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Confessions of a modern mum: “I can’t sew a button”
Earlier in the week we wrote about how the majority of young, modern mums are lacking in traditional ‘mum’ skills like baking, sewing and knitting – and that instead of admitting it, many parents feel compelled to pass off other people’s efforts as their own.
To break the trend, for this week’s column one mum breaks the taboo and admits: “I can’t sew a button.”
Whilst the more traditional role of a mum as housewife, darner of socks, starcher or shirts and baker of cakes might have shifted slightly – it’s pretty much expected that if you don’t already know how to alter skirt hems or mock up a fancy dress costume out of scraps, that you’ll instinctively know as soon as clap eyes on your newborn.
Except with me: the knowledge of how to make pastry from scratch or how to work a pair of knitting needs didn’t materialise in an instant. The truth is, I’ve never even sewn on a button. Sure, I could probably give it a go and I know that it’s ridiculously simple but I’d never profess to knowing about it.
I can follow a recipe to bake a cake, but hand me flour and sugar and expect me to bake you a masterpiece off the top of my head and you wouldn’t be in for a treat.
It’s the same with knitting and all the handy stuff like being able to make your own curtains or repair clothing, these are things I’d love to be able to do, but I was never taught and I’ve never felt the need to learn myself.
So does that make me a bad mother? Should I buy cakes from the shop and pass them off as my own or pretend to my friends that it was I, not my daughter’s grandmother who whipped her up adorable knitted hat and matching mittens?
There’s so much pressure on parents to compete and for mums especially to not show signs that they’re struggling that it’s about time we hold our hands up, admit our shortcomings and then focus on all the things that we can do and the little victories us mums achieve each day.
So yes, I am a bit embarrassed to say that I’ve never sewn on a button and that I’m already dreading the school bake sales, but whilst I might not know all of the traditional ‘mum’ skills I’m supposed to, I do know how to be a good mum.
Do you agree with this week’s writer? Do you feel pressured to live up to the idea of the ‘perfect mum’?