The Myth of the Perfect Mum

Yesterday on social media I shared the new Baby Dove campaign image of the “perfect mum” which was launched in Waterloo station. It was all about the “perfect mum” and how this woman represented that – if you know me at all, know Toby & Roo AT ALL, you will know this is exactly the opposite of what it all means to me and what I stand for.

I’ve built my blogging career on trying to bust the illusion we’re often force fed by the media of the perfect mum – she simply doesn’t exist. We all have our epic moments, we all have our naff moments and we’re all struggling in one way or another at some point. The “Perfection perception” as I like to call it, is just another way to apply pressure, especially to new mums. As this is a sentiment that my readers agree with, you can imagine the absolute hammering that Baby Dove received yesterday on instagram… but as it happens that was the plan all along (crafty eh?).

Dove has launched their Baby Dove range and they want it to represent the values of Dove at heart – there is no right way to be a parent, only you can tell what is right for YOUR parenting journey and what works for your child. Baby Dove wants to encourage mums to trust THEIR own way of parenting and stop the constant comparisons to what we think of as the perfect parent, because that perfect parent isn’t even real at all. Essentially the message rings loud and clear: there are no perfect mums, only real ones.  Baby Dove have conducted a pretty hardcore survey with over 3,000 first time mums and you know what they found? 9 out of 10 new mums*  feel pressure (as if there isn’t enough PRESSURE in suddenly being responsible for a whole other human being when, if you’re like me, you’ve probably just about come to terms with looking after yourself) to be “perfect” because of the image portrayed in the media. The media being instagrammers (one of the biggest contributions to the pressure according to the survey*), magazines and TV. It’s all there, laid out for you in a neat box… the perfect mum ticks the boxes that society asks her to with a perfectly manicured hand and a perfect flip of her well groomed hair. The perfect mum loves crafting with her kids, constantly smiles and appears to float through parenthood without any behaviour letters sent home, baby sick on her work jacket or bags under her eyes. She LIVES to be a mother and adores it 24/7… yeah right.

88% of us* are shouting from the rooftops that we just don’t agree with this portrayal – and that’s just the new mums, 95% said they felt that the media should share a more realistic image of motherhood* – something I strive to do here and I’m passionate about over on my Instagram page. Geez, when 1 in 4 of us is terrified of being judged* there has to be a breaking point somewhere. There also shouldn’t be any judgement if you ARE that mother who enjoys the crafting, the baking and who could happily never leave her baby’s side – this is YOUR journey, and your fellow mother (who is guaranteed to feel differently to you) should have your back.

I feel really honoured to be a part of this campaign from Baby Dove. It celebrates the real mums in the world and, in a refreshing version of marketing, tells us that we have their full support to be the mother’s that we choose to be without judgement. Breastfeed, bottle feed, baby led wean, shove em full of shop-bought puree, cry it out, sleep together, shout, don’t… it doesn’t matter.

We’ve got this.

*research carried out by Baby Dove, who conducted a survey of 3,000 first time Mums.

*Collaborative post with Baby Dove.

16 Comments

  1. April 10, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Fab post! I love that you’ve added the extra bit at the end about it being fine if you ARE the mum who likes to bake / do crafts, etc. I think lots of bloggers rage so much against the stereotypes that they lay into mums who like this sort of stuff. But like you say – we’re all doing our best and we have to be mums the best way we know how. #blogcrush

  2. April 7, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    If there was such a thing as the “perfect” mum then there would be no need for the 100s of different books about parenting LOL. There are only Mums – trying their hardest, doing their best, surviving, learning, and trying to hold it all together on not much sleep and lots of caffeine!

    Emmie xo

  3. April 6, 2017 / 12:00 am

    We are all so different, I believe the perfect mum is the one that knows what is best for her children! 🙂

  4. Dannii
    April 5, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    I do love all the dove campaigns. I also like that more and more people are showing realistic portrayals of parenting.

  5. April 4, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    I agree, there isn’t a perfect mum! Each one is different as is each child.

  6. francesca
    April 4, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    |I hate those ‘perfect mum’ expectations they really do apply so much pressure and its really unfair and uncalled for!! Great that there are other mums who are smashing those ideals down!

  7. April 4, 2017 / 9:36 am

    What a great campaign! And very brave of baby dove too- kudos to them!

    • Harriet April 5, 2017 / 7:12 pm

      I thought it was brave too!!

  8. April 4, 2017 / 9:31 am

    There is absolutely no thing called the perfect mum. Every mum is perfect in her own way because there’s no right way to bring up a child as everyone is different x

    • Harriet April 5, 2017 / 7:12 pm

      Exactly – or indeed the perfect person!

  9. April 4, 2017 / 9:22 am

    i know too well how many people have perseptions on the perfect mum , im mum to 8 ad people actually think the worse when they hear you have more children than the average family. no one is perfect we have all our own ideas of what perfect is its how much you care and love and teach your children the right way that matters not what your giving x

    • Harriet April 5, 2017 / 7:13 pm

      Ahh so sorry you’ve had to deal with that!

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