Are you a yummy or a slummy mummy?
It's time for an antidote to the 'yummy mummy' nonsense.
When I first read about CLIC Sargent’s Yummy Mummy week I immediately bristled. Don’t get me wrong, of course I care about children’s cancer, and I am a big supporter of the voluntary sector generally, it was just that dreaded phrase – Yummy Mummy.
I like to think of myself as open-minded and non-judgemental, but there is something about the term Yummy Mummy that brings out the very worst in me.
Bringing out the stereotypes
I start picturing Boden clad, 40-something mothers in Cath Kidston polka dot wellies, pushing their three-wheeler buggies through a small, fashionable town, probably in Berkshire, on the way to drop the kids off at their expensive weekend stage school.
I’m sorry. I know this makes me a Bad Person. I just can’t help it. And I know Berkshire is lovely.
Is this just me?
It’s not that I have anything against Boden – they do a lovely range of good quality wardrobe essentials I’m sure – or older mothers, or wellies, or even Cath Kidston. I actually have a pink polka dot wash bag. It’s just the idea of women everywhere feeling the pressure to conform to this picture perfect version of motherhood – it makes me rebellious. It makes me want to dress my children in uncoordinated, unwashed clothes (which I do more often than not anyway) and take them to McDonalds.
I took some deep breaths, and read on to find out more about the week. The campaign is being supported by a trio of celebrity mums, who “have unleashed their creative talents and personalised aprons to mark the launch of Yummy Mummy Week 2011.”
I’m sorry, was that personalised aprons?
Super! Just what I need for all those hours I spend in the kitchen baking delicious pies for my hard-working husband and darling children.
I do my best
One of the women involved, Tana Ramsey, even says “as a busy mum of four, I know just how hectic family life can be and it's not always easy trying to fit everything in, but time together as a family is so important. That's why I was delighted to be asked to personalise an apron for Yummy Mummy Week.”
What? I don’t understand! Time is precious, work and family life a constant juggling act, sure, but at no point would I ever think to myself ‘you know, what I really need to do here to get things in some kind of order is to take time out to personalise an apron…’
As parents, particularly as mothers, we are constantly under pressure. Surely I’m not the only person who sometimes feels like they just can’t win? I’m a single parent, so obviously my children are already more likely to fail horribly in some way, but then I work too – great for lifting us out of poverty and improving their educational prospects, but putting them into childcare while I work? Heaven forbid!
My own blog, Slummy single mummy, was designed to be an antidote to this rapidly spreading Yummy Mummy culture, a place where parents who aren’t perfect, who do give their children chicken dippers, and who don’t own an apron can come and feel like they are not alone.
I believe that as a mother, I do my best. I will never arrive at the school gates with perfectly coiffed celebrity hair, there are always dishes in my sink, and I have never personalised an apron. All in all I am decidedly unyummy. But, my children are confident, we talk to each other, we have fun, and I feed them regularly. I am good enough. And in my book that’s something worth celebrating.
Photo - Belle wonders if one day I will let her have a bath.
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