In about a month, I’ll be featuring a review of Bad Mommy by Willow Yamauchi on my site. In the meantime, Willow wants to let you know about her own Bad Mommy revelation and encourage you to embrace your own inner badness:
I have a confession. I am a Bad Mommy. It’s OK, I’m good with it, it works for me, and it can work for you too. Claiming and owning your identity as a Bad Mommy is nothing short of liberating. We have all been fooled, you see. That Good Mommy thing – it’s a figment of our shared imagination. That “I love being a mommy more than anything” thing – a collective fantasy. In my 15 years of parenting I have slowly come to the realization that it’s all a conspiracy. There is no such thing as Good Mommy. This is the truth, and the truth shall set each of us free.
This epiphany first came to me when my daughter was a baby. Despite adhering to all the rules and regulations of the Mommy Mafia, things were not well. I know you know what I am talking about. She didn’t sleep, really…ever. The breastfeeding was a freaking nightmare. I was fat, I was miserable, all my friends abandoned me, and I was alone with my squalling infant and my shame. When I turned to other Mommies for solace, I was met with a strong wall of denial. Oh no! No one else was suffering, everything else was great for everyone else but me. It must be me. It must only be me, it was my fault.
In desperation I went to my grandmother for advice. She let me in on a little secret that I am now sharing with you. It’s all a lie. That’s right, all of it. The whole Good Mommy thing. The Mommies are lying to themselves, and the Mommies are lying to each other. Everyone is in denial, yet deep down, everyone knows the truth – that they are failing at being the Good Mommy they think they have to be (and can be) and that everyone else is making it work. That’s what the denial is all about: it’s the shame of failure.
And let me be clear, just because it’s right and normative and all that stuff to be a Bad Mommy that doesn’t give you a hall pass to be a b**ch. You still have to try your bloody hardest every day. You still have to suck it up and be a big girl every last day. You still have to take the last piece of cake, and fold that last piece of laundry. Understanding that you are a Bad Mommy does not give one license to abuse, rather it explains what is actually happening. We are trying, and we are failing. Collectively. So stand up sister, say it, say it with me, “I am a Bad Mommy, and I am proud.”
Willow Yamauchi is a Vancouver-based author, freelance broadcaster, blogger, cheese lover and Bad Mommy to two terrific kids. Her book Bad Mommy, published by Insomniac Press, celebrates the parental line somewhere between June Cleaver and Joan Crawford. In Bad Mommy, Willow interviews 22 real women who confess their maternal shortcomings and together embrace the reality of parenting. Bad Mommy is a call to maternal subversion.