Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh yay another study/article/survey/buzzfeed on mothering..

 Is it because it was just Mother's Day not too long ago - or the stars aligned -- or my own guilt about being sure I somehow should not care about these articles but do in some ways -- or just WTF?? At the same time one of my all time favorite movies, A Few Good Men,  has been on  - well I want to be all Colonel Jessup on behalf of all mothers out there.  That courtroom scene --never gets old.

About a year ago I rolled my eyes and in multiple languages told the author of the book about how her wonderful life in Paris made her observe how much better mothers are there ... yeah having been to Paris last year and to a park it seems that she must have found only the "perfectly coiffed" mothers because I found slightly rattled moms, moms that were yelling for and at their offspring just as much as here and no they were not sitting in lovely pencil skirts cross ankled holding a cigarette.  They were dressed in very chic clothes but then again so are many of the moms around my neighborhood and in the city - not sure that has any impact on the motherhood part but it sure made me want to go shopping.  

Then I had to deal with Tiger Mother vs Whatever animal is not Tiger Mother - you know because that author had to tell all of us how much better her offspring were - hope so because my only takeaway was that she had some serious need of therapy control issues and if her offspring were Zooming Tigers good because I was happy with my Puppies.  I mean some of her methods I just wanted to say "hmm really?" and that worked for you -- but then again her whole point who cares how it felt to the kid as long as the As kept a coming. 

Sure enough as that died down there was the famous Helicopter mother issue -- because even if you somehow upgrade your wardrobe to the French mothers, mastered the art of cold pushing your kids to only excel only only!!!! you know in your best impression of Jack Nicholson on the stand in a Few Good Men "You need me at that homework table - you want me at that homework table" or Code Red it is for you.  Well now you seem to swoop down and somehow negate all of the above, careful swooping in pencil skirt ...rip just sayin'.  You come down at odd times and you again are not the "mother" that you could, should be.

Of course then there are the nasty in disguise as "funny" mother articles floating around -- What kind of sideline sports mother are you -- yeah all of them faulted, you were either too into the game, the Tiger Mother above, the French mother who was way too nicely dressed for said sporting event, the social with other mothers, the of course I know that you are on your phone therefore I can judge you mother, etc.... Nowhere in that article was the I am tired - I am thrilled I made it for any part of a game I truly have no interest in - cheering on child whose greatest athletic ability seems to be the art of successfully dropping items of clothes throughout house in what appears to be a pattern (and you thought Curling was odd) - and yes I am checking my phone for work or pleasure because my time is not really my own ever.  

Now of course there is the Tiger Mother vs European American mother - what does that even mean because here is shocker... Europeans are different nations with different types of parenting .. oooh facts are so annoying.  I mean people actually pay for these studies ??? 

I am all of these and none of these and sometimes both at the same time.  Does that make me a Helicopter Flying Tiger with Kitten Heels European American mother?  Boy that sure sounds like my kids will need therapy.  I am totally not perfect and no I am not thrilled to be in mud on a Saturday to watch what is a really boring game of baseball but I am there and my kids appreciate it because they know this is not my favorite thing to do.  I am the mother who learns from other mothers in my friends circle, who goes out and drinks and laughs at the inappropriate things with those same women, who have subjects besides our kids and who get the hug they need from one another when a week has been too harrowing and stressful.  I am the torpedo mother who will knock you out should there be a chance you are going to harm my child.  The mother with an opinion to share with my kids while telling them to build their own.

I wish I could say I am over these articles.  I know that I am not.  If there is a nugget I can gleam from all of them is that it appears that no matter how far we come ladies the art of raising children is expected and judged of us.  There is a peace and power in knowing that for me for the children that I have and their friends are the adults in training that I am glad to see in my future.  Maybe though just for once I want to see a study with a woman whose underwear elastic maybe is frayed and creeping down her jeans, who picks up socks and drops the f bomb once in a while, who doesn't make every event or does -- again in the words of Colonel Jessup (Jack) in a Few Good Men  I would like to say for A Lot of Great Mothers version -  "I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a child, and mother!!!"



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