Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Does this make me a bad mom?

In "mommyblogging" circles, it's common to read accounts of bad mothering, recounted in a witty, self-deprecating style. Some bloggers have even given themselves titles that reflect that self-deprecation.

I see this in real life, too. One of my friends and I share a joke about how neither of us adequately supervises our children. Like all good inside jokes, this one comes at the expense of a third party, a woman who has maybe a little more than her share of the crazy, who actually refused to allow her child to play at my friend's house because she thought that my friend didn't supervise her child enough. Which means my friend and I? Are horrible parents because we send our kids to each others' houses all the time, lack of supervision be damned.

And yesterday, when I sent her an email bemoaning the fact that I wouldn't be home after work because of a PTO meeting at school, she replied, "I've never been to a PTO meeting in my life. Does that make me a bad mother?" My witty retort: "Not by itself. But the whole inadequate supervision, well, you know what I mean."

She hasn't responded. Do you think I hurt her feelings?

5 comments:

Valerie said...

Obviously, I don't know your friend. But if it were me and I had a running joke going about the supervision thing, I wouldn't take offense to that comment at all. In fact, I would laugh. Also in fact, I did laugh. :)

My immediate reaction is that she got busy and hasn't had a chance to respond yet.

Of course, if it makes you feel better, you can always ask her.

fieldguidetomemphis said...

supervision is relative. i think good parenting is like an x-y axis:

x = perception of availability
y = situational necessities

so long as kids perceive that you are there for them (and there's some tangible, meaningful way to back that up, as in are you really available for them when they need it), and you adjust to circumstances like location, company and time of day or night (or insert other variable here), the kids will prolly be okay.

Wendi said...

I'm totally stealing the Geometric definition of supervision. As well as use of the word 'prolly.'

Sharpie said...

Personally - I don't think of it as self-depreciating...I think of it as real. In the real world - we mess up, we forget Teddy Bear day, we blow off PTO meetings because we have 5,000 other responsibilities and make decisions we regret.

But it is all real. I just tell my story - warts and all. Too many people are too ashamed to do that - and I think that is self-destructive.

I do my best every day. Sometimes it pans out, other times...well...not so much. I get over it and not take myself so seriously.

Hopefully your friend doesn't take herself or your little inside joke too seriously either. Life is too short.

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