bringing us joy. I will NEVER publicly humiliate, degrade, put down, or shame my children for the sake of hits on my Instagram or blog. They never signed up for this, I did. They deserve to be able to attend school in a few years time without having to worry about whether another child has seen them poo their pants, or do something embarrassing.

Sure, we all have days where we just can’t be bothered. But the issue is, when we can’t be bothered every.single.day.. This is parenting – yes there will be bad days, but there are times when you’ve just gotta put your adult pants on and get on with the show. Yes we are a tribe, and we need to stick together, but I can’t sit by and say nothing when I see these actions occurring for entertainment, at the detriment of the children.

I know I’ve opened myself up to comments saying ‘how judgemental’. and Yes, that is probably true. But if us adults don’t stand up and make a little scene, for the sake of the children.. then who will? I know we can ALL do a better job. Me included. I’m NOT free from fault by the longest stretch. You all saw my kitchen knife incident with Nylah. But I wake up daily, at least TRYING to be the best Mum I can be. I try and encourage others, and sure, when we have those shit times let’s all sit down and have a laugh – sometimes that is all you can do. But if you are willing to leave your morals, integrity and privacy at the door – please don’t leave your childrens’ there too.

I wrote this piece because I want to be surrounded by inspiring, uplifting and honest mums. Ones that make me want to be a better person, a better mum, the BEST mum I can be for my kiddies. And I know I’m not alone in these thoughts. Many mothers who have approached me about this topic have spoken about intimidation, pack mentality and being afraid to speak their mind for fear of being ostracised. Wanting to be the best mum you can be doesn’t mean that you think you’re perfect (in fact most of us are far from it). What it does mean is that you can accept the bad days (and laugh because otherwise we cry right, and crying is TOTALLY ok btw 😉😘), but aim for better ones. I praise those that are doing their best, despite the challenges that arise. Being a mum is such an incredibly tough gig, let’s rise up together, and not play into the lowering of standards for entertainment. Let’s praise the mums who are kicking butt, even on the bad days, and lift those up when times get tough, but for the love of all good things, can we please leave the constant click bait shit show off social media.

Author: Bec Crombie

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  • As a 52 year old mum of a 26 year old(yes my baby is all grown up..but still yet to fledge the nest!!) I look at social media in horror sometimes. I also look at life in the raw ..out there.in the real word shopping,eating,socialising and i marvel at the time parents spend trying to entertain their offspring with gadgets n gizmos! No longer is there seemingly interaction between parents and children.they ALL sit /walk around..on their electronic equipment. I also wonder whats achieved by showing us how marvellous your child is..or how downright naughty and obstreperous they are.. Its gotta be the “oh you are such a wonderful parent” comment effect on either count..
    Maybe they are the ones looking for affirmation..? I know 1 thing..with all my childs previous issues..* food related/ anxiety, im glad social media wasnt around then for me to be made to feel inadequate/inferior/inept!
    I think we need to look at ourselves..move away from oversharing*like we know there are many out there who wont get that!
    I think its a brave person who writes what you did..mind you..those who overshare wont read it anyway..they will be far to busy showing us how wonderful/miserable thier ‘lives’ are!

  • Hi Bec! I’ve started blogging a bit as a way to keep my mind busy whilst staying at home with my daughter. I see things go viral and look at my few hits to my website and get a bit sad. This post makes me feel better as I’m 100% with you about considering the content I put out there. I’d never put up anything highly embarrassing or negative about my child or my marriage just to get attention. I agree with honesty because you’re right it’s not easy but I don’t agree with parading lives like it’s a circus act in order to become famous.