Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Definition of 'Smug'

Hello, how was your weekend? Mine was fairly uneventful, though we did manage to go out for dinner as a family-of-four for the very first time! It was hardly 5-star; we just went to GPK and had pizza but the restaurant is very family friendly and offered crayons, an activity book and some dough for Fern to play with while we waited for dinner. Straps for that, GPK! I also managed my very first swim since having Elliott. I used to love my weekly lazy kilometre in the pool and it was pure bliss to have that half hour to myself without babies and toddlers and husbands and LIFE in my ear.

This morning, I thought I'd share with you something I contemplated somewhat tongue in cheek over the weekend... and that is a concept I'm calling mothery smugness. Yes folks, I didn't know the meaning of smug until I became a mother. But if you were to look up 'smug' in the dictionary I think it just might have my name on it.

Case Study: It's 12pm on Saturday and as I weave my way through the packed food court of my local shopping centre with a baby strapped to my chest and a toddler under my arm I notice the McDonalds queue -- as wide as it is deep. Stray nuggets, empty coke cups and rogue fries litter every available table surface as harried mothers placate their offspring with greasy salty Mc-happiness. And I? I saunter straight past the McDonalds queue and over to the Sushi bar, where I jostle for position amongst the brown-rice-scarfing-gym-set and order way too many cooked tuna and avocado rolls for Ferny and I. "Sushu!" exclaims my toddler, clapping her hands in excitement. Yes folks, my daughter eats - hell inhales - sushi. And I can't help but feel a tiny bit smug about it. I'm not a health food Nazi, exactly. But I do pride myself in offering my daughter fresh food. And I am so proud that I don't have to bribe my daughter with donuts and candy bars and chips when I'm out shopping... some sushi and a packet of sultanas works just as well for us! And I can't tell you what a kick I get out of witnessing my daughter eat Sushi. I didn't even learn to love sushi until I was in my 20's! Yup, I'm a smug mummy, alright!!

And I'm wondering, is it shameful to feel so smug about something so petty? Or are we entitled as mothers to a bit of secret pride in achieving some of the values that we hold important?

What about you? Are you a smug mummy too? Do you get a perverse sense of satisfaction in the change rooms, whipping out your cloth nappies in a sea of disposables? Do you hide a smile behind your hand in restaurants when you hear women begging to use the microwave to sterilise their baby bottle as you breastfeed your baby? Come on, be honest! What makes YOU a little smug??


  1. People often tell me that I have such well behaved children....and I think that that definitely calls for a spot of smugness!! I watch other peoples kids running amock and disobeying their parents....and then think to myself "my kids would never do that!" Haha! Of course they aren't well behaved all the time...but most of the time they are!!

  2. I'm with you Nicole...though I don't love the idea of the word "smug" I must admit. :) I think it's more about being proud of our journey that makes me smile. The Bebito eats really healthy food. I am really against sugary foods in particular and he had no sugary food at all (beyond that which occurs naturally in food) for his first 18 months and it's only a special treat now. It shouldn't be the norm to eat cake and biscuits every day after all. We don't and nor should he. When I see him preferring those types of foods over others I do feel a tad self-satisfied. I also have ridden out the fussy eating periods with positivity and reinforcement and refuse to succumb to the demands of only eating (home made) hot chips that occurred for a while. I don't think it's easy to ride things out consistently which is what makes me proud of the way our little boy eats. It's a result of hard work and consistency around here.

    And Raewyn, I think it's exactly the same as being disciplined with your kids. On days like today when I'm dealing with tantrum number 7 over him not getting his own way I realise that it's because I don't give in to him all the time when I've already said, "no" that he behaves himself in public by listening to us and not running away etc.


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