Willow Wants To Know…Are YOU a Bad Mommy?

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.

mom and babyThis 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.”

bad mommy coverWillow 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.

7 thoughts on “Willow Wants To Know…Are YOU a Bad Mommy?”

  1. Hello Mamas and thank you, Kathryn, for having me.
    Let me be clear: my kids rock. They are absolutely fabulous, and adore every single hair on their rotten little bodies.
    It’s not them…it’s the conspiracy of perfection that I rail against. The set up for guilt, that thing. Not the kids, not actually being a mom-despite appearances to the contrary I actually love being a mom…

  2. I love my kids. I love being a Mommy. Even when they say “I hate you”. However I am human too. I have bad days. I have GRUMPY days. I even have days where every last button has been pushed and I need to give myself a time-out before I explode. Yet some how, miraculously, the next day comes and I get to start again – pick up the pieces, make coffee (first things first), wash dishes, do laundry, clean, wake kids, dress kids, feed kids, brush teeth, make lunches, bring kids to school, babysit more kids, play groups, extra curricular activites, doctors appointments – manage, cope, survive. It will be OK. We all fail, but we can all try again. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.

    1. Well put, Pamela! I have those grumpy days too, and days that really do deserve to have that big red #FAIL stamped on them in big letters. :) But tomorrow is a new day that promises to be full of the joys, sorrows, challenges, laughter and tears that are a part of motherhood, and I wouldn’t want to miss one minute of it! (Well, maybe I’d trade some of those grumpy minutes in if I could! lol)

  3. Stopping by from Sits spring fling! First of all, I think I’m down with most of what you’re saying: being a mother ain’t all roses and what-have-you. It’s insanely demanding- the single hardest thing I’ve ever done. And believe me, as a new mom myself, I’ve hit the wall with making mom-friends, and I felt totally alone in the first months of breastfeeding and not sleeping, and carrying those unsightly extra 15lbs. I really do hear you. BUT, I will say this will every ounce of honesty I have in me: I love being a mom more than anything I’ve ever done- the lows are so low, but the highs are SO darn high, and I never knew I could love so much…if that isn’t happiness, I’m not sure what is. Thanks for getting my brain going on this post. I love a little friendly banter.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessie! That’s exactly how I feel too. Being a Mom drives me NUTS sometimes but it’s also the most wonderful job I’ve ever, ever had. :)

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