Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Smug/Crap List

Having just about finished reading Mia Freedman's book, Mama Mia (and having very little on my mind for once that's blog-worthy), I have decided to directly steal an idea from her. I'm sure she won't mind, as she says (about the magazine and TV industry): 'There are no new ideas, only recycled ones'.

The concept of the Smug List and Crap list is that every mother has an internal list in her head, where she judges herself on what she feels she has done well as a mother, and what she feels guilty about.

I was so impressed with Mia's honesty throughout her book, but especially in regards to this. It's really our most vunerable self, admitting what we feel we have failed at within motherhood. I wish more women would be brave enough to admit they feel insecure, and maybe even guilty, over certain aspects of their parenting, instead of engaging in Competitive Mothering and trying to out-do each other with their perfect babies who only eat organic, home-made meals, sleep all night and have learned baby-signing by 3 weeks of age. We should be REAL, talk about the things we are having trouble with, and instead of feeling shamed or inadequate, be supported and encouraged within the tribe.

So in the spirit of bravery and sharing Mia has inspired, here is my Smug / Crap List.

I feel Smug about... you know, I don't like the word smug, I'm going to call it Proud... I feel Proud that:
  • I am an engaged Mum, often found sitting on floor, deeply entrenched in whatever game GG and I have cooked up.
  • GG has lovely manners, is bright, funny, cheeky, charming and happy (mostly). I'm choosing to take credit for this.
  • I breastfed GG for 10 months, through inverted nipples, intense pain, cracked and bleeding nipples the whole 10 months and 3 bouts of mastitis.
  • I home-made GG's food with organic vegies for the first year of her life. She still has mainly home-made, nutritious food, with the occasional McDonalds fries or sweet treat to keep life interesting.
  • I am imaginative and playful, making up silly songs, stories and games to play with GG (or get her to brush her teeth).
  • We moved back to the Gold Coast mainly for GG, so she could grow up in a big, close, loving family, with lots of access to her grandparents, aunts and cousins. The fact that we love it here is a bonus.
  • GG is very helpful, something I have developed and encouraged, even though it meant taking 45 mins to empty a dishwasher, endless re-folding of laundry GG has 'helped' me put away and entire mornings spent hanging out one load of laundry. It's paying off nicely now though :o)
  • I am patient (mostly)(with GG, not other members of humanity), and it actually takes a fair bit for me to get cranky or yell at GG.
  • I have encouraged GG to have a love of reading and books, like every woman in my family.

I feel Crap that:

  • I allowed myself to be scared into a caesarian I now think I probably didn't need. I still feel like I never really 'earned my stripes' by having a 'proper labour'. Actually, I've never experienced labour and I feel like I've missed out on something.
  • Despite several attempts and short-lived successes, GG is a terrible sleeper, and she has taken to coming into our bed again, and I am too tired and disheartened to stop her.
  • Despite promising when I started blogging that I would only do it when GG was asleep, I now blog when she is awake and we could be playing together. I actually keep an old laptop under the TV cabinet for GG to play on, whilst I play on my computer.
  • I wish I listened to my instinct more and refused to believe that GG's screaming as a baby was 'just colic', even when the Doctors told me so. I feel bad that she was 6 months old when she was finally diagnosed with a wheat intolerance, all that pain needlessly inflicted on her.
  • There are days when GG has had cereal for dinner.
  • I (like Mia) actually like that GG has a tan. I think she looks so cute and outdoorsy and Aussie with it. Others will point out the potential skin damage.
  • I pretty much constantly have the TV on in the background. GG doesn't watch a whole lot now, but I'm betting she'll be a TV addict too when she grows up.
  • Even though I know she has an awesome time, and is gaining great knowledge there, I still feel awful whenever GG cries when I leave her at kindy.
So there you have it folks, my innermost feelings about my most important job. I would love for any other Mums to share something they are especially proud of (or a bit guilty about), but there are rules for any commenters - NO JUDGING!!!



  1. No judgment here at all - you should absolutely be proud of the things on your list and they most definitely cancel out all of the things on the crap list. Several times over actually!

  2. Yes the crap list ain't that bad!

  3. Your crap list is quite OK .... and labour is overrated :)

  4. do you want us to do the crap smug list here, or on our own blogs. You have much to be smug about - and I'm feeling you re: blogging while they are awake and putting the TV on - hearing you loud and clear on that!

  5. Bravo Quixotic! I love nothing better than a mummy willing to be honest - about both the smug and crap stuff. Wish more mummy would take up the challenge - so refreshing. You've inspired me, I'll do one too!

  6. Is it possible not to have a tan in Australia?

    As far as blogging while she's awake - you know that it's important for kids to learn to entertain themselves right? I think even the new age baby books say this, though I could be wrong because I've never actually read a baby book.

    And cereal for dinner? You feel bad about this. My kids are 17, 15 and of their favorite things in the world is having breakfast at dinner time.

    You're a great mom, and don't let anyone tell you differently.

  7. I'm loving your honesty. Mommyhood is too often viewed as a competitive sport. We need to be more honest in the trials of motherhood, because it can be trying.

    Stopping by from your blog

  8. I have something for you over on my blog. :0)

  9. This was great! I can identify with a lot of what you said. I think I'll try my own list this week. ;)

  10. Great list.

    It's okay, we've had cereal for dinner too.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  11. I have so much on my crap list, it would take me years to put it all down. But there was a great line in that book from Mia's mum - don't be too hard on yourself, your kids have no one to compare you with so you'll always be great in their eyes.

  12. Good one Quixotic. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. And of course, you get no judgement from me. I have a similar list of proud/crap myself and am mightily "over" all the Mum's out there who pretend they have it all sussed instead of being honest & giving/getting the support that'll help us all in the long run. I think I will do my blog my own list and link back to you too.

  13. Oh but where? Where is this pressie you speak of? I am intrigued!


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