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The perfect mum and why you've never met her

HER perfume catches you off guard.

You're not used to such sweet smells at this time of the morning.

The usual mix on the menu is spew, poo and some mashed concoction you forgot the ingredients of.

After wiping your baby's bottom for the third time in 45 minutes, you grabbed bub and co and ventured down the street to grab some groceries.

That's when she emerged in all her activewear glory.

Young mother running
Ah yes.. there she is. Looking all clean and sparkly. Halfpoint

With twins sitting sweetly in a double-decker pram - probably worth more than your entire furniture collection - she jogs by and offers a sparkly smile.

Suddenly your spaghetti-stained T and baggy trackies don't feel so comfortable.

You've heard of mums like this before. The ones that are never a second late to pick up their children from school or sport training. The ones who meet with others of their kind for coffee after an early morning workout each day. 

The ones who would not be caught dead feeding their child anything from a jar and make all their baby food from scratch: organic only.

The ones who still manage to get their hair done more than once a year and have dinner ready on the table for hubby when he comes home from work: kids bathed and fed.

The ones whose children don't cry in public, let alone sprint through the supermarket aisles pulling jars onto the floor as they go.

She is the perfect parent.

But there's a reason you've probably never met her... She doesn't exist.

No matter what it may look like on the outside, chances are there's another side to the coin you haven't seen.

And while the pressures continue to mount on parents to be perfect, even the experts are telling us to stop setting such ridiculously high standards.

Research by Omo as part of their Dirt is Good campaign revealed three in 10 parents felt pressured by other parents to be 'perfect'. 

And social media was one of the biggest factors with two in 10 listing it as a contributing pressure. 

Parenting educator Pam Nicholson from the Centre for Parenting Education said comparing yourself to other mums and dads was the number one no-no.

"Usually you are basing your conclusions on only a small piece of the whole picture," she says in her article The Myth of the Perfect Parent.

Here's to you, mummas!

"No matter how 'good' you think someone else may be at this demanding job of parenting, everyone will make mistakes along the way.

"Sometimes you are harder on yourself than is healthy or helpful."

So here's to ponytails and stained T-shirts. To messy lounge rooms and no make-up. To mushy food that comes in a squeezy pouch and washing piles that rival Mt Everest. 

Here's to all the mums and dads out there doing a stellar job, even when they don't feel they are.