Roisin Gorman’s open letter… on perfect parenting

‘Dial back on the perfect, Naomi. With the most awesome cheekbones, is it fair to have the most awesome baby too?’
Naomi Campbell appears on the cover of British Vogue’s March issue alongside her nine-month-old daughter

Naomi Campbell appears on the cover of British Vogue’s March issue alongside her nine-month-old daughter

Naomi Campbell hasn’t earned herself any mummy points. They’re like Tesco Clubcard points, but arbitrarily given and easily withdrawn at the first whiff of perfect parenting. The 51-year-old supermodel is currently gracing the cover and many pages of British Vogue with her, as yet, unnamed baby daughter. Presumably Naomi has named her but the information hasn’t been shared with the great unwashed because we’re too common to know. Campbell is extremely adept at keeping her privacy levels at ‘go away’, except when she’s in court when it’s open season. The one detail we do know about Baby C is that “she is not adopted — she is my child”, which ruffled some feathers among people who are adopted, but surely just means the child has a strong genetic chance of inheriting cheekbones you could hang an entire designer wardrobe on. There was clearly never a bump and the child’s origins are none of our business, but when it comes to celebrity babies, it’s a tell-all experience of number of stitches, your medical notes and a post-labour selfie. Remember when Beyoncé was accused of faking her pregnancy? Sometimes there just isn’t enough crazy in the world. Naomi got off to a shaky start in the mummy points when she announced the arrival of the anonymous child with “there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel. There is no greater love.” No one likes a gusher and that’s a geyser. Most new mothers get some leeway because they’re on the hormone rollercoaster, occasionally with open sores where their nipples used to be. It makes them immune to the eye-rolling from parents who long to point out they’re not the first person to have a baby. At the birth stage, Naomi’s hormones were still in stilettos and a push-up bra. Nine months in and the glam mum has told Vogue her mini-me is the biggest blessing, best thing she’s ever done, sleeps the clock round, hardly cries, and takes the jet-setting around Europe and across the Atlantic in her stride. A more typical experience would be my flight back from Menorca with a baby son who stopped crying when the plane started its descent. The flight attendant suggested a boiled sweet. It’s fabulous with a hint of churlishness to hear when other mums, dads and particularly their nannies are doing well, but Insta-perfect parenting is a myth. Babies are cute but also tiring, life-sapping and full of mysterious fluids which burst forth at the most inconvenient times. I might have crocheted my babies’ dinners from organic carrots, but I also struggled with all the things I was probably doing wrong. Should they be speaking Mandarin from the womb and aiming for the Olympic archery team? Did I do enough, did I do too much? Were there times when I should have stepped back or stepped in? The faultless child rearers do parents — genetic, adopted or otherwise — a disservice in a job for which most of us are, initially at least, entirely unqualified. When I hear parents extol the virtues of their flawless offspring, it sends me the other way. I’m tempted to share that the middle child has now decided to live in a skip, but at least they’re on the property ladder. I wish mummy Naomi well, but maybe dial back on the perfect. When you’ve got the world’s most awesome cheekbones, is it fair to have the most awesome baby too?

Today's Headlines

More Lifestyle

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices