Last week when I picked Mushroom up after school, he handed me a folded piece of paper with ‘Mummy’ on the front and told me he had ‘written’ a note for me. It was a child’s handwriting but Mushroom’s is not quite that legible yet so I asked if he really had written it. He said “A big boy helped me at teatime club, I told him my words.” When we got home, I opened up the note to read it. It said:
“I love you Mummy because you are a good Mummy and you are always kind to me.”
Me: Mushroom, that is a beautiful, thoughtful note. I will keep it somewhere special.
Mushroom: *proud, slightly bemused* Mummy why is your voice all funny? Are you crying?
Me: No, I’m just full up of love for you. I always am but I’m really feeling it right now.
Mushroom: That’s good..?
Me: Yes, yes it is. Mushroom? What makes a good Mummy, do you think?
Mushroom: *shrugs* I don’t know. Good Mummies do good listening.
Me: All the time?
Mushroom: Yes, even when they are mean.
Me: Are good mummies mean then?
Mushroom: Yes. They have to be when the children are naughty. You were mean to me this morning…
Me: I told you off, yes…
Mushroom: See? But you do good listening. Some Mummies just don’t listen. You don’t listen very well when you do your phone…
Me: I know. That’s why I put my phone away more now.
Mushroom: *nods* Can we play now?
Me: You need to get changed first. And I want to ask you one more thing about good Mummies…
Mushroom: *sighs* Go on then.
Me: Do good Mummies play all the time, and let you eat sweets and watch TV whenever you want..?
Mushroom: *laughs* No! No no no no. Good mummies have to look after you and you can’t have too much sweeties and you need to be good children as well. I am good..?
Me: Most of the time, yes. I guess we are both good, most of the time…
Mushroom: It’s hard to be good all the time…
Me: I know…
Mushroom: Can we finish talking about being good now?
So there you have it. If you do good listening and are ‘mean’ in response to bad behaviour, then you’re a good enough Mummy – according to my four-year old. And it’s ok to be less than perfect*, because “it’s hard to be good all the time”!
What do your kids say about being a good Mummy…?
*If you’re still struggling to let go of your idea of perfection (because it is just that, an idea!), then you may be interested in my brand new four-week course, Proudly Imperfect Parents, which will help you to really let go and embrace all the positives of your perfectly imperfect parenting. The course starts on 22 February and is open for booking now.