Friday, July 3, 2009

Bad Mommy Wah Wah Wah

In Tablet, Marjorie Ingall (full disclosure: I know Marjorie) takes apart the faux-ness of the bad mommy movement and shows how the I'm-not-a-great-mom thing is just another pose. She writes:

"What is new is the notion of fake casualness. Now we’re supposed to be relaxed and real, but this unstudied-ness is, in fact, carefully studied. “Authenticity” is the operative buzzword. One trend in weddings is for low-key-seeming family-style fetes that actually cost as much as a more formal event. Clothing trends are bohemian and punk-influenced rather than overtly luxe, but they still come at price points that would make a real hippie have a seizure. Fashion mags talk about how much men love women who eat, and urge women to have dessert, but we’re still supposed to be a size two.

In other words, the standards women are held to are as high as ever. Now we’re not supposed to be self-negatingly child-centered, but our kids still have to come out brilliant, accomplished, and adorable. No wonder it’s easier to throw up your hands and call yourself “bad” than engage in debate about the impossibility of perfect goodness."

The new fake standards for moms don't anybody readjust the fundamentals of motherhood or, more importantly, re-evaluating our woeful infrastructure for new families in need. (This reminds me of the "breastfeeding sucks" kerfluffle Hanna Rosin and Judith Warner stoked a few months back.) The bottom line is you can bitch all you want about how bad a mom you are but what about the moms who struggle day in and day out to make sure there's food on the table and a roof over their heads? All that show-offy bitching not only doesn't help anyone, but it's still about being the coolest mommy of them all. Smells like teen spirit to me.....


mamele said...

thanks for the shout-out, robin!

Robin Aronson said...

Loved it!