The problem with the modern day mummy

Motherhood is complex. Insanely rewarding, yet exceptionally hard work at the same time.

It isn’t just the actual mothering that is complex though, it is the way we are perceived as mums as well. There is no longer a ‘typical mum’, or a simple definition of a mother. We are expected to be everything to everyone all of the time, to take on every role in our lives with ease.


Here come the critics

We are criticised no matter what arrangements we have as mothers and no matter what our work/life balance is.

Women who work full time away from the home are criticised for not being ‘proper’ mothers, criticised for prioritising work over their children, criticised for passing the reins of childcare and raising their children over to someone else – and asked the question, so why exactly did you have children then?

Women who work part time away from the home and care for their children for the remaining time are criticised for being part-time mothers and criticised for not being committed to their careers. Not praised for trying to find a balance, but criticised for not being ‘serious’ about either work or motherhood – and forced to respond to any questioning with the “…but I ‘only’ work part-time”.

Women who care for their children full time and are not in paid employment are criticised for being lazy, not providing for their families, not supporting equal rights, criticised for their lack of ‘contribution’ to the home, criticised for loosing themselves, their focus and any respect anyone ever had for them – and asked the question, so what exactly do you do all day?

Women who care for their children full time at home and work from home around the needs of their family suffer the comments of all the above mothers. These women are also criticised for ‘playing’ at work, calling their hobby their job, and an assumption is often made that these women do not ‘need’ to work and are simply looking for ways to keep themselves busy.

hair style

Lack of respect

There is little respect for any of these women. By men, by other women. Someone always has a criticism. A negative comment. An opinion they must voice.

People assume that these are always choices women have made themselves, not a result of the needs of their family or their particular situation.

It is of course possible that there are women out their who fit these stereotypes, but they are just that, stereotypes. They make no account of individual circumstance or what people have chosen to do and why.

We modern mummies are constantly told we can have it all, we are so ‘lucky’ that we get to be mothers and have a career.

family walk

Are we being realistic?

It’s not realistic and it’s setting up millions of women to feel like failures. The ones who look like they are everything all of the time must be like queen bees with lots of worker bees in the background, with their family and friends picking up the slack. The rest of us are just winging it and managing to do some of these things, some of the time.

I’m sure that every generation has its challenges. There are so many amazing things about being a modern day woman, things that I wouldn’t change, but there are some complex issues about being a modern day mummy that sometimes go missed.

As mothers we are told we have lots of ‘choices’ but really what we have are tough trade offs.

Nothing about modern motherhood is simple or easy.

What do you think?


  1. I think mothers can get a bad rep regardless of what they decide to do. However, I think you need to do what you feel right, as you know what your family needs.
    Personally, sometimes a stay at home mom becomes bored and frustrated with just having the house and kids to see too; it can also be horrible if you dont see others much. So, I believe working part time is perfect as it gives a rounded balance to the family.

  2. do you know what, what ever you do, whether you work, stay at home, ways you bring your children up, if you don’t do certain thing or do, do certain things you will be judge, there are very opinionated people out there who seem to think they have a right to tell every parent how to bring up their child. I work, but get told that i work to much and should be spending time with my child, its easy for them, they can afford to, but i need to work to give my daughter the things he needs, and have good birthdays and xmas. (rant over lol)

  3. There seems to be no happy medium
    What ever makes the family happy is the most important thing
    Can’t do right for doing wrong

    1. This is total garbage. Im italian but borne and raise in uk! My family holds on to our italian traditions because there the best!

      Only in the uk do people over analysis things that don’t matter! No one tells mums how to act/dress etc – it’s all in your head! You’re just making it up to get attention or whatever.

      The rest of the world gets on with being a mum. So A man and a woman get married, have some kids and raise them. Get a grip! Its not hard.

  4. I absolutely agree, I am a stay at home mum and I do feel like a failure, my children are told by various people that all mummy does is stay at home, I don’t bring in money and I don’t have a career, my husband works hard and pays the bills so in my children’s eyes he is amazing.. its a tough world and i fear it will only get tougher.

      1. There really isn’t . You should not let mums think that

        We all make our choices in this life. Either you work but dont have kids or your dont work and raise a family. But at the end of the day women are here to be mothers. When i say mothers i mean to actual children not dogs/furbaby’s !!

    1. You’re making that up. Who tells your kids that? I doubt it. Or your kids are lying or confused.

  5. I completely agree and its really difficult (especially as a first time parent) to not beat yourself up about what you are or are not doing. I still get a bit embarrassed when i tell people i stay at home with Mia all the time, I dont know why but i feel like people judge because i dont go to work however my friend who has to work full time, gets a bad rep for going to work so i dont think any parent can win!


  6. As long as you’re happy, your family is happy and things are working, it really isn’t anyone else’s business. It’s a shame we’re better at bringing each other down more than building each other up

  7. Do you know what, before I had kids I remember a lady in her sixties saying to me ‘I feel so sorry for mothers these days … it was so much simpler when mine were little.’

    I disagreed (and still do to an extent – I’m so happy there are many more options for women now!) but I do kind of see what she meant now. You can’t please everyone and it feels impossible at times x

  8. Happiness is the key to everything. Judgement comes and goes. The most important thing to remember is that family is priceless.

  9. It always seems to me that everyone expects modern moms to have a very specific parentsing style. As if we need to have a strong opinion one way or the other on every parenting decision, or we don’t care.
    The truth is that every mom is different, every baby is different, and every family is different. There’s nothing wrong with just figuring out what works best for your family!
    Us moms need to encourage each other, not criticize. We are creating a diversified next generation.

  10. I think Mum’s have a really hard time, as the kids want everything that other kids have, otherwise they get picked on at school, and as Mum’s we don’ want them to be bullied

  11. It is getting the right balance that fits in with your family. People have their opinions and if they put you down not worth the effort

  12. I am laughing at the idea of a mother working ‘part-time’. Motherhood is full-time no matter how you cut it! There are only so many hours in the day and everybody decides to allocate their time based on their own story. And at the end of the day, that’s down to the individual woman & her family- nobody else. I’m so tired of Mummy-Judging. We are so much stronger together! Great post and beautiful pictures! x

  13. Having been in all of these different scenarios as a mum I totally agree. When I wasn’t working and was a ‘stay at home mum’ people would think I have no substance. My house was immaculate though and I could always cook from scratch. Couldn’t afford to take kids on days trips and holidays though. As a part timer I was damn good at my job but would get looked past for promotions and good career opportunity. Now as a full timer I’m seeing career success but my house is a tip and those from scratch home cooked meals are no longer a regular thing. We can do the days and and holidays now though!
    Motherhood is a total trade off. I say do what makes yourself and your family happy.

    1. What did you expect though? You chose to have children so your life will change. You cant have it all!!

      Women have been having children since time started. It’s the most normal event ever but only in the uk is a huge deal made of it. I have Asian and black friends who are mums but they get on with it. It’s my english mum friends who moan!

      How is it women in uk cant look after 1-2 kids or keep up with housework, cook decent meals…but women of other ethnic groups /in the rest of the woman manage huge families and do housework and cooking from scratch hey? Plus there kids behave way better

      You dont know how easy you have here in uk!!!

  14. Totally agree with this being a mum now a days is bloody tough currently drowning in motherhood and part time work not feeling like I’m doing either any justice!!!!
    I would rather be at home 24/7 but unfortunately with money etc in this day in age I doubt that will ever be possible… on we plod ?

  15. I wrote something similar a while back as i jut coulrnt get my head round how we were supposed to be ‘doing it right’ theres no perect mother out there we are all just doing our best! Great post x

  16. I think we’re dammed if we do, dammed if we don’t! It’s important to be the mother that your family needs rather than the one society expects us to be. Being true to yourself and your own values is crucial. Great blog 🙂

  17. Such a relatable post! I was going to write an article on this particular subject especially since I’m a ‘stay at home’ mother too! Thanks for voicing what everyone is thinking.

  18. This is a very thought provoking post. I think us mums are going to get judged by someone no matter what we do. I’m a stay at home mum and often feel judged by mums who have careers, I don’t know if it’s just my insecurities about not being employed or if they do actually think I’m ‘lazy’ or whatever. Motherhood is challenging whatever way you do it, we all need to give each other a break xx #blogcrush

  19. Lovely post. Myself I believe that no job or anyone opinion will define which type of mother I am. I live in the moment and enjoy been a mother. I found people opinion superficial and I don’t relate to them.

  20. It is our generation’s greatest lie, you can have everything but maybe not all at once. I believed that if I built my career first and did things the right way round it would all be fine but it was not without challenges and the career stuff has suffered since becoming pregnant. I faced blatant pregnancy discrimination and my belief system has been so shaken now.

  21. Simple answer; don’t listen.

    People’s opinions are only that, and are either internet trolls or clearly misinformed. I have looked after our children when my wife has to go out for the day, and guess what; it’s hard work.

    They require a lot of attention, love, education, fun, and snacks, don’t forget the snacks.

    She stays at home with our two girls now but worked shift work full-time AND looked after our eldest when she got home. No time for herself or recovery from the madness – she didn’t even have time to sleep properly because of the shift work.

    Now I know not everyone’s situation is like her’s, but I only have the utmost respect for mothers everywhere, and you haven’t even brought up the myriad of other issues and complexities motherhood brings.

    Enjoyed the article, thank you.

  22. What a pity party. Who is saying these things to you? Who thinks them? Its all in your head. You can be any type of mummy you wanna be these days. So give it a rest! You obviously have lots of time to write that silly article SO YOUR not a busy mummy at all!

    1. 100% agree sir! I could have written that. No one thinks or says these things to them mums. There lying or making it up.

      In the uk it’s the most easier place to be a mum …free education, benefits system, free nursery hours, free this, free that and plenty of children protection (as it should be)…


      These mums still think they have it hard and cant even keep their houses clean or do home cooked meals! It’s down to laziness and poor planning.

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