When did we move from aspiring to be a yummy mummy to instead being proud of being a slummy mummy? Every time I scroll through Instagram, I come across posts of bloggers talking about their pile of laundry, their dirty kitchen counter or their unmade bed. And it’s said with such pride…like they’re winning at parenting because they don’t give a shit about the state of their home.
A few years ago, blogs like Hurrah for Gin and the Unmumsy mum came about and they took off because they showed the realities of parenthood. When you have a new baby in the house, the house keeping does tend to take a back seat and your priorities are then aligned with the baby. But at some point, as more and more bloggers got in on the act, all proclaiming to be even slummier than the last, I think we’ve got to a point now where what started as a healthy dose of reality has become an obsession to be the most inept. “You think you have a dirty worktop…I’ll meet your dirty work top and raise you with yesterdays peas still all over the kitchen floor!” And this is the sort of thing that is going up on the ‘gram.
At the risk of ruffling a few feathers, most of the mums parading their slummy ways are invariably middle class. Mums who can afford child care, mums with their own businesses and mums who work flexibly. If a more working class mother was drinking a G&T in a tin on the train from Hove up to London, she wouldn’t be seen as cool, she’d be brandished as cheap. And many of these bloggers are showing off their “slummy” homes in Boden skirts and H&M dresses with Farrow and Ball walls and La Redoute rugs.
The fact is, many of these Insta parents striving to outdo one another with their candour and stories of ineptness are in fact devoted and hard working individuals. So why the desire to downplay your situation? When did it become cooler to have a messy bedroom and a dirty kitchen? When did it become uncool to be house proud and tidy up after yourself?