It is a well known fact that babies do not come with a manual.  Why?  Because no two kids are the same.  Even when they come from the same DNA.  There are lots of baby books out there, but the main problem with these is that no one seems to have informed the babies that this is what the book says they should be doing.  The babies are quite content to make up their own rules.

However when it comes to being a mum there is a very definite list of rules.  Only no one tells you these.  You get to find out these for yourself at the same time as you learn what the hell to do with this baby you just produced that didn’t come with a manual.  Or your new body which now leaks from every orifice without warning.  And a whole new you that you need to get to know.  At the same time as your world has been turned upside down you are expected to learn the rules for being a good mother.

To save you a whole load of time, worry, and making mistakes that will lead to you damaging your child and preventing them from functioning as a normal adult, I  have put together a list of the rules.  Please keep reading to the end for some links to invaluable sources of motherhood information.

good mother

1 Feed Your Child The Correct Foods

“Breast is best”, even when it is causing considerable stress to mum and baby, it is always best.  Until you do it in public, then breastfeeding is bad and should be hidden away so as not to make people feel uncomfortable about you doing “the most natural thing in the world”. Or at least that is what the media would have you believe.  The truth is when you breast feed in public, 99.9% of the time, no one bats an eyelid.

If you choose to formula feed for whatever reason, be prepared to justify your decision and feel all the guilt.  At no point will you be given credit for making an informed decision because you are a grown up who can do so.  Of course you must be prepared for all future failings of your child to be blamed on the fact you formula fed them, including when they fail their first driving test.

Moving on from the milk days when you discover that it actually no longer matters how they were fed, you must only ever feed them organic wholesome food.  Beige food is bad.  A good mother does not serve beige food.  All meals must be made into smiley faces or cute animals to encourage your child to eat the 100% organic, no added flavour couscous you have lovingly prepared for them.  Good luck finding a kid that will eat couscous.

2 You Will Never Be Good Enough

When returning to the career you worked to hard to build, you will become ‘part time mum’. One who is selfish and doesn’t put her child’s needs first.  You must spend 90% of your earnings on childcare, and have to work twice as hard as anyone else to prove your commitment to the company.

Of course you could sacrifice holidays and meals out and become a stay at home mum. But this does not set a very good example to your child or create a strong work ethic.  You will also be required to justify your existence and what you do every day.

3 Enjoy Every Moment

You must enjoy every moment of parenting.  Cherish them in fact.  Because it goes by so fast.  If you are not enjoying the sleepless nights, mountains of laundry, vomit, poo, tantrums, whining, and asking your kids to put their shoes on 39 times every single morning, you are not normal.  Everyone else is enjoying every single second.  Why aren’t you?  What is wrong with you?

4 Do Not Give Your Children Screen Time

TV is bad.  Only terrible parents allow their kids to watch television.  It doesn’t matter that there are wonderful educational programs that encourage your child’s development and learning.  TV is just bad.  It should never ever be used as a babysitter in order for you to get shit done.  The correct thing to do is to enlist your child’s help when cleaning the kitchen, They will happily mop the floor and not attempt to empty the entire contents of the cupboards.  If you have a baby just do the housework whilst the child naps.  This may contradict the other rule about sleeping when the baby sleeps.

5 You Can’t Win

When your child has a contagious illness you must follow the rules of their place of education and keep them at home for a specified amount of time so as not to spread their disease onto other children.  You child will be punished for missing a week of school due to having Chickenpox by not receiving an attendance certificate and bring a letter home to patronise you about their attendance.  Even when you follow the rules for being a good mother, you will still be a bad mother.

good mother

6 Milestones Are Crucial To Your Success

You should never allow your child to reach milestones at their own pace.  Every child should be on the exact same path and develop at the exact same rate.  They must walk by the time they are 1, recite Shakespeare by age 3, and be able to tell you what a compound noun phrase is at age 7.  If they don’t reach these milestones at the time dictated you are not a good mother.

7 Never Ever Complain

Children are a blessing.  As well as enjoying every moment you must never complain about any aspect of parenting, or anything your child does.  This means you do not love your children.  You must never joke about selling your kids on ebay as this means you do not deserve them and you are the worst parent ever.  A good mother would never do this.

8 Do Not Enjoy Things Without Your Children

Once you become a parent you are no longer allowed to have fun without your children. Respectable mothers do not enjoy a girls night out.  Good mothers do not drink gin or Prosecco.  Decent mothers stay at home with their children and do not need time to themselves to recharge, or shower without an audience.  A good mother knows that her children should be everything she needs to be a complete person.

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9 Prepare To Be Judged

For every parenting decision you make there will be someone telling you that you have made the wrong decision and you will have inflicted permanent damage onto your child. Even celebrities are not immune to such judgement.  Jamie Oliver holds his child wrong. Kelly Clarkson fed her kid Nutella (that’s not on the organic approved list) and Victoria Beckham kissed her daughter on the lips.  That’s a bad mother.  Don’t kiss your child.  I mean, heaven forbid they are shown affection from their parents.

10 Never Trust Your Own Instincts

If you can still hear your instincts over all the opinions on how you should be parenting, don’t listen to them.  They are wrong.  There will always be an expert or complete stranger that absolutely knows your child better than you do.  You are just their mother.  You are not an expert in anything.  The expert may not know your child’s favourite food, the best tickle spot, what they need to get them to sleep, how to turn their tears into laughter, or who their favourite Paw Patrol pup is, but they always know better than you and your silly instincts.

Of course these rules are nonsense.  Unless you read the Daily Mail who would have you believe that they are all true, that you are completely failing as a parent, and that you are not a good mother.  Do not read the Daily Mail.  Ever.  No good can come of it.

If you want an honest picture of motherhood  in all its raw beauty and monotony, then forget these 10 rules, and follow these brilliant bloggers, who make us all feel normal, that we are doing ok.  They make us laugh with the absurdities of life with small people.  They understand that there is no such thing as a ‘prefect parent’, and above all else, they keep it real.

Here are a few of my own posts I hope you like about the realities of parenting, the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

mummy war     




Claire Kirby

16 Comments on 10 Simple Rules For Being A Good Mother

  1. OMG, I LOVE THIS! This is exactly why I started my blog in the first place … because everyone thinks they know what’s best for MY baby. Such a wittily-written post! 🙂

  2. All so true! I’m not onto school yet so no attendance issues, but I have had a couple of incidents with nursery on sickness rules that are a bit annoying. Specifically that they class ‘diarrhoea’ as any single incident of slightly runny poo. My kids eat A LOT of fruit, so being a bit loose is quite normal for them (TMI, I know). I’ve now had this a few times – get called to pick them up (it’ll only be one, but obviously I can’t turn up at nursery and remove one child and expect the other to agree to stay), the incident is not repeated because the kid is not ill, and I’m not allowed to take them back for 48 hours. I understand the rules, inconvenient though they may be, for actual illness. It annoys me, however, when applied over a misunderstanding of what constitutes illness – diarrhoea requires frequency, it’s not illness based on consistency alone. If they do it twice in 30 minutes, fine, send them home! #FridayFrolics

  3. So glad I don’t read the Fail. Although I did have a peek this Friday to see how badly they’d combusted. (I’m only human!) Since i stopped peeking at the sidebar of shame, I feel so much happier 🙂

  4. SPOT ON! Number 5 was me this week. Oldest picked up Youngest’s illness but escaped fairly lightly in that she wasn’t vomiting, it was just coming out the other end. Delightful! Anyway I informed school and they said to keep her off the next day, then the next day they said I could send her in on Friday. SHE HAD THE SQUITS AND THEY WERE DOING A SPONSORED WALK. I was like 48 hours it hasn’t been 48 hours. They are under pressure to get attendence up so were willing to overlook or this was hinted, and then I questionned whether I should send her in. Youngest wanted to go in despite having to evacuate her bowels everytime she sniffed food. I stuck to my guns in the end because I feared she may poop herself on the walk and then be known as poopy pants for the rest of her school life. I couldn’t win though! No win! Grrrr. Sorry I’ve left an essay of a response. I should have just said I FRICKING LOVED THIS POST! #FridayFrolics

  5. Every single number on the list is spot on, brilliant Claire! You can’t win, and you can lose for certain. Thank you for this incredibly funny, poignant and perfect post about parenting! #FirdayFrolics xo

  6. Here here! The screen time one is hilarious – you should have seen the looks I got only yesterday from this elderly lady as my 6 year old played on his ipad. Was about to make some pathetic excuse for it, then had to have a word with myself, that it is none of anyone else’s business what my children do. Lots of judging going on oh yes, be prepared for that. Great refreshing post. We’re all in this together and whatever works for you has always been my motto. #FridaFrolics

  7. Here here! The screen time one is hilarious – you should have seen the looks I got only yesterday from this elderly lady as my 6 year old played on his ipad. Was about to make some pathetic excuse for it, then had to have a word with myself, that it is none of anyone else’s business what my children do. Lots of judging going on oh yes, be prepared for that. Great refreshing post. We’re all in this together and whatever works for you has always been my motto. #

  8. Drum roll please…I have a daughter who likes cous cous!!! I found out completely by accident of course; not like I made it for her (thanks Daycare). Of course she eats bugger all else, but I’m owning that win! So much YES to ALL of these. #fridayfrolics

  9. Number 9. ‘Prepare to be judged’ oh my have I been there. Just no such thing as a perfect parent is there? Love this and thank you for the shout out I really appreciate it! X

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