I Don’t Care If You’re a Great Mom

I keep promising myself that I will post more often and then I see that days and days have gone by without a new word from me. Not that you’re obsessively checking to see if I’ve written…but if you have…that would be sooo cool. One of the problems I have with blogging too often is that while I’m writing a book, it’s tough to write about motherhood. So, yes, I write about other things as well because, obviously, there’s more to me than being a mom. But, then again, some of the more pressing thoughts, feeling and dilemmas I face have to do with parenting my child and reflecting on how I was parented.

Lately in the Blogosphere, there’s been this whole thing and we all know what I’m talking about so I won’t bother linking anywhere, where we moms are being told that blogging about your failings as a mother is ringing false – that we know we are good moms – I am mother hear me roar – and that spending too much time talking about our foibles is akin to calling ourselves fat. This was thought up by Girl’s Gone Child – one of my favorite bloggers, by the way, and I understand where she’s coming from but…

I have to politely disagree in part. Of course pretending we are flailing about helplesslessly does get a bit excessive, it doesn’t help anyone. We’re all doing the best we can. But, one of the things I like most about blogging and reading other people’s blogs is the honesty I find. I would hope that blogging about the times we fall extremely short in our efforts to be Mom of the Year would be the exception and not the rule, none-the-less, those are the posts that make me feel less alone in this vast uncharted territory we all call parenting. There are about a zillion ways to fuck up everyday and I believe we mothers and fathers feel this fear like a Greek chorus in our heads – a lot. And not just the neurotic freaks like me. It comes with the package.

Here’s my take on it. We should all be good parents and I’m sure most of us are. If you’re blogging about parenting you obviously give a shit about doing a decent job. You are interested in all things parenting. You want to know what slings your neighbor is using and who you can plan a cyber baby shower for and whether or not you should entrust a thirteen-year-old with the care of your toddler. Let’s face it, most likely you aren’t living in a trailer, shotgunning Pabst Blue , spanking the living shit out of your child’s rear end for daring to ask for another cookie. And if I’m wrong, I guess I haven’t come across your blog yet possibly called http://getmommatheswitch.blogspot.com.

Being a decent well meaning parent should be our baseline. Yes, we’re all good moms most of the time. We all want our babies to feel loved, nurtured, breastfed (until they’re 15) have high self esteem, learn their ABC’s (in Spanish, French and Italian) and always always always know how we love them so much we almost can’t breathe when we watch them sleep. How we sometimes have dreams we can’t find them, dreams so real we wake up in a cold sweat, tears running down our sleep deprived cheeks and walk around not feeling right for the rest of the day. Most of us would throw ourselves into traffic to protect them but first take them on an educational trip to the frog exhibit at the museum. Yes, this is the parenting 101 part. But what about the days where we don’t feel we’re living up to even the basics? Isn’t it cathartic to write THAT? Isn’t it cathartic to READ that?

I in no way find that blogging about falling short in our ideals to be like Kate Moss complaining her ass is too big. Or attending Weight Watchers when you weigh 120 pounds. It’s not false. It’s how we feel and it’s real. It’s as real as it gets because parenting brings on a new challenge every. single. day. No one day has passed since Elby’s been born that I didn’t question at least one decision I’ve made. I’m sorry I’m not as confident and brimming with what a wonderful job I’m doing. Yes there are certain days I bet other women would kill for my patience, my way with a Bernstein Bear Story, my attention span for an almost unintelligible four minute story about a rock. But that’s not funny nor highly relatable. So I don’t blog about those things.

This morning I took Elby to a concert at the most adorable retro guitar shop in Los Angeles, McCabes. She got to see her favorite “rock star” Gwendolyn and now she’s literally “been there got the t-shirt.” Her face while she watched and danced brought tears to my eyes and I probably had more fun than she had. But then we brought her home and what did I do? Immediately turned on the Backyardigans because I needed a break. Fine, you say. She had a great morning so why feel guilty about letting her watch some TV? I’ll tell you why. I’m sometimes afraid that turning on the TV is the easy way out. Maybe I could’ve let her color or turned on a CD and just let her hang out for awhile. But I wanted her distracted so I could get a few things done.

I’m not saying that makes me a bad parent. In fact, earlier I’d been basking in the good parent glow, but things can turn on a dime. And that’s why I write. And that’s why I read. To be honest, I don’t care what a fantastic parent you are. That’s not what I learn from. I learn from hearing your fears and insecurities. I learn from hearing about how you almost lost it and yelled “SHUT UP – PLEASE!!!” to your three-year-old. Or the time it wasn’t almost.

That’s how I feel bonded with you. That’s what keeps me reading you. Well that and humor. If you make me laugh I forgive all else. So maybe I should cancel my subscription to MS. Magazine? I would but unfortunately I only have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on May 20, 2007 8:19 pmUncategorized26 comments  


  1. Anonymous said,

    Look at this:

    All Baby Names With Meaning And Origin
    A family-oriented place to help you find one or more names for your baby. Find baby names by gender, origin, meaning and more!

    | May 20, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  2. Anonymous said,

    OK. So I do sometimes judge my days (much like Bridget Jones diary. except no alcohol or cigarettes) as how many video’s did she watch? and yes I feel bad when perhaps my daughter has watched more than what she should have…hell, even my pediatrician has stated that she needs to have some down time and turn on a video, while she makes dinner…
    And then you read some article stating the best way to bond is to cook with your children, teach them how to prepare meals, give them jobs to help in preparation and jobs to help with clean up…and I become frustrated and think ‘it’s just easier to make this batch of cookies myself while she watches Diego’…or dishes won’t get broken if I load them in the dishwasher myself…

    who hasn’t felt moments or entire days of inadequacy?

    | May 20, 2007 @ 11:40 pm

  3. SUEB0B said,

    I feel inadequate and I don’t even HAVE kids. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I did.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 3:05 am

  4. Susan said,

    So Lucy carries the packet of broccoli seeds to the garden and by the time we get there I discover there are 4 seeds because she opened it on the way….
    And in the midst of freaking out I remember why we are planting that infernal garden in the first place.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 4:17 am

  5. gmcountrymama said,

    Damn Site Meter! I love obsessively checking and rechecking my favorite blogs. And I also really like reading about other ‘real moms’ and there day to day struggles with parenting. I feel the same when I am out somewhere and I see other children mis-behaving and a mom who looks really stressed out and ready to snap. It makes me feel better about the times my kids act out and I am ready to explode or just run away.
    And don’t get me started about the TV thing. I don’t agree at all with the so called experts on the subject. But that is for my own blog. I wouldn’t want the TV police visiting my blog or worse yet coming to my house and disconnecting the cable. I would definately have to run away.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 4:42 am

  6. Cammy said,

    I totally check your blog obsessively.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 5:44 am

  7. Dana said,

    Thank you for writing this. I couldn’t bring myself to write one of the “good mother posts” because I think I’m flying by the seat of my pants all the time. And the one time I vocalized about my concerns about my failings I got plenty of heat and was told I’m a terrible mom. That’s how I felt in the beginning. I didn’t need 42 anonymous posters to confirm my doubt.

    So I realize I’m a good person, trying to be a good mother, who occasionally screws up. Is that really so bad? I hope not.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  8. binkytown said,

    I completely get this and I wrote about it too. Im a good mom most of the time but I don’t need to write about it, it feels good. It’s the bad stuff that needs to come out.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  9. Jane is Dating said,

    hey girl thanks so much for the compliment especially since lately i feel like nothing fits, i don’t fit, everything stinks you know? :)really you should see my ass though- THAT is strikingly huge in and of itself…and i wholeheartedly agree with your post 🙂 the way i see things, I grew up without ever wearing a seat belt and or being in a car seat and was a latch-key kid at 7. YES, SEVEN. I don’t think my mom ever lost any sleep over it and if she did she didnt show it. I at least put mine in after care only for 30 minutes- and still feel guilty over that crap. Imagine that. But judge myself too much? no- J is a happy, well balanced kid who loves to OD on nickelodeon on saturdays and you know what? When I was a kid I loved sat morning cartoons too…the only thing I hate is the lethargic computer or video game so for our sake I do take her out for exercise- now I’mrambling and I forgot what I was talking about – sorry – have a date in 2 hours, must go get ready!

    | May 21, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

  10. Seattle Mamacita said,

    funny i read the same post by girls gone child and your comments are spot on with how i feel…i just found your blog randomly and can’t wait to read more.

    | May 21, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

  11. Anonymous said,

    hello, you took her to a childrens’ concert?
    I grant you 48 straight hours of Nick Jr.
    Now throw your damn feet up and get a glass of wine.. Even if it is 10:30 am…

    What job do you have to be “on” all f’in day long, and into the night and then punch back in at 5:45, and be “on” all over again? even kids need down time…

    | May 22, 2007 @ 2:03 am

  12. momomax said,

    I agree, but what I liked was that I was reminded to take a breath and pat myself on the back for the stuff I actually do well. It’s not a lot, but it cleared up some unnecessary funk that I was feeling…and I had never done that before. I don’t think that writing how awesome you are is going to ring true or tempt anyone to read any further.

    (I do check your blog obsessively, especially for AI commentary.)

    | May 22, 2007 @ 3:38 am

  13. momomax said,

    oh, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to turn ‘getmommysswitch’ into a real blog.

    | May 22, 2007 @ 3:40 am

  14. MamaLee said,

    What a wonderful, honest, REAL post.

    I, too, want to be a good mom, and most times I am. And I read blogs to connect with other parents – to read the good AND the bad. When someone is REAL and shares that, THAT is when I learn the most about them AND myself.

    Again, Bravo.

    | May 22, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

  15. Mamma said,

    Definitely agree. I wish I had been part of the blogosphere when my guys were infants, I might have felt a little better.

    What I like about this community though is that it’s not always about the babies or the failings. There is humor and honesty and reminders that we’re still women underneath it all. I actually don’t blog about my kids that often…but I’m still a “mommyblogger.”

    | May 22, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

  16. Jen said,

    Perfectly put. I could not agree more if I tried.

    Oh, and I totaly didn’t think that getmommatheswitch was a real site and I totally didn’t click on the link. Nope, not at all.

    | May 22, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

  17. Liz said,

    Great post – I agree. Whenever I start classifying exactly what degree of a bad mother I am, I have a twinge of guilt, because I actually feel like quite a good mother – but damn it’s hard! And you’re right about the humour – bad mothers are FUNNIER.

    I obsessively check my own blog.

    | May 22, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  18. Little Irish said,

    Spot on!! I love your blog and I obsessivly check to see if you’ve written!! Thanks for honestly and keep posting.

    | May 22, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

  19. Denise said,


    | May 23, 2007 @ 12:20 am

  20. Laural said,

    I totally see where you’re coming from with this. In fact, to me, sometimes I feel like a better mom because I write the stuff down. In fact, I read blogs, like you said, to discover that other moms aren’t perfect. I read them to laugh about the things they screw up because I’m screwing up too. I love that I’m not the only one out there who gave in during that temper tantrum and gave my son a cookie.
    I love that when I post about my insecurities (for me it’s weight, and I admitted that I go to weight watchers – a biggie for me) that other people can relate.
    Of course I’m a good mom. But, I didn’t feel like writing a post about that. I think it comes through.

    | May 23, 2007 @ 12:45 am

  21. Mrs. Chicken said,

    Amen and a cookie.

    Love this post. And I would rather write when I am down and get support, and I would rather write about the stuff that seems tragic at the time but is so very funny later.

    And The Poo watches a lot of TV. I feel guilty about it ALL THE TIME.

    | May 23, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

  22. Anonymous said,

    Check out the entry The Silence is Deafening at http://mydpethsofdespair.blogspot.com/

    It is a heartbreaking blog about losing your children and the value of a mother


    | May 23, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

  23. Victoria said,

    I feel you. Sometimes the days of feeding the ducks, doing puzzles, and reading stories just exhausts me and I put on way too many DVD’s that I’m “reviewing” for T.D. later just to get some peace. Then I feel guilty when I see her blank stare and hung open mouth.

    I read for honesty, to know I’m not alone and to get some damn good laughs. something I’m out of these days.

    | May 24, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

  24. BabyWhisperingLoudly said,


    And I’m totally excited that I found your blog look forward to reading more.

    | May 25, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

  25. Ashley said,

    STANDING OVATION…yes, yes, yes, yes. Parenting is hard and those that don’t have those “Crap, this is hard” moments are lying, forgetting or crazy (in my humble opinion)

    | June 4, 2007 @ 2:09 am

  26. Annie said,

    I have just found your blog today, via Velveteen Mind, and I’m so glad I did.

    This post hit the nail on the head for me. I read a lot of those ‘I’m a great mom’ posts – and there are days when I feel like I am a great mom – but there are more days when I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing, and find myself wondering how I ever thought I could be a mother! That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to write a ‘good mom’ post. I too prefer the honesty and find that in this great blogosphere that I have so recently engaged in, some bloggers go round like sheep, blindly following the tracks of others and it gets a bit old sometimes.

    I’ll be back later to explore more of your blog.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 11:43 am

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