I read an article this morning that really got under my skin. You can read the irritating piece HERE or just let me sum it up for you:
Well-educated mother-of-three, Michele Weldon, has deemed a sense of humor about parenting detrimental to rearing children. In fact, she suspects that “cool moms” like Jill Smokler (Scary Mommy) and Nicole Knepper (Moms Who Drink and Swear) are likely to raise children who get in trouble for things like underage drinking. She also says that American moms have it so good that we shouldn’t complain. To prove it, she compared us to moms in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who are brutally raped and who have their clitorises cut off.
So here are my thoughts for Michele, in no particular order:
1. I’d like to take you out for a drink. You need to relax.
2. Because Jill, Nicole, and Reese Witherspoon don’t embody the kind of “motherhood in the Courtney Love/Britney Spears brand of alcohol-soaked anything goes” of which you write, I can’t help but wonder if you picked on three popular ladies for the sake of your SEO.
3. None of us are perfect; some of us just aren’t afraid to admit it.
4. There is a stark contrast between complaining about motherhood and being realistic about it. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and anyone who claims otherwise is either lying or comatose.
5. If it takes a village to raise a child, it must take an assistant professor of journalism at The Medill School of Northwestern University to dictate how.
6. Parents from all over the world submit their deepest, darkest fears and admissions anonymously to the Scary Mommy Confessional. The blanket of anonymity allows us to share more freely, but I wonder if it would be as necessary if other parents like you weren’t constantly passing judgement on the rest of us.
7. My husband and I are both teachers and we often lament over the steady decline of our students’ work ethics and lack of empathy. While I think you have a valid point that today’s parents need to step up their game, the ones who are articulating their experiences in writing aren’t necessarily the ones who deserve the bulls-eye on their backs. If we’re looking for a solution (and we are, aren’t we? I mean, we’re not just pointing fingers and brushing our shoulders off, right?), let’s start with the poverty levels and educational systems.
8. A friend of mine once asked what I’ll do when my kids discover the blog posts where I’ve discussed things like their failed potty training endeavors or how every Friday, like clockwork, my son would morph into demon spawn and make me want to take the bridge. I’ll tell you what I told my friend: I’ll have an honest conversation with my kids about how I was feeling at the time I wrote those things, explain that writing is cathartic, and then I’ll push a piece of paper and pen their way and say have at it.
9. There is an underlying current in your article that insinuates we who laugh at our mistakes do not love our children as much as you love yours, and that we don’t appreciate being a parent as much as you do. At first, that pissed me off. Now I just feel sorry for you because you must not be enjoying parenthood as much as I am.
10. You believe that “Kids deserve better from mothers. Mothers deserve better for themselves.” So what do Mothers deserve from other Mothers? We are behind the likes of Finland and Spain because those countries have a solid support system for mothers by other mothers. You are simply perpetuating the snarky Mom Competition that we need to move away from before we can progress as women or as a country.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I’m trying my best with my kids. I love them with all my heart, and I would do anything for them. Sometimes I stop what I’m doing and just stare at them because I can’t believe they were once in my belly or that I am blessed enough to raise them. It’s incredible. It’s indescribable.
Other days, I stop what I’m doing and just stare at them because I can’t friggin’ believe my daughter tried to bite her brother’s toes. Again. Or that my son bashed dents the size of my pores into the wall with his toy hammer. Those are the days where I take to my blog and use my sense of humor to deal with the chaos in my home. And if that puts me in your category of “dismissive approach to motherhood” so be it. I’d rather hang out with Jill and Nicole anyway.