I am Lucia, Anna’s from Mother Pukka’s mother and I am writing this with a cupof tea and a jammy dodger biscuit as we wait for news of the hopeful arrival of our grandchild. I am her maternity cover for now and I am learning about the ways of the internet.
I am also Dutch and 65. That makes me old and blunt and at this moment I am angry.
I want to write something in response to an article I read today that was highlighted to me by Lucy from an Instagram portal called ‘Mummingthis’. The article was in a silly rag I won’t mention for fear of making it more viral or having a virus. Whatever the science is behind success on the internet.
The headline is: ‘Feeding their toddlers frozen fingers, swigginggin from baby cups and potty mouthed ranting about their kids online: why are so many women boasting they’re slummy mummies?
This article mentioned a number of lovely women who have supported me when I took over my daughter’s social media pages last week as she was in hospital having contractions. Who am I to think I can learn how to ‘Instagram’? Who is this lady with a pensioner’s bus pass? Who do I think I am?
I was unsure what I was doing and having been a mother for 35 years, putting food on the table for my girls and husband, I was not confident I had it in me to be social in this media.
But women can do pretty much anything I believe if they don’t get distracted by the dreaded doubt, nasty thoughts and silly jealousy. And a woman with the support of other women can take on the world. Or at the very least a packed supermarket on a weekend.
And my confidence last week grew. That was down to the women being pulled down in this non-article. They are: Clemmie Telford, Stephanie Douglas, Sarah Turner, Katie Kirby and the very funny Scrummy Mummies.
This non-article simply regurgitated what I’ve seen happen to mothers since I became one in 1981. Back then it was a case of getting on with it and ignoring signs of depression and postnatal sadness behind doilies, rice crispy cake sessions with the kids and chit chat in Sainsburys.
I was one of the lucky ones but I know a lot who were alone in this time. It was not the ‘done thing’ to go to work and anyone that did was chastised because the media had said our place was at home. There was no-one opening up about the difficulty side of bringing up a child and there was no-one to make us laugh. The bad media says anything it wants for a reaction. Look at it like an attention-seeking child.
The problem is now that the power of the media is going down the toilet pan. I have seen this with the rise of my daughter’s blog and all the other bloggers who are writing about real experience over headline-grabbing chit chat.
I think the fact that Stephanie, Clemmie, Sarah, Katie and the comedy girls have a total of 520,000 Instagram followers over the writer of this article’s 10, feels a bit like panic writing to me. It feels sadly like jealousy.
I always said to my girls when they were growing up, when someone is nasty, just do more of what you love. Prove them wrong through doing. The game is up for cheap media because no one is listening to the attention-seeking child any more. They are reading, but not listening. They are listening to the mother of that child who has an honest answer for making those tantrums easier to handle.
Who gives a stuff if that is fish fingers served in a gin-filled beaker?
I won’t forget the women who made an old lady feel like she could learn something new at 65. That’s the power of what is happening now. The good is simply winning over the bad and the media can’t keep us down any more because we have more people listening to you lovely lot over them. They are panicking!
I would say, if ever in doubt, retaliate with the offer of a jammy dodger. Or if things get really bad, a chocolate digestive biscuit and a cup of tea. It tends to cheer most people up.
I will be taking over Anna’s account with the help of her managers Gleam Talent for a couple of weeks. Anna will be back when the baby is here and not being too tricky.
Written by: Anna Whitehouse.