All mums really want is for someone to tell them they’re doing a good job. That they’re making the right decisions. That they’re not going to completely screw up their children.
Most mums of my generation have had careers before babies. We’ve had colleagues and bosses. We’ve had constant performance reviews and feedback. We’re used to knowing if we’re performing to standard.
Then come the babies and there’s silence. It’s deafening. How do we know we’re doing ok if no one’s telling us?
What happens when there isn’t a fat, lecherous supervisor telling us to “smile more” or a bitchy boss letting us know every time we’re four minutes late back from lunch? WHERE do we get our self-esteem from if we don’t have megalomaniac, wank-stains to put us down every time we see them??
I do beg your pardon. I’ve wandered slightly off track…. this has nothing to do with my personal experience. Obviously. Oh, look over there –>
So, as I was saying, mums need feedback. We’re used to it. We’re programmed for it. I feel like it’s a large part of the mummy wars – our need for approval and our desperation to be the most “successful” mum. Whatever that means.
So, getting some very public pats on the back was a great start to my week.
Ok, maybe not pats on the back. I’m not sure anyone was telling me I’m a good mum. It’s probably more accurate to say they were telling me I’m not a bad mum.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on Mornings with Linda Mottram on ABC 702 in Sydney. They wanted to chat about my recent post about putting a leash on your child. I had about 20 minutes notice before the interview went to air, and I’d only just woken up, so please excuse me for being so shouty and manic. I was oddly nervous considering I’ve worked in TV and radio for years. Talking live on-air is kinda my thing. I gave myself an uppercut and snapped out of it, quick smart.
I let Thud loose in the bathroom to deface and destroy at his pleasure, as I paced my bedroom and regaled the ABC listeners with my “leashed child” story.
It was fab. The best part was chatting with the callers. Lovely, gracious, wonderful callers who ALL agreed with me. Because, obviously, I am a wonderful mother who is always doing exactly what I should be doing.
I sat on the end of my bed, nodding and giving myself high-fives for my advanced mothering skills.
Thud found a roll of 125 plastic garbage bags and unravelled the whole bloody thing in my wardrobe.
Caller after caller told me their stories of reining in their unruly children. They told me how RIGHT I was. How GOOD I was. And I lapped it up like I was getting an Achievement Award at school.
Meanwhile, Thud found his way into a bag of makeup and started eating a lip balm. Strawberry flavoured, so not weird or anything.
I giggled with Penny from Balmain who told us about how her son nearly fell down a hole, but was saved from certain death by his trusty harness.
Thud found the iron and switched it on.
Jennifer from Carlingford made me laugh with the story of her devious twins who ran in opposite directions while trussed up. As Thud… well, I can’t actually tell you what he was doing, because I turned my back so I could concentrate on the call. I figured I’d hear if things went really badly.
But, the overall message was. I’M A FANTASTIC MOTHER. SO SO GOOD. And the interview ended just in time for me to stop my child picking up the toilet brush and putting it in his mouth. See? TOP EFFORT LAUREN! You win all the awards. You are SUCCESS.
You can listen to the whole, glorious, shouty, drag-queen guffawing mess right here:
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Do you get drunk on the praise too? It’s just nice to get some reassurance now and then, isn’t it? Or is that just me….?
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