But, you know what? Who cares? We all know you can’t judge a mum till you’ve walked a mile in her shoes. And I am definitely a mum who walks in sensible flats. Flats Mummy, if you will.
Yet in moments of doubt or crisis, when I’m feeling-down-at-heel, I find myself fantasising about a whole new me. A mum who takes this parenting business in her stride: Enter Heeled Mummy.
Heeled Mummy’s children always look scrubbed. It’s as if they’re wipe-clean, water-repellent, Teflon-coated.
Meanwhile, Flats Mummy’s children have been known to trash a freshly-laundered outfit in the few metres between the front door and the car. Mud and crumbs magnetise to them like iron filings. Her kids hair – in my personal experience – is always on the frizzy side of curly.
`When Heeled Mummy is out and about, her family march behind her, in time with her rhythmic clip-clop. No diving into puddles for them. No tripping over or crouching to pick worms from pavement cracks.
Poor Flats Mummy is a walking oxymoron: she’s never actually on the flat. She’s halfway up a slide, pushing a buggy up a hill or bouncing on a trampoline. TBH, she’s lucky she’s not in wellies.
Naturally, Heeled Mummy keeps an immaculate house. Her shoe cupboard is her house in microcosm. Shoes are in racks, the more expensive pairs cosseted in cloth bags or Heeled Mum’s pride and joy: perspex boxes labelled with Polaroid shots of the shoes inside.
Poor Flats Mum’s shoes are kicked under the bed. She’s normally in Uggs, cos they double as slippers, and give her the edge on Heeled Mummy when it comes to ‘blitzing’ the house. But despite Flats Mummy’s amazing speed, she’s always on the back foot.
Heeled Mummy has not let motherhood change her. She still enjoys regular date nights with her husband and can hold intelligent conversations about things outside the family. She has regular hair cuts, even the occasional blow dry, and knows her beauty therapist by name. When she’s out, Heeled Mum takes things to even greater heights – she wouldn’t be seen dead in less than six inches.
Flats Mum takes ‘day into night’ wear to new levels; she’s never out of her pjs unless she’s leaving the house and when it comes to evening wear, she just about manages to throw a scarf over offending stains and ‘dry shampoo’ her hair. She does own a pair of heels, but can only find one of them. Besides, she’s late and she can’t run in them.
Heeled Mum manages to make heels look empowering – she refuses to let age-old sexism get in the way of her right to work a sexy pair of stilettos. Heels make her groomed and in-control. A bit of extra height puts a spring in her step. She’s the sort of woman who makes those in flats look like quitters.
Flats Mum has always been a tiny bit suspicious of heels anyway. Since she’s had a little girl, she’s started worrying about things like wearing pink and the long history of patriarchy tied up with stilettos… surely just one step away from foot binding? Heels don’t make her look powerful any more. They slow her down and make her walk like a child in dressing up clothes. And they’re bloody difficult to step over Lego in.
Oh, Heeled Mummy – how I look up to you. One day I will run across a park without my heels sinking into the grass. One day I’ll work the school run on a pinprick heel. One day, Heeled Mummy, I will walk in your shoes…