You’re not my best friend!

“You’re not my best friend!” I wonder how many times a day this is bellowed at me.

“Please can you get dressed” I ask, he resists, “You’re not my best friend!” he shouts.

“Please can you brush your teeth” I ask, he protests, “You’re not my best friend!” he yells.

“Please can you stop playing with your train track in the middle of the kitchen while I’m trying to cook a meal” I ask, he responds angrily “You’re not my best friend!” and refuses to budge.

Calmly, when I have time and patience I sit with him and explain that I don’t want to be his best friend, I want to be his Mummy, the best Mummy I can be, doing the best for him, helping him to learn the skills he’ll need to get on at school, to learn how to be the best he can be, to understand what is safe and appropriate (whizzing around a kitchen filled with bubbling pans isn’t safe or appropriate).

I don’t want to be his best friend, of course there’s a part of me who wants to be his very bestest of best friends, but I can’t be, he needs a Mummy, an appropriate adult to be there to tell him off when he needs it, to cuddle him and kiss it better when he falls over, he needs someone to tell him all of the very excellent things he is, to build his confidence and help him to explore the things he likes and dislikes to help him find his path. He needs me to be his Mum.

I want to fill his little life with experiences he will remember always, days out, adventures, great family time together, things that will help him grow into the man he will eventually become. But what he also needs is the guiding hand of a parent, not the mischievous boundary pushing fun he can only get up to with his best friend.

I love the small boy to bits, it hurts a little bit to sit down and explain that I don’t want to be his best friend, I just want to be his best Mummy. Of course there is a lot of space for me being daft with him, rolling around on the floor, chasing him and his friends around the park, singing silly songs on the bus (sorry fellow passengers), but I am his Mummy first and foremost, not his best friend.

Oh, if you’re wondering who his best friend is….it’s his Daddy.

You're not my best friend

Mum? Mummy? Mama? Who are you?

We were at the playground last week and the small boy shouted “look at me Mama!” so I did, another playground Mum commented that he called me Mama, which I guess must be fairly unusual. He calls me lots of things, depending on who we’re with and where we are. Variously I am Mum, Mummy, Mama or Jane.

At home when it’s just our little family I’m usually Mama. I like being called Mama, he’s not quite four yet so it still makes me feel like the mother of a little one.

When we’re out, perhaps I’m picking him up from school I’m Mummy. He runs out of the classroom to hug my knee shouting “Mummy!”, invariably he also has a face full of smiles. Other people refer to me in front of him as Mummy, so that’s what he calls me when we’re out of the house, sometimes a “Mama” slips out though.

Sometimes I’m Mum. I don’t really like being called Mum. Technically that’s what I am, but it’s still too grown up for me, I’m not ready to be called Mum yet. He needs to be older before he calls me that I think.

And Jane, my own given name. He’s a cheeky monkey and sometimes when he’s shouting me he’ll shout “Jane”, partly this makes me chuckle, because it’s funny to hear my name come out of his little mouth, the other part of me corrects him. I think it’s good that he knows my name though, if he ever gets lost then as least he can tell people his Mama is called Jane I guess.

Then there’s that phrase I hate, “Yummy Mummy”, to me this conjures up such negative images. I think Yummy Mummy is just a horrible, bland thing to call someone, I certainly don’t want to ever be an identikit, cupcake making, perfect fembot; stalking playground in perfectly ironed capri-pants, an overly white smile and a fringe which is flicked just so.

My Mum asked me a few months ago if I was a “Yummy Mummy”, I snorted and said “God I hope not”, and I think I offended her. I’d rather have a personality, an attitude and some individuality than a twee label. I think that’s the best example this particular Mama can set our small boy. It’s ok to be different. In fact in this house it’s positively encouraged!

Yummy mummy