It seems that proclaiming to be a mother who sucks has become the social norm. At least among bloggers. Oh, and TV shows.
There is a “mother debate,” spurred by an article by Rebecca Eckler, I’m Leaving My 10-Week Old To Go On Vacation, a mother, author and blogger, who left her 10-week infant (with trustworthy people watching him) while she vacationed in Mexico.
The question is not really about “should you or shouldn’t you leave your 10-week infant while you vacation.” I mean, to each her own.
I think the REAL debate is about our society’s downgrading of motherhood. Our culture seems to glorify mothers who, well, mothers who suck. And proclaiming to be a mother who sucks is now socially (social media) acceptable. To get viewers? To get blogger readers? To get Twitter followers?
To me, it seems like our societal motherhood bar is getting lower. Much like how the U.S. education system teaches to the “Lowest Common Denominator.”
@TheMamamash, got me thinking with her tweet: “I’m all for being realistic about parenting, but it seems like some blogs are getting dangerously close to glorifying truly shitty parents.”
Yeah, putting shitty parents on shiny pedestals.
But how can I pass judgment on other mothers? I can’t. What are my credentials? I never took any child psychology or early childhood education classes. All I know is I am doing my best to love and mother my children the best that I can. And I admit, the bar is kinda high.
We all suck sometimes. And as Mommy bloggers, we self-deprecate and tell stories about our weaknesses because we are genuine and true, and we think we are a little bit funny. But like @TheMamamash, I too, prickle when I see blogs by authors who claim I’m A Mother Who Sucks and I’m Proud of It.
- @TheMamamash tweeted, “When you’re a good mother, you care when you’re not.”
- @Dalrie tweeted, “When you’re a good mother you always try and do better.”
I care. Yeah, I probably care too much. And yeah, that doesn’t make for an interesting read. Sorry. Check out what Alison has to say about this, in her post How to Go Viral.
Oh and by the way, when my first infant was 10 weeks old, I could barely leave him alone for two hours with Nana while showered or ran an errand, or maybe went jogging. See, I couldn’t leave. I had the loving-every-minute-of-being-with-my-infant-that-it-was-hard-to-leave feeling. I also had the guilt. Oh and the lactating breasts. If I WERE given the opportunity to travel to Mexico when my infant was 10 weeks old, I would probably loathe the way I looked–all haggard and heavy with my post-baby weight–squeezed into a one-piece and sarong. P.S. I got a puppy this summer and can barely stand to leave him alone for more than a few hours. #yeahthat
I did travel on a three-day business trip when my baby was 10 MONTHS old. I had to do a milking marathon in advance of the trip: pack and freeze. And in between meetings, I would pump-and-dump. I wore a fake face in the meetings, pretending that my heart and breasts didn’t ache and feel bruised.
I agree that there is a problem, too, with setting the motherhood bar too high. Those of us who do this, know who we are. Who wants to be a failure?
Alas, the motherhood bar. Not too high. Not too low. How about silver medal high?