What’s With The Crappy Mom Contest?

I’ve written in the past about the emergence of the Mommy Wars.  Well, actually the Mommy Wars have been around for years, it’s not like it has just shown up out of the blue like a surprise visit from your Mother-in-Law.  It keeps renewing, regurgitating and emerging in different ways.  It’s Stay at Home Moms vs. Working Moms, Formula Fed vs. Breast, Cry it Out vs. Attachment Parenting, Tiger vs. Free-range vs. Helicopter Moms and on and on.  The Mommy Wars have probably been around since the dawn of time.  I can envision cave mommies grunting about their cave neighbors letting their little cave baby too close to the wild beasts or something of the sort.

The Mommy Wars are really an extension of the War on Women.  Gender expectations, motherly roles to fill, Sandra Fluke, yadda yadda, you’ve heard this before.

So in light of the ongoing Mommy Wars and it’s most recent wave, it seems to be bringing on a new emergence of the Crappiest Mom Contest.  What pray tell is this you ask?  You’ve probably seen it: blogs upon blogs, articles etc on how the writer is not only a struggling mom, but a crappy mom, and proud enough about it to shout it from the blog tops.

A few months ago I wrote a blog, Why I can‘t Enjoy Every Moment, on the hardships of being a mom and how yeah, sometimes I just am not really having a blast while I’m stuck at home doing my motherly duties.  It’s not easy, it’s not glamorous, it’s hard, it’s frustrating, and yes, we do and it’s okay to cut corners and make mistakes.  Now in an effort to reject the Mommy Wars so hard, it’s gone beyond that, and I keep seeing post after post in a mad dash to the crappy mom trophy, moms clawing their way to the top with bells on their toes, proud of their crap mothering.  Moms giving their kids Benadryl so they can sleep, defending the idea that smoking pot is okay while caring for their children, swooning over the fact that they’re horrible to their kids, the list goes on.  I’m a crappy mom and proud of it, give me a medal or a cookie, or a joint.  I mean there’s gotta be a line folks.  Sorry, now I’m doing what I think no mom should be subjected to.  Yes, I’m starting to judge you.  And I hate to.  But can’t there be an in-between mode?  Somewhere between super mom and shitty mom?  Somewhere between creating the Vontrapp children and bragging about things that ought to cause child protective services to make a B-line to your house?

I’m not anywhere near perfect and sometimes I let my kids eat in front of the TV or drink more than the recommended ounces of juice a day, but come on moms, being free to admit motherhood is hard and that we can’t be perfect and yes mistakes are made, shouldn’t be a jubilant opportunity to nominate yourself to the head of the crappy mom committee, reveling in all your glory.

I always tell my kids to do their best.  Do your best in school, do your best when trying to finish dinner or building a tall tower, or when interacting with their siblings.  They don’t have to color in-between the lines, or think inside the box, all I ask of them is that they be the best that they can be.  I think some moms need to take that same advice.  How would you feel if your kids were not only being their worst, but high-fiving their buddies on the playground in celebration over their crappy behavior?  Yay, I’m naughty, and that makes me cool!  Parenting is the hardest thing in the world, and you’re sure to make mistakes along the way.  Moms, You don’t even have to stay inside the box either, but I’m not sure how it became so cool to do bad things and high five other moms while doing them.  Please just try to do your best, and that is something you can be proud of.  And if you are telling me that you can’t parent your kids without doing something illegal or abusive or dangerous, then you are kidding yourself and need a reality check ASAP.

One last thought.  The Benadryl is the one that really gets me.  How do you think you’d react if your kid put medication (Benadryl) in your coffee cup so they could do whatever they wanted to, parent free?  Even if it’s a joke, I don’t see how this is funny.  You have to know this is horriffic and dangerous, right?!  I think sometimes people forget that kids are humans, not just this robot burden they are responsible for.

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5 responses to “What’s With The Crappy Mom Contest?

  1. I’m with you. Can’t seem to wrap my mind around this trend of highlighting “crappy mom” behavior. It’s one thing to admit that you are struggling as a mother, but it is something different altogether to showcase negligent parenting. As for the Benadryl incident, it is truly horrific and inexcusable.

    • yes, I’m not criticizing struggling parents at all, parenting is hard, and nobody is perfect, but yes, the negligence is something altogether different.

  2. TV is glorifying teen moms, so why not crappy moms?

  3. Not being June Cleaver by letting kids run around in pajamas all day on occasion or letting them eat cookies for dinner so you can watch Dr Phil in peace…far cry from dosing a child with medication he doesn’t need. Didn’t a babysitter go to jail for that? The strawberry Benadryl milk daycare lady? If it’s a felony for the babysitter, I’m guessing it’s a mommy no-no

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