Man, people are throwing shade at me lately. What the hell world, I am just a mild-mannered mom who more than anything wants to bring back kitten sweaters and banana pudding recipes. This recent chiding comes from Salon magazine, where Elissa Strauss writes an article entitled :The tyranny of the “bad mother”: Slacker moms are just as intimidating as perfect ones. Not only does Bad Mom Advice get a finger pointed at it, but also my running crew which consists of STFU Parents and Scary Mommy (who I don’t really know, but seems SO NICE you guys) and my ex-employer Jane Pratt, who I have teased a few times about her “worst mom in the world” nickname. Truth: she isn’t, she loves her daughter Charlotte deeply and I would say she is a pretty damn good mom.
What I assume we all have in common is that we aren’t afraid of the less than Pinterest-worthy moments of parenting, in which there are plenty. Blair from STFU can be excluded from this list because she doesn’t have kids yet, but STFU was born because I think most moms are sick of the humble bragging #blessed and #Beingamom posts we see on Facebook. I don’t call myself a bad mom in order to brag about how naughty I am, I call myself a bad mom as a way to relate to other moms who feel less than perfect because that’s the reality of life and parenting, and it makes me feel less alone.
The issue with all this bad mothering, besides the culture of reverse bullying it has created, is that it doesn’t do much to undo the good mother myth that it was set up to squash in the first place.