Judge me – I’m a mum. Is the least likely phrase you might think I’d ever willingly say. But I’m not talking about being judged for how I look 12 hours after giving birth to Princess Charlotte, or for giving my toddler Hula Hoops for breakfast (it was just the once, honest!). I mean a proper, HR-style Mummy Performance Review.
“How am I doing?” must be the most frequent thought in my head. After: “I’m so tired” and “Oh, look at the pretty tumbleweed”, of course.
If this were a job, I’d have an annual review. A little list of my strengths and hopefully just a token “area to improve”. An outline of targets for the year ahead. Maybe a little pay rise?
But as a mum, there’s no such joy.
Who is qualified to give me a performance review, anyway?
The negative bits I’ve got covered. One thing mums are fantastic at is beating themselves up. Baby got a cold? I should never have taken him for a walk (even though he was ensconced in a snowsuit, hat and three blankets). Read him three stories at bedtime? Should have been four. Child got one letter wrong in his spelling test? I should have prepped him better.
It’s the positive stuff I’m craving. The pat on the back. The, to be frank, flagrant ego massage.
Who better to give me a review than my family? I hear you cry.
Well, that would be the obvious answer. So here’s what happened when I asked them to give me a bit of feedback:
Seven-year-old: “If I say it does that mean I don’t have to do my homework?”
Five-year-old: “You’re the best bum-bum in the world!”
Mr Wry: “Well, you’re cheaper than a nanny.”
I guess that’s the price of vanity.
Will I ever know if my mummy performance is up to scratch? How do you judge that? Whether they can wipe their own bottoms? Whether they get A-C in their GCSEs? Whether they turn out to be good parents themselves?
Perhaps it’s best to keep the scope of your review small.
At the very least you can say to yourself:
“Today, I did OK.”
And as for the pay rise?
Well, I’m happy to be paid in their smiles.
What about you? Are you happy with how you’re doing or would you appreciate a bit of external validation?
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