So I’ve given you small clues along the way about Souper Mum’s real identity. Her name is Jools Campbell, she has four kids, she can’t really cook for shit. There are shades of me in her: we both like Primark and fish fingers and we both stumble through life and motherhood knowing that we are both not the all-singing, all-dancing wundermothers that you see in commercials and 1950s American TV shows.
But then seriously, who is….really?
The one thing I’ve found out about being a mother is that, and this might be a revelation, you’re not the only mother out there. There’s quite a few of us and if my experience has taught me anything is that all of us are basically just winging it. It starts the day your baby is born and handed to you. Those things don’t come with manuals. You’re handed this naked, screaming little human: its head seems to be pulsating, its poo is black and it has a strange growth coming out of its belly button. I should know what that is, right? I know it’s not the willy. And you’re expected to suddenly feed, clothe and change this little thing and be its primary caretaker. That is an extraordinary responsibility to be given. And you look around slightly disturbed because you realise you know nothing. See? Day 1: winging it.
And this doesn’t change. We’re all winging it, right? I was never given any manual with mine (Is there one? Did I miss out? Do let me know…) so every developmental milestone usually results in me Googling the fuck out of it and acting on mine and Ned’s questionable good sense and instinct. There is some moral compass to raising kids but I’d argue most of the time you’re standing there whilst your five-year-old is having a meltdown in a Morrison’s carpark and making it all up as you go along.
And if you meet any mum who doesn’t say she is winging it then get her out of your life. She is a liar. She’s the sort who probably Instagrams all her baby purees and dresses her kids in Boden, right? Yeah, she’s lying to you. Is her Facebook full of memes of how much she loves her husband, pictures of IKEA hacks and birthday cakes she’s made from scratch? Because that’s all a very shiny and glossy veneer. Pull it back and you’ll see motherhood is pretty messy. It’s manic and crazy. I’ve never known fatigue like it; physical and emotional. The highs are filled with an incredible sense of belonging, joy and fun but the lows can be the most terrifying thing ever. It’s a constant sense of winging it, questioning whether you’re doing the right thing or whether these little people of yours are OK. Am I good enough? Am I coping? Have I made the right choices today?
And yes, sometimes you fuck up motherhood. You shout, you say things you shouldn’t. You give your kids a bit of junk and let them watch too much television. And you’re tired, so tired. The house is a tip. You have no idea what day it is. You’ve even forgotten your own name (P.S. It’s not Kirsten…)
But trust me on one thing... you’re rocking this. Look around at all those other mums around you. Yes, none of us have our shit together either. We are winging it. We are all doing our best. Don't let anyone tell you any different. And so this last post before my day of publication is for you. Because #whoissoupermum? Well, it’s you. It always has been. Keep going….you're doing a great job xxx
P.S. This doesn’t work if you’re a man reading this but you get the picture….