Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s time for installment number three in a series I affectionately call ‘A Mother’s Love.’ If you’ve read this series for the past couple of years, or you’ve seen any of the cheesy “ads” that describe the way mothers feel specifically about their sons, then you already know what I’m talking about. Take this viral message, for example, which has been recreated dozens of times with different fonts and images, yet always retains its saccharine mom appeal:
I’m not sure what happens to women once they give birth to boys, but it’s like as soon as the baby arrives you’ll hear a mom say, “Love my boy!” or “Love my boys!” I know it’s sweet, sincere, and announced with the best intentions, but the way it’s said, you’d think there was a ‘moms with little boys’ cult out there. Not just a club, where members nosh on tea cookies and sip lemonade while their sons play soccer in the yard, but a cult in which mothers worship at the altar of their baby boys — complete with chanting, voodoo (against their sons’ future love interests), and maybe even a sweat lodge.
Or, maybe it IS a club, but the club itself is as clichéd as the message about “loving my boys.”
The word “kinda” lingers in this near-haiku, taking the love note from “cute” to “oddly flirtatious.” Of course, I don’t actually think anyone in the Hot Moms Club® is sharing this post for any inappropriate reason, but why not just say, “He stole my heart.”? Everyone knows kids don’t do anything half-assed. They don’t “kinda” poop in the bath, and they don’t “kinda” steal your heart. The reason notes like this are interpreted as creepy is because they’re written the way one writes about romantic love. It’s almost worse than grown women talking about “the boys” they met at a bar (who are over 40). There’s an element of infantalization that makes me slightly uncomfortable. In the case of mothers and their “boys,” moms talk about their sons as their “true loves” and “boyfriends” with whom they go on “dates,” and it can all be a bit much for the average Facebook friend.
It’s also jarring when mothers talk about “rules for dating their sons,” speaking to/about some future woman (always a woman!) who’s going to “steal his heart” — not from him, but from his mom, the Heart Keeper. These notes are often misogynistic and slut-shame-y, which adds to the overall possessive vibe, but mothers share them on Facebook like the notes were written just for them. It’s disturbing that so many women connected to this list in particular:
Hey moms of boys, is this note classic or what? What a hilarious way to perpetuate the stereotypes that women are gold-digging, desperate, “scantily clad” whores — until, of course, they become the best mommies ever to the cutest little boys in the world, which inevitably leads to them becoming “monster”-in-laws to future money-grubbing trollops. (You know how it is: Men make all the money, and women spend it on their slutty lifestyles! It’s an unavoidable cycle because men are from Mars and women are from Venus.)
With all of these poetic lessons and descriptions of overflowing love in mind, here are this year’s examples of “a mother’s love,” as seen on Facebook:
1. *Annoying Signatures*
Pirate speak saves almost any type of status update from being taken too seriously, which is helpful considering Cap’n Tania’s got it bad for her little Leonidus. She’s soooo in love that she uses the tag *Just me & Leo* in every.single.update. she writes. It’s her posting signature, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So, like, if it bothers you, put on an eye patch or something, matey! ♥
2. Human Barf Rag = Mom Love
Sometimes being a parent means defining love in gross terms. It’s “love” if you wear a baby’s vomit, or blow dry a pee leak the size of a dinner plate on bedsheets, because a mother’s love extends to bodily fluids. And while I think everyone can agree that definition of motherhood is accurate, there’s no need for moms to pin merit badges on their cardigans via humblebrags about how deep that love goes. It just creates a ripple effect of compare and contrast stories, like if mompetitions involved slinging tales about mouth vomit and poop-covered walls. No thanks.
Parents: We all know how much you love your children. You’d give them the world if you could, wipe their assholes with your bare hands, and kiss away their boogers if it meant they were happy. That is indeed an intense and profound version of love — but trust me, you can keep the “proof” to yourselves.
“You’re welcome.” ::shudder:: The more those words resonate in my head, the ickier I feel. In case you’re confused about what you’re looking at, this is a photo chart that shows Mollie’s sons on the left, and two “hot guys” she thinks they’re going to look like one day on the right. Granted, I much prefer this attitude to the “Rules About Dating My Son” aficionados, because at least Mollie is envisioning a future in which her sons take someone other than her to prom, but offering them up in this way is still a little sleazy. We get it, Mollie, you think your toddler-aged sons are smokin’ hot. Now please never make this joke again.
4. Gold Star Comment Appreciation
Sometimes moms don’t write mushy sentiments, or make proclamations about puke-soaked love, or pimp out their sons before they can tie their shoes. They just state their love simply. But sometimes the virtuous reason for this (that a mother is so smitten with her baby, she just has to shout it out loud!) is not necessarily enough to warrant a status update. What are people supposed to say in response? “Congratulations”? “Duh”? “Then why don’t you marry him?”? (No, not that one.) I suppose you can just “Like” the post, as nearly 50 people did — but I appreciate S.’s approach, which assumes that C. musthave a whole lifetime of love and support to give. Parenthood, am I right?? It lasts forever. There’s nothing wrong with a mother acknowledging her love for her son within reason, but perhaps moms could keep in mind that their friends have already gotten the memo. Especially on Valentine’s Day.