Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'm a BAD blogger

Oh yeah, I have a blog I should post to!

I use the phrase, "I'm a BAD mom" with my kids all the time. It comes from a book I read many years ago. Unfortunately, I loaned it to a friend and it has disappeared, and of course I can't remember the name. It was about a study that was done in the 1960's and then again in the 1980's about women and their attitudes towards work, housework, motherhood, etc. I found it fascinating, especially the chapter titled, "The Myth of the Good Mother." Essentially, it explored American attitudes towards motherhood, in particular, what we consider a "good" mother and how our society supports women so they can achieve this ideal.

Basically, we can't.

There's a huge gap between what we say we expect a mother to do as a "good" mother, and the support that society gives women to acheive this goal.

So I have adopted this phrase. I use it when I'm going to allow the kids to do something they "shouldn't," like eat ice cream. I use it as a reason they can't do something they want to, like stay up really late (because then I'd be a BAD mom). I use it when I want to get out of something, like playing tedious games, or doing laundry. And it has given me a lot of freedom.

You see, when you realize there is no way on God's green earth to be the perfect "good" mom, you are free to do the best you can and chuck the rest. If the goal is unattainable, why even try to do the parts that you really hate? Accept that you are a BAD mom, and relax with the kids. Somehow, I think it makes me a better mom, after all.


Jill in MA said...

Yeah, I'm a bad mom, too. I try to be good at as much of it as I can, and I love that you just gave me a way to let go of the rest. Thanks!

Susan Z said...

I am definitely a member of that "bad mom society."