Eight in 10 mums have shunned the idea of being a supermum – and feel they are ‘good enough’ instead, a study has found.
Researchers polling 2,000 mums of children aged 0-18 have found that rather than aiming for perfection, most believe they are doing OK when it comes to raising happy and healthy children.
Just managing to produce a cake on time for their child’s birthday is among the things mums believe shows that they are doing a ‘good enough’ job, as well as serving up vegetables for their child at mealtimes, even if they only eat a couple of forkfuls.
Being okay with the fact their youngster isn’t getting the best grades in the class, happily playing with the kids instead of doing the washing and understanding it doesn’t matter if the meals they prepare aren’t cooked from scratch, also feature in the list.
And one third of mums have accepted that ‘winging it’ as a parent is okay, because no one is perfect anyway.
Siobhan Freegard, spokeswoman for parenting site ChannelMum.com said: “Parents today are under so much pressure to be perfect.
“They constantly question and compare themselves to others to check out if they are measuring up.
“But being perfect simply isn’t achievable and it’s not even a goal we should be aiming for.
“If you have a child who is happy and loved, you are definitely doing a good enough job.”
Researchers found telling your child you love them at least once a day is the top sign mums believe means they are doing ‘good enough’.
Others say questioning their own ability to parent, managing to make time to read a bedtime story and giving up all notions of having a tidy house also make mums feel like they are doing OK.
The study also found 79 per cent of mums sometimes feel like the worst parent in the world, but that they feel reassured when they look at their happy child.
Having a house which looks like a tip – but it being the house all other children want to come and play in, also make mums feel like they are doing a good job.
Realising you haven’t bought any clothes for yourself in two years, but not minding because the money has been spent on the family, is another indication of someone doing their best.
While understanding that sometimes parking their child in front of the TV, needing a night out with girlfriends away from the children, and not giving a damn if the child is covered in mud if they are having a good time, also appear in the top 30.
The OnePoll research also revealed a resounding nine in 10 mums just want their kids to grow up and remember their childhood fondly.
But more than half worry they’re not providing enough education for their children at home and a further six in 10 don’t think they give their kids enough time and attention.
However, eight in 10 mums acknowledge most tend to give themselves a hard time when it comes to parenting and juggling modern life.
In fact, just under half admitted to worrying about what other people think of their parenting skills.
Siobhan Freegard added: “The fact that someone is worrying if they are doing a good job as a parent usually shows that they are.
“You can only do your best.
“Give yourself a break, a pat on the back and go and spend quality time with the kids. Everything else can wait.”
TOP 25 SIGNS OF A ‘GOOD ENOUGH MUM’
1. You tell your child you love them at least once a day
2. Your child goes to bed in one piece and happy
3. Questioning or worrying about being a good enough mum means you already are one
4. Not worrying that your child is covered in mud, food or paint because they are having fun
5. When you accept that winging it is as a parent is ok. Because who wants to be perfect?
6. Knowing that self-care isn’t selfish. Even if it’s just finding time for a soak in the bath or getting your nails done
7. When you’ve managed to make the time to read to them at night
8. Accepting that a living room full of toys is okay, who needs a tidy house anyway?
9. When you spot a child having a public tantrum and rather than judging, you give the mum an ‘I’m here for you sister’ look
10. You realise it’s okay to put them in front of the TV at times, so you can get a bit of peace and quiet / chores done
11. When you feel like your children have driven you mad all day and bedtime was a horror show, yet you know that you’ll want to sniff their sleeping heads
12. Realising that you haven’t bought any new clothes for you for ages – and not minding because the money’s been spent on your family
13. You don’t take your child’s behaviour personally – just because they did something nasty doesn’t mean you’re not doing a good job
14. Your kid’s not getting the best grades in the class – but they’re learning about being a good person
15. The realisation that you can’t pour from an empty cup and that looking after you is as important as looking after your child.
16. You realise it’s okay to arrange a night out with friends, away from the children
17. You give your child food from the oven rather than cooking from scratch, but at least they’re full and fed
18. You manage to produce a cake in time for their birthday – bought or made
19. Knowing that it’s fine that you don’t help out at school because you are working hard
20. You understand other people need to look after the children too – it doesn’t all fall on you
21. When you serve up vegetables/fruit in the hope some get eaten, but not beating yourself up when they don’t
22. Knowing that the ‘beige dinner’ phase won’t last forever and not worrying about it
23. Your child tells you they hate you, then that they love you half an hour later
24. When you feel like you’re failing and that it’s such hard work. Yet you’re seriously considering doing it all over again
25. When you become adept at catching poo or puke in your hands