Well, it’s about damn time.
It appears as though, FINALLY, parents are rebelling against this new fangled idea of “perfect parenting” and just saying screw it, we’re doing the best we can – so leave us the hell alone about it. I just delighted when reading this article at Salon about a new slew of books being published by parents who are just openly admitting that they can’t or won’t conform to the modern American version of parenting.
In Ayelet Waldman’s new book, Bad Mother a Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamaties, and Occasional Moments of Grace , she talks about how failing to try to do everything by the book will put you in the dreaded “Bad Mother” category. Here is a little excerpt from an interview with her.
Q: What is your definition of a good mother?
AW: As one of my interview subjects said, “A Good Mother remembers to serve fruit at breakfast, is always cheerful and never yells, manages not to project her own neuroses and inadequacies onto her children, is an active and beloved community volunteer. She remembers to make playdates, her children’s clothes fit, she does art projects with them and enjoys all their games. And she is never too tired for sex.”
Q: Okay, so what do you consider the responsible, attainable ideal of a modern mother?
AW: One who loves her kids and does her level best not to damage them in any permanent way. A good mother doesn’t let herself be overcome by guilt when she screws up.
First of all *RANT ALERT*, I like this idea because I, being a mother (and newly single mom) of two young boys detest the way mothers judge each other over insane little things like breast-feeding, sugar intake, television time, and the mack daddy of all issues – the working mom vs. stay at home mom debate. Oy Vey. By today’s standards I am probably not a bad mother, but a horrible one. I work full time with a long commute. I detest housework. I have never tracked a bowel movement. I sometimes swing into Mickey D’s instead of preparing a nutritional dinner. I forget to give my 9 year old son his ADHD medication. I give my son ADHD medication. I yell, hell sometimes I scream! I secretly rejoice when soccer practice is rained out. I am not good at matching socks. I get annoyed that every freaking activity your kid is in has to have a “snack schedule”, and I don’t really understand why today’s child needs a fucking snack for every freaking thing they do. I do horror movie night every Friday night with my boys, and sometimes there are curse words and usually always gratuitous violence involved. and I HATE, and I mean I REALLY hate the word playdate. Aside from all that, I know I am still a good mom. I do what I’m supposed to do, and I teach them well. Most of all I love them more than I can stand, and they know I am their number one fan and that I will always be there when they need me. I love being a mom, and I do the best that I can for me being me. I’m glad people like Ayelet Waldman are standing up and saying the same thing!
Ayelet Waldman, if you recall, is the woman who was raked over the coals for saying on Oprah that she loved her husband more than her kids. I think what she was saying was that she didn’t want her life to revolve around her children, that she wanted to be herself, a woman, a wife, and not just a mother. I can see why the way she phrased it rubbed some people the wrong way, but I give her kudos for having the balls to say it, especially on Oprah…whoa. I dunno how she made it out of there alive.
Other interesting titles include True Mom Confessions: Real Moms Get Real by Romi Lassaly and Most Popular Mommy blogger Heather Armstrong aka Dooce’s book It Sucked and then I cried: How I had a baby, A Breakdown, and A Much Needed Margarita.