31 Aug 2021

The mummy guilts

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By Mikki Fisher of The Red Tent

One of the first things you’ll learn after the human you’ve been incubating for nine months finally exits you is that the ‘Mummy Guilts’ are not just a myth. No, they are the realest shit there is. I never wanted to write about The Mummy Guilts because I don’t like to whinge about hashtagmumlife because I LOVE hashtagmumlife! I feel hashtagblessed every damn day! BUT I’ve learnt that the Mummy Guilts are less of a bitch and moan sesh and more of an epidemic. It’s just another notch to the belt of Shit Women Have To Deal With Because We Live In A Man’s World.

Not even 50 years ago (which by the way is not a heck of a long time) being a Stay At Home Mum wasn’t an insult, it was actually just called Being A Mum. If people asked you what you did for a living and you answered with “Oh, I’m a Mum” they wouldn’t respond with “Ohhh okay, but what do you DO?” They probably wouldn’t ask you the question in the first place because you have a vagina so therefore you are obviously a Stay At Home Mum. Or a nurse. Or a teacher! And definitely you were married. And look, that had it’s own issues of course! And good on the few women of that generation who decided that they were more than that and they deserved to vote and work and show their ankles! I fucking LOVE those women! I’m so grateful for them! I’m not against how we’ve progressed at all! In fact I am ALL for it! BUT from this movement a different issue has risen.

The issue of Mum’s having to do fucking everything.


You see women have had to change. We’ve had to try and keep up with our male counterparts to prove to them that we are EQUALLY as capable as they are. Which by the way, we absolutely fucking are. But we’ve had to make sacrifices and compromise our role as the housekeeper, nurturer, chef, nanny, blow-job-giver etc…to do that. We’re expected to parent as though we don’t have a job and work as though we don’t have kids. I wish I could tell you that I came up with that line (because fuck me, it’s brilliant and I feel it in my soul) but I found it making the rounds on Instagram pages with the little “Praise Ye, Amen” hands emoji usually attached (which I also feel in my soul).

If you stay at home and just Mum for a few years, you’re judged. If you leave your child at 6 months old to go back to work, you’re judged. If your house isn’t in pristine condition and your child’s nursery doesn’t look like a fucking Pinterest page, you’re judged. Just pipe the fuck down with the judging world! Get off my dick! Get off ALL of our dicks! Can everyone just get off everyone’s dick! (Unless it is not a metaphorical dick and instead a real life willy because in that case, as you were, you fox.)

The hardest part of parenting for me has not been the parenting itself; instead it’s been the journey of finding my self-worth. A journey that I thought I had well and truly gone on and conquered in my early 20’s. But alas! The journey reared its head in a big way. It pretty much just punched me straight in the face as soon as my womb was done being a home. As my vagina was hanging up an ‘On Lunch Break, Be Back In 2 Years’ sign my brain put up an ‘And By The Way You Suck At Everything’ sign. Which is pretty fucking rude considering the circumstances.

I honestly feel like I’m just drowning in failure.

I suck balls at keeping up with washing and I suck even BIGGER balls at folding it. I suck even more balls than that at making money and trying to create a career in the 20 minutes a day my child actually sleeps. And speaking of sleeping, I suck the BIGGEST, FATTEST and HAIRIEST DONKEY BALLS at getting my child to sleep like those babies in the Huggies ads. The list of Things I Suck Balls At could go on for ten fucking years if I let it. Sometimes I just cry because I feel like I have nothing left to give. I feel like I’m a fucking guinea pig trying to dog paddle away from Jaws The Shark. It doesn’t matter how fast my legs go there’s a 100% chance I’m going to be swallowed (or spat down the drain for those that don’t agree with swallowing).

We. Can’t. Do. It. All.

And yet, why do we feel like we have to? We want purpose. We want to feel as though we’re contributing financially. We want to feel like one of those Boss Mums on Instagram who seems to fucking do it all. We want to be that for our partner. We want to be it for ourselves. We want to feel like we are ENOUGH. What we’re doing is enough. Who we are is enough.

I don’t want my partners friends (without children, naturally) thinking that I’m some bored, lazy housewife who mooches off Chris’ hard work (but has a hobby, aww cute!). That makes me want to cry. HEAPS. And hey, maybe one day they’ll get it. Everyone thinks that being a working Mum is easy as shit before they become one. Or before their wife/partner/Tinder Baby Mumma becomes one. So probably one day their wives will tell them to suck a big old dick and they’ll take their hat off to me (probably not, but maybe).

But it STILL feels like a huge fucking kick to the box knowing that they think my ‘job’ is mostly just to keep me entertained and pass the time until the NEXT baby shows up.

Most men are now expecting us to jump back into work as ASAP as possible. Because other women are doing it, so why can’t you? Mind you, most men don’t want us GOING to work though (because- Daycare fees amirite?). So for most of us, we need to start over. Create something from nothing. Panic and join ANOTHER pyramid scheme. Work between the hours of 9pm and 5am. Still have dinner on the table. Still have the house clean. Still do fucking sensory play. All with a smile plastered on your face and a stick stuck up your ass.

It’s not all men. And most of the time it’s not OUR men. It’s just society. It’s just the newest role we have to play. Plus, we do it to ourselves. My want and my need to be a Boss Mum, is less about me and more about everybody else. I want to prove that I CAN do it all. That I AM enough. And that anything a man can do I can do with a toddler on my hip and a uterus full of half-made human.

And a large part of me is afraid of just being a Mum. Without even realising it, I’ve become part of the judgemental attitude. I’m so afraid of being JUST a Stay At Home Mum out of fear of being judged that I now work so damn hard to be anything BUT that. Which is crazy! Because I have nothing but love and respect for ALL Mothers! Our job is really fucking hard. And we’re ALL balls deep in the Mummy Guilts. Occasionally we’ll lend each other a fucking snorkel or something, but mostly we just paint on some gills and pretend that we have our shit together. But do we?

I don’t. I absolutely don’t! I’ve never loved my life more and I’ve NEVER been as happy and fulfilled as I am right now. BUT I still feel like ass most days. I still make fuck-all money. I still feel like Chris’ burden. Even though he’s the most supportive guy on the whole bloody planet- I still feel like ass. I feel like I’m not good enough. And I care WAY too much about people’s opinion of me. Even though I pretend that I don’t- I absolutely do.

I’m a fraud. A fake. Just like the rest of you. Just like ALL of us. Pretending that we are nailing it. Pretending like we don’t care. Pretending that we don’t want people to send us free shit on Instagram. Pretending that we don’t want recognition. Pretending that we don’t want a tighter ass and skin that doesn’t look like an uncooked chicken. Pretending that we don’t raise our voices at our children. Pretending that we can afford to support every fucking business on Instagram. Pretending that deep, deep down we don’t feel small and insignificant. As though our role isn’t enough. As though WE are not enough.

My name is Mikaela Burnett and I make little to no money doing what I do. I’ve been building my business for the past two years with zero fucking clue of what I’m doing whilst trying to parent a child (with ALSO zero fucking clue of what I’m doing). I’m not a Boss Mum, I don’t do it all and I absolutely NEVER fold my washing. I’m just an almost 27-year-old girl who fell pregnant to my barely 6-month-old relationship Tinder boyfriend whilst working as a Barista. I have absolutely no qualifications, I have no fucking clue what the future holds and I probably have un-resolved Daddy issues.

PLUS I’m about to have another baby. So, fuck.

I’m FAR from perfect. But this is me (cue The Greatest Showman soundtrack). This is my life, and I fucking love it. I’m sick and tired of trying so hard to be a walking, talking Instagram filter. I’m over feeling guilty about how my life has turned out. Because I fucking love it! I couldn’t be happier with it! It’s MY special, unique journey. And it’s given me the most beautiful family and greatest potential career path ever!

As it turns out, I’m just a human like the rest of you fuckers, experiencing life and having a crack. And from now on, I’m going to do my best to be even MORE honest about it.

Because I deserve it.

Because I AM enough.

And so the fuck are you.


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