Baby · Just For Fun · Parenting · Pregnancy

I Am A Bad Mother…


…apparently.

Or at least that is the impression I have been given by a few people over the last 17 months, mostly, I might add, people whose names I don’t know and am fairly sure don’t know mine. This is fine with me.

Here is a list of  just some reasons why I am a bad mother:

I didn’t give my daughter a ‘proper’ name.

Seriously. After asking Tori’s name a bloke in co-op had a bit of a rant about people not giving their children ‘proper’ names any more, only silly modern ‘made-up’ names (‘Tori’ being an example). He was really quite passionate about it. Not sure he was overly impressed when I pointed out that ‘Tori’ was a name previously used in my family by someone who is now in their 80s but I felt I had an obligation to point this out.  – ‘Yes, well, it should have been ‘Victoria’, then you could shorten it.’ True. But really, what would have been the point in adding all the extra letters if we were never going to use them? And we didn’t like Victoria anyway, we liked Tori (because Daddy is obsessed with Tori Amos for a start…).

I encourage my daughter’s use of the word ‘Taa’

Tori hands me something, I say ‘Taa’. I hand Tori something, I try and get her to say ‘Taa’. Simple.

BUT YOU MUST NOT DO THIS YOU TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE MOTHER!

Oh.

Apparently, by encouraging Tori to say ‘Taa’ and not ‘Thank You’ at this early stage in her life I am leading her headlong into a life of being impolite and rude, not to mention speeding up the degregation of the English language.

Oh.

I thought stopping and saying ‘Taa’ was better than snatching and running off, but maybe I’m mistaken…

She wears blue.

And not just any blue. Blue dresses are acceptable but blue jeans, a neutral or red t-shirt (she looks great in red) and jumper and trainers? Good grief. What am I thinking? She’s going to grow up to be utterly gender confused.

Because, clearly, no-one female ever wears anything other than pink or dresses. Every day.

Also on this non-gender defining subject: her room is painted green, her bedsheets, carpet and curtains are cream and brown (with cute teddies, not in a nasty boring way) some of her blankets and stuff are even, God forbid, blue. The poor child doesn’t stand a chance. She is going to think she is a boy, or gender-neutral, or possibly a teddy-bear…

I don’t feed her enough and breastfed for too long.

Tori is small, I know. But she isn’t skinny by a long shot. However, this is not down to her inheriting my short genes and just being a bit of a midget like Mummy. Oh no, this is because ‘you didn’t give her formula as well as breastmilk and she should have been having baby rice when she was 8 weeks old. Then she would have grown properly.’

Right.

Anyone who thinks I’m not feeding Tori enough should try picking her up. She is a brick. Small but solid. And she eats like nothing I’ve ever seen – I assure you, she is not going hungry. And all that stuff about breastfeeding not being enough? Um…how exactly did the human race get to this point if breastfeeding wasn’t sufficient? I don’t see cave drawings of Cow & Gate formula anywhere… (I totally have nothing against formula feeding by the way, I just have something against being told breastfeeding is wrong).

I let Tori ‘mingle’

I have had MANY comments on my willingness to let other people have a cuddle and take her for wanders round where-ever-we-happen-to-be but it’s not like I let her go off with strangers anywhere I don’t know. Yes, I let her toddle around in the church hall after the service when everyone is having coffee and don’t complain if someone picks her up for a hug or holds her hand whilst she drags them over to the biscuit table to beg for scraps. (The puppy-dog eyes and plea for ‘bisbis’ works every time – I dread to think how many biscuits she sneaks in before we get home some weeks…) So yes, she’s a wanderer and I let her have cuddles with pretty much anyone so long as I know who they are but she’s not shy now and doesn’t seem too worried if Mummy has to vanish for five minutes to do something or speak to someone and she is left with other people. In fact, she revels in it, beaming and babbling away. Something I find myself being quite proud of as she holds her audience and steadily wraps them round her little finger.

I never leave her with anyone I don’t trust or let her wander anywhere that isn’t safe. But I do give her freedom. Apparently I shouldn’t.

Oh well.

I fed my guinea-pigs when it was snowy.

Spike

This is possibly my favourite. My guinea-pigs live in a hutch at the other side of our yard where they are sheltered from the worst of the weather under a garagey/lean-to type thing. It’s probably all of about twenty paces from our door to the hutch.

One evening during the snow last December I was walking across the yard clutching a couple of carrots and two freshly de-frosted water bottles ready to tuck Squidge, Spike, Tufty and Gingerbread in for the night when a loud, outraged voice almost gave me a heart-attack.

“You shouldn’t be walking outside in this weather! You should be inside sitting down. Make someone else come outside. How could you be so careless and irresponsible in your condition?”

Me: *blank look* “I’m feeding my guinea-pigs. Not that it has anything to do with you.”

It was just some random woman I totally didn’t recognise who happened to be walking past the gate as I crossed the yard.

I forgot that once you become obviously pregnant you have to sit still and be waited on hand-and-foot. I should have let the guinea-pigs freeze and starve, I see that now. Equally, I should never have dared walk down the gritted and cleared pavements to the Co-op to get food for my family during the snowy period. Careless and irresponsible. Utterly. I’m sure we could have scraped by on mouldy bread and tinned carrots…

I still take Tori to the park.

Yesterday I decided to walk Tori to the park and the local shop and back. By this I mean put her reins on and let her have a bit of a wander – she was so full of beans I was desperate to use up some energy. So off we went, all wrapped up and fluffy looking.

I pick Tori up to put her on the slide. Cue voice from behind: “You shouldn’t be out with her on your own in your condition and doing things like that.”

Things like what? The slide is little more than waist height and I pick Tori up all the time…it’s a necessity – I’m her Mum.

And I really hate the phrase ‘your condition’ – I’m pregnant, not ill. It sounds like I’ve got something wrong with me.

Anyway, I digress. I turned to look at random woman walking past play area and said, intelligently, “Oh.”

She tutted at me and walked off.

I hadn’t realised having a second child meant I had to stop looking after my first child during pregnancy. I now see the error of my ways thanks to random woman. (Though if I’m honest the whole walking to the shop thing *was* a terrible idea. By the time we got back I felt like I’d run a mile and Tori was high as a kite rather than asleep as I had hoped…)

These are the confessions of a terrible mother. And guess what, I’m sure when BabyBump arrives I’ll be just as rubbish all over again.

I’m a bad Mother – are you?

The under-fed, gender-confused toddler in question...

~~~~**********~~~~

This post was linked up to TheBoyAndMe’s ShowOff-Showcase on 2nd April 2011

18 thoughts on “I Am A Bad Mother…

  1. People can be judgemental idiots.

    On a side note, I had shoulder length hair till I was 14 and wore pink shoes to school for a couple of years in primary school. (I’m on the right, may half term in year 6: http://caius.name/images/qs/me_and_steves_gf.png )

    Somewhat surprisingly (at least following the advice you’ve been given) I’ve not turned out female. Strange that isn’t it.

  2. The guinea pig one is still my favourite. How very dare you!! You seriously need to remove the ‘come hither, random’ sign. XD

    And if all that constitutes bad motherhood, my children, if and when I have them, are going to be so screwed…

    @Claude I still occasionally miss your long hair XD thems were the days

    1. As soon as I work out where that damn sign is, it will be removed, jumped on and burned. Until that point I fear I am doomed to an eternity of attracting the attention of every random with an opinion, too much alcohol/narcotic in their system or screw loose between their ears.

      Ah well, it all adds to the spice of life…

  3. Love this post!

    when i was pregnant, my mother in law decided that I was common if I made my son call me Mam instead of mum!!!
    I also allow him to say taa!!!

    I am always being accused of being a bad mother-of course, no one says it properly to my face. They just do the tutting thing or give me a cutting remark. I was a bad mother because I didn’t drive (I do now), because I didn’t breast feed him for long (my breast milk dried up), because I went on nights out after having him and didn’t get in till 4am, because I went to watch the football instead of having him glued to me and because I have decided to have a weekend away with my friends for my 30th instead of spending it with him!!! I embrace my bad mothering skills…..because I know I’m the best and I love him to pieces!! JoJo x

    1. Hehe I don’t drive either so there’s another point against me. Oh, and I have left Tori home with Daddy whilst I’ve gone off to stay with my sister for long weekends at least three if not four times since she was born. And been out til silly hours too.
      Yes, we are terrible mothers. And our happy, healthy, cheerful loving children are perfect evidence of this 🙂
      xxx

  4. Great post – I love it! People are so bloody judgemental and so not afraid to stick their nose in where it isn’t wanted. Parenting – and especially pregnancy – makes you public property!
    Sounds like you’re doing a great job to me, I think all us “bad mummies” are!!
    (P.s. found you via Blow Your Own Blog Horn) will be reading in future!

  5. Oh my if that was all it took to be a bad mother! My neice is a Tori and it is short for Victoria, nothing wrong with Tori at all! My boys are 15 months apart, so I did everything pregnant!

    I have to say I am not so keen on the Taa for thankyou, infact you would possibly hate me! I used to tell my boys tar was somthing they put on the road. Same with kid, it is child. A kid is a baby goat!

    Anyway pleased to meet you and hope you come over to mine, I cam along via Mummys little monket and you can find me at http://www.muminthemadhouse.com

    1. Hehe, I fully intend to extend it to Thank You when she gets a bit bigger, but just for now, whilst she’s learning to basics of talking I don’t mind using the short version because it’s much better than nothing at all!!

  6. Oh how utterly, UTTERLY, rude!

    Tori is a very pretty name, I love that she will grow up thinking she is a teddy bear, my MiL weaned my husband at 5 (!) weeks old, sometimes I absolutely curse that The Boy won’t go to anyone apart from immediate family, how dare you care for another life by feeding them in the cold weather, and how *very* dare you for tending to the needs of your little girl.

    Stupid, stupid people.

    Thank you for linking up to ShowOff ShowCase.

  7. I am constantly amazed by the random people who feel they have a right to comment on complete stranger’s parenting abilities, it disgusts me.
    My eldest has behavioural and mobility issues and the comments I’ve heard would make even the most hardened parent stop, think and feel bad.
    It sounds like you are doing an absolutely fantastic job so carry on as you are, these people judge on seeing you for a few seconds and have no clue at all.

  8. Oh Carole I was in Ireland in January and not online (apart from to finish my tax return) so I did not see this until you showcased it.

    WHAT a fab post!

    I have seen two Mums – my cousin and my friend – holding their toddlers when pregnant, and I find it hard to watch as I was so “precious” about my bump (being a first time Mum) but I appreciate that they just have to get on with it, and one of them works in A&E, so despite being pregnant she was exposed to swine flu and works 12 hour nightshifts, the works. She currently has 2 under 3 and now pregnant again.

    Why are people such busy-bodies?????

    Such a fabulous post and so entertainingly written – thanks for some great reading.

    Liska x

  9. I love this post! According to random strangers (and in my case the MIL) I’m also a bad mother – but so what, I’m proud to be if it means I know my son is happy! Tori is a beautiful name. I also love your guinea pigs names! x

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