As a girl growing up, I had aspirations of becoming that perfect mum who does everything right.
I would be the first to wake up every morning to prepare delicious and nutritious for my kids before they leave for school. They would tell me how grateful they are to me for preparing a wonderful breakfast. While they are at school, I would get the laundry done, clean up the house and grow some pretty flowers, all with a smile on my face. When they come back from home, I would go through their homework with them and teach them what they do not know, then I would play toys and watch cartoons with them. There would be lots of laugher and tickling each other. At night, I would tuck them into bed, read them stories as they drift off to sleep. I would stare at their angelic sleeping faces, plant a kiss on their forehead, then relax by the fireplace with a cup of hot tea in hand, satisfied with what I've done for that day.
Sorry but reality is hardly anything like that.
Every mum wants to be the perfect mum, or at least hopes to be the perfect mum. But really, there is no such thing as a perfect mum. It's as fictional as unicorns and fairies.
Mums are not bestowed with extraordinary powers from above, but often have to do the most difficult tasks of all. Imagine that while you are tucking into your favourite steak and potatoes, your kid comes along and declares that she has to do big business NOW and cannot wait anymore. You drop your steak, bring her to the toilet, go through the whole pushing, smelling & ass-cleaning business and get back to your steak again. The steak now looks and tastes different, trust me. That happens to me like ALL THE TIME. Timing sure has an interesting definition in a kid's dictionary.
Or how about you get into a cab and as you get onto the expressway, your kid whispers into your ear, 'Mummy, I am very urgent and I really need to shh shh now.' Creative solutions to the rescue. Bottles, plastic bags, anything at all.
It is impossible to be a perfect mum because it's just too darn difficult. On any given day I can spend with my kids, I would usually get off on an optimistic start in the morning that we would have a wonderful time together. We actually do have fun, but by the end of a two-hour non-stop running round the house, laughing & screaming at the top of their voices and flinging toys to every notch & corner of the house, I am usually spent. That would not be half as bad if my kids are just as spent as me, and we can all just take a nice two-hour nap together. But that hardly happens because two hours is just about the time my kids get warmed up. It's only the beginning.
By the time we reach lunch time, my hair's in a mess, my makeup's all runny, and I usually look a little green in my face. I try my best to be the perfect mum and not scream as much as I can help it because perfect mums don't scream. I would explain to my kids patiently why it would be nice if we talk softly and not shout at each other, and how wonderful it would be if they can play peacefully with each other. That precious amount of patience usually goes into overdraft by the time we reach evening. I try not to look into the mirror by that time for fear of scaring myself off. Yes, it's that bad.
A mum has so much on her plate I find it pretty daunting most of the time. I have a full-time job, so after a hard day's work, I go home to my overly excited kids who haven't seen me for a whole day and can't wait to 'tear me apart'. I mean, it's nice when I appear at my home's doorstep, and two kids come bouncing and running with screeches of delight, while screaming, 'Mummy!!!!!!!!!!!!' then give me a great big thigh hug. It's always nice to be 'missed'. But I have to admit that I often feel like I've come home from a full-time job to another full-time job. Yet, no matter how tired I may feel, and how much I feel like just plonking down on my bed and sleep, I have to pull myself together and spend time with the little ones, as they tell me all about their day with so much enthusiasm. So I say, it's hard enough to be a mum, let alone a perfect one.
Come to think of it, there were so many times I felt like such a terrible mum that the concept of a perfect mum felt so distant from me. Those were the days when I regretted screaming at the kids or venting my frustrations on them. Everyone has this image of a perfect mum inside of them, and from time to time, it emerges to gently remind us when we sway too much to the left or right. Although I don't think anyone can become the perfect mum, I do believe that our pursuit of becoming one would inevitably make us better mums at the end of it all. Motherhood is a lifelong learning journey with lots of perks and boosts along the way.
I don't dream of becoming a perfect mum, but I do want to try my very best to be a good mum to my kids. I definitely have a long way to go, but thank God my kids are the most forgiving and gracious beings on this earth. I should be grateful.
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