You know how those parenting magazines have all this advice on how to be a perfect mom? Except they’re really clever and say it’s how to be a “not-so-perfect” mom, when in fact their version of the not perfect mom is like Donna Reed occasionally leaving off the pearl necklace while she vacuums? Meanwhile I’m just thinking – people vacuum?
Or here’s another fun one. How about when they have a celebrity talk about the “trials” of being a mom? I love that one! I mean, I’m sure it’s really hard for Angelina Jolie, what with the nannies, the household staff, and, oh yeah, the bazillions of dollars. And how did she ever manage to get into shape so quickly? Was it having a dietician, personal trainer and plastic surgeon on hand? Noooo. It was hard work, people! She knows how to sweat unlike you lazy bums. In fact, lately she has sweated so much that she resembles a skeleton from one of those fright houses on Halloween. See page 25 for how you can too.
There are also tips on how to feed your children properly. None of that prepackaged food, people. It’s loaded with preservatives, added salt, and anthrax. I might have misread that last one. Anyway, you can’t be too careful. You need fruits and veggies, but not just any fruits and veggies. They had better be organic. And don’t think you can get away with fruit juice, slackers. Remember the apple juice scare Dr. Oz (he was on Oprah so you know he is totally legit) talked about? Apparently those cute apple juice boxes some slackers send their children with in their lunches everyday actually contained high levels of arsenic. Yeah, I don’t remember it either. I just found that article, and it was from a year ago. That’s how on top of things I am as a parent.
There’s also advice on how to punish junior, although it’s not punishment, people; it’s discipline. Like how your company isn’t firing workers, it’s just reorganizing without including certain people. There are right and wrong ways to discipline a child. Never, ever, should you yell, even if you find out your child has decided, with the help of a partner in crime, to coat herself and half the room in Noxema. I think the “time out” is currently in vogue. This is where you tie your child to a chair and have him sit a minute for every year he is in age. It works with husbands, too. When my husband, say, leaves his power drill on the kitchen table again, I just put him in time out for thirty-nine minutes. So far he’s just sat and read a car magazine, so I don’t think it’s getting through to him. I might have to try another tactic.
Then there’s the good natured debate of the stay-at-home mom versus the working mom. I love how they act like most moms are wealthy enough to make this decision themselves, rather than having it decided for them by a little something called economics. Many moms work because they like having stuff more than their children. You know, stuff like food. And some moms stay at home with their kids because they have no ambition. You know, the ambition to work hard and pay every cent to daycare. That was my situation for a while. I figured if I wasn’t making any money anyway, I might as well stay home. Because if anyone was going to screw my kids up, it might as well be me. Later, my mother, who is probably regretting this by now, volunteered to help watch my kids for free. At that point, I was willing to pay someone else to let me work for them.
So that is why I stopped reading parenting literature and became a REAL slacker mom. My kids still love me anyway. Because they don’t watch Donna Reed or Leave it to Beaver. They watch the parents on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon who, if they exist, are all morons. I look incredibly awesome in comparison.
Best post ever. And I no longer read any of it either. I’m actually fairly convinced that all of the crap the “experts” tell us do mostly just teaches us how to infantilize our children so that they are 27 and still entirely emotionally and financially dependent…
Meanwhile, I really want someone to put me in a time-out so I can catch up on my reading…
Me too. There’s also the possibilities of nap time.
I think the thing in that What to Expect book that drove me the craziest was the idea of making a fruit sweetened cake for a baby’s first birthday. Hey, it’s the kid’s damn birthday. They have a right, nay, an obligation to freaking eat chocolate cake and icing!
I gave up the notion of being a perfect mom long before I had a child and have settled for the occasionally-not-too-bad mom.
I’ve found it’s always better for me to set the bar low. Then I surpass my expectations. Usually.
Yes, my goal is to make sure my kids survive my parenting until they are 18. That is as low as I could set the bar for myself 🙂
Survival is always a great goal. I just saw this comment, sorry. 😀
LOL, no problem.
My version of being a good mum is if my kid is being impossible, I use a playpen. Once he calms down, I come out. If my kid is fed, watered, relatively clean and doesn’t whine more than a couple of times an hour, I figure I’m okay.
A playpen? You mean a baby cage???? Just kidding. I used one too. I figure it’s only actually a cage if you put it over the kid upside down. Not that I ever did that. That’s what the dog kennel was for.
You have to be one of the best moms I’ve ever read. I haven’t ever been a mom, just a nanny to two girls I claim as my own, so it was exactly like having children, except I was getting paid (a very little, but I still say a would have entered into indentured servitude to be with my Babygirl, and I love them both as “mine”), I got to sleep at night (except I often went to bars instead), I didn’t have to cook or clean (well, okay now, you cannot be responsible for a child without doing a whole lot of cleaning, and even occasionally cooking), and. . . um. . .
In any case, I have seen parenting from an angle pretty much no one gets to, because a) I was spending the majority of these girls’ waking hours with them in their most formative years, so in many ways I was the primary caregiver, b) I was a good friend before I was a nanny, and c) I became this sort of odd living fixture in the homes (my girls are not from one family, and they are related by only one thing, which is me), to the point where the parents pretty much forgot I was around. Not in a mean way, but they parented honestly around me like any parent has a hard time doing 100% with someone other than their spouse in the room.
My long-winded point is that I have seen intimately two mothers who differ somewhat in their approach, but they are both splendid moms. And this is because, not in spite of the fact that they totally are slacker moms in so many ways. And so was I, for the record. And between us we have managed to raise up some effing amazing kidlets.
Thanks so much! Most of what I write is long winded, lol. A Nanny is in many ways a mother. I worked at a daycare for a short time, so I was only there during the day, but you do get to know the “kidlets” – I like that word- quite well. I still remember all my baby boys, though they are as old as my oldest now, so I guess they’re around 12.
Have you read The Nanny Diaries? Based on true stories of two women who worked as nannies. Heartbreaking, humorous, interesting and moving story. I highly recommend it.
I hadn’t read it. I remember being put off by something on the jacket when it came out, I have no idea what. But I’ll put it on my list.
Hey Alice! I would love to republish this, or any re-vamped version of it you like in our next edition of Your Monthly Periodical. Feel free to shoot an e-mail to and we can discuss further!!!
our e-mail address was edited out: bitchyeditor yourmonthlyperiodical com
Yes! I would love for you to feature my article in Your Monthly Periodical! I’ll shoot you an email ASAP.
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