Being absolutely perfect at all times is utterly essential. Here’s how.
a day in the life of the perfect mother
Get up before everyone else, wearing a peignoir (I don’t know what it is either but I think it’s see-through and has feathery bits) and prepare a nutritious cooked breakfast, with precisely balanced portions containing the five food groups, essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins – for everyone.
Practise yoga for one hour.
Learn how to spell Pilates.
Exercise strenuously for another hour.
Shampoo and style hair of all household guinea pigs.
Shampoo, dye and style own hair, with something cheap from the supermarket, so it looks like it was done in a salon.
Cleanse, moisturise, tone. Neck cream, eye cream, elbow cream, foot cream, earlobe cream.
Foundation, powder, lipstick, mascara. Curl eyelashes, exercise pelvic-floor muscles, brush eyebrows, pluck nostril hair.
Wake adorable children. Read them the original Alice in Wonderland and engage them in absorbing, quiet activities that develop their brain while providing wholesome, low-key fun.
Dress children in comfortable imported Italian separates.
Wake husband up (get husband if haven’t got one) with firecracker sex, during which he is struck by uncanny resemblance of self to a young Michelle Pfeiffer, and save time by discussing the family financial situation during the afterglow.
Do hair and make-up again.
Dress quickly and deftly in very inexpensive clothes, designed and sewn by self, that look like designer-wear.
Reheat and serve breakfast.
Using a bar of antiseptic soap or a hard-bristled brush dipped in Pine-O-Cleen, scrub the poo off yesterday’s nappies or the gastro vomit from the crevice down back of couch.
Breastfeed a couple of children: yours if necessary.
Search organic vegetable garden for caterpillars and kill them by hand.
Make bark smoothie, post picture of self on social media looking thrilled with the idea of drinking it, wearing athleisure-wear.
Air the home thoroughly and hang four loads of washing out, well spaced on lines, in a stiff, warm breeze.
Make some Christmas presents out of raffia, driftwood and dried cannellini beans.
Give self manicure, including false nails.
Put youngest offspring down for the morning nap, making sure they all go to sleep instantly, at the same time of day, for precisely an hour and a half.
Weed, mulch, harvest, converse with plants.
Mosaic the garage wall as an artistic role model for next generation.
Buy or make presents for all husband’s relatives, write and send cards, and keep up with all gossip and concerns of older generation.
Iron sheets, towels and any lingerie bought this week.
Spend several hours’ quality time with the children involving new activities, age appropriate for each child, that exercise all aspects of their physical, mental and emotional development, and making each feel they have full attention of self.
Drive children to three or four different schools, child-care centres, relatives and sporting fixtures.
Shop for items needed by different members of the family.
Attend Pilates class.
Flirt with passing fireman.
Go to immensely fulfilling and undemanding part-time job that allows unlimited time off without warning for children’s illnesses and other needs, and pays as much as the average full-time (male) wage.
Shop locally for cheap, fresh, in-season, biodynamic foods, as foods are not in peak condition by the end of the week if only shop once, and will be own fault so must shop every day.
Read half of improving novel.
Listen to radio and read three daily newspapers to be well informed.
Discuss matters of state and global importance with friends who don’t have children so as to keep in touch with the Other World.
Adjust push-up bra.
Clean up sick.
Morning tea: nutritious, quick to prepare but not at all fattening, such as a polystyrene cup of raffia, driftwood and dried cannellini beans.
Browse homeware shops and buy throw-up-proof throws.
Update first-aid and foreign-language skills.
Inject poisons into forehead to pretend life hasn’t caused facial lines.
Have a philosophical discussion with a 3-year-old about what’s fair and what’s not, and win on logic.
You Time: why not try a round of golf or learn a new skill such as electrical engineering?
Practise tinkling girlish laugh.
Test drive a new, attractive car that’s practical for the whole family.
Lunch at small bistro; half carafe of wine.
Pick up brochures from travel agent.
Purchase something for self: jewellery or perfume; or perhaps one-bedroom unit on Hamilton Island.
Pick up children – on time – from various schools, child-care centres, relatives and sporting fixtures.
Rearrange children, including extras, and deliver them to new set of locations.
Go out for drink with promisingly useful work colleague.
Pick up children in car and have meaningful dialogue with each individually, paying particular attention to bonding, nuances of unspoken feelings, opportunities for a learning experience (for you and for them), their own special ways of listening and learning, with eye to making important decisions that will determine their entire future.
Use a spatula, some home-grown produce and some free-range cruelty-free sturgeon from your own slaughterhouse to fashion a nutritious and delicious meal that husband and children enjoy, to later be served, according to the needs of family members, at half-hour intervals from 5 until 7.30 p.m.
Go out to see a new Hollywood film.
Bathe children, paying special attention to individual needs, water restrictions and sibling fights involving pre-sharpened metal implements and sustained high-pitched shrieking.
Feed, water and question guinea pigs.
Greet husband, on his return from work, dressed in cling wrap and a strategically placed quince.
Play mind-expanding games or listen to radio with children in their freshly pressed pyjamas as you do not have television but only home cinema system used for educational purposes.
Teach children to read.
Give husband hand relief in laundry.
Give children dinner.
Eat own dinner – a small sprauncelet of fileted reef fish with a julienne of fresh, seasonal vegetables and a coulis of curly endive.
Discuss the Congo situation, with particular reference to Bavarian history.
Get felt-tip pen stains off bathroom ceiling with white vinegar and cream of tartar.
Do cryptic crossword.
Feed and water livestock.
Re-tune flat-screen TV with wooden spoon.
Put children to bed, each with different story.
Attend night classes in rowing.
Clean out school bags, catch up on handwritten, postal correspondence.
Wax bikini line and attach raffia merkin.
Unpack and wash lunch boxes.
Remember Bavaria no longer a country. Pore over atlas.
Sew name tags into each piece of clothing owned by offspring, including hats, socks, velvet capes and matching wands.
Accept phone calls from internationally recognised experts on child psychology.
Make set of queen-sized sheets with unbleached calico.
Check supplies of sun cream, Vegemite, clean towels, underpants, lunch boxes, children, garden implements, vases, soap and hot-glue guns. Make shopping list for tomorrow.
Pay bills, balance chequebook, pay credit card on time and compile tax records in three-ring binder.
Invite extended family to Christmas dinner.
Listen to relaxation tape.
Go to bed.
Get up, make school lunches for tomorrow.
Go back to bed, stare at ceiling, ask unanswerable questions.
Listen to a child somewhere vomiting.
Pleasure self with dustpan and brush.
There's lots more fun and practical, up-to-date actually useful advice, backed by experts, in the latest edition of Babies & Toddlers. You can see more in the book, available at your local book shop or online.
Copyright Kaz Cooke, from Babies & Toddlers.