09 July 2005

Bad Mothers Club

What makes a 'bad' mother?

In some areas its women who let their kids pig out on candy and coke and e numbers and never make them eat a vegetable that hasnt at least been deep fried. Women who produced 6lb babies that turn into 6 ton six year olds and then blame it on genetics.

In other areas a bad mother is one that only allows limited candy at weekends, forces her kids to eat their peas and carrots and doesn't let them stay up late for a movie that would get them kudos with their friends but has the wrong certificate.

I guess it depends on what constitutes 'the best for your kids' in your own head.

Take as an example me and a very lovely woman up the road, who looked after my kids for a while. She likes parties, but she likes them so much she tends to use the kids as the reason for them, and tends to arrange the damn things without telling anybody.

"Can your kids come round and play?" asked three days before Easter, means "can I send them back to you partied out, high on cakes and chocolate and guaranteed to be a bit sick of it all or at least 'been there and done that' when Sunday comes?" The thing is, that's never what she says, so you have to learn the hard way.

We stopped talking when I pre-empted her on a day she invited them round 'to play' - yes they could come, but I didn't want them scoffing hot cross buns and all that before Good Friday. (Good Friday in our house involves a 6 am trip to the bakers for huge, still warm, fresh buns for breakfast and a bit of a crack-of-dawn family party. Its a thing, a tradition.) She treated me with absolute disgust and said I was spoiling things for her kids and mine. What she meant was she'd arranged yet another all day chocolate and candy pig out with garden games and now she'd be short of guests.

Am I wrong to want a weeks notice and clear indication that its a party for X or Y reason; time enough to rearrange things at home or else decline?

Anyway, unless you are locking your kid in the car boot or doing obvious damage that qualifies you for the title of evil or deranged mother, then it all becomes very subjective.

I am going to plug a website I joined but never really got in to, now, just so I can use their brilliant picture. There is a forum called the Bad Mothers Club, and this is what made me want to join:

OK here comes the rub.

I have found two really good new blogs for my list (list is down for major tidy up - back soon) and they both have really different concepts of what constitutes a 'Mommy Blog'. In fact they have kind of fallen out, so I can't really tell one that I like the other too.

My (Personal) Definition of a Mommy Blog: One that uses lots of exclamation marks and photographs to describe in gushing tones; juniors first nose pick, juniors first indication of artistic talent to rival Picasso, involving nappy content, a wall and finger painting. Junior's first attempt to strangle various pets. Thats pretty much it.

There ARE women out there who had kids (or more usually a single kid) JUST to have something to talk about. Or maybe their sole topic of conversation prior to parenthood was shopping for themselves. I don't know.

For an intelligent woman with a good brain, a wide range of interests, witty opinions and obvious class to be told she is running a mommy blog - woah - that's tantamount to telling her to downscale her IQ by three quarters, get back in the kitchen and start running up orgasmic posts about how many things her kid hit with the last episode of projectile vomit and how she laundered them.


Except it depends who said it and how they meant it, doesnt it? Did this person really mean what they said? I went to see that commenter's blog, and I hate to admit, but at a cursory glance I find it very interesting. Weird, maybe, but weird can be good. Dreadlocks and witchiepoo socks, no sign of hints and tips for a shiny sink. In fact she takes her kid off on protests.

She DOES have some cutesy pictures of her child sitting in a field wearing face paints, except these have a line of armed, masked and shielded security police standing to attention close enough for littlun to puke on their boots. I am tempted to think she was honestly expressing relief at finding a blogger she liked who also happened to have kids and occasional opinions on parenting, not labelling her as anything remotely like a true mommy blogger. Shit, when she sees what they can be like, the girl is going to be looking for a rock to crawl under, I'm sure.

Good mother, bad mother, its all subjective. Bad fathers on the other hand - don't even get me started!

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