Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bad Mothers Day

As a refreshing change from the high-fructose corn-syrupy Mothers Day of greeting cards and Call Your Mother Internet ads, I offer a reminder that a lot of us have Bad Mothers. Calling them is not a good idea. Trying not to imitate them is about as good as it gets on Mothers Day.

There are all sorts of bad mothers out there, and there are a lot of them, so of course there are a lot of people who don't want to be reminded of Mother. It just puts salt in wounds.

Mothers who abandon their children should be high on many people's lists of bad mothers.

Mothers who delight in physical and psychological abuse of children are bad mothers. Reminder: hitting a child is assault. It is a crime. Sure, their are difficult children out there, but there are other ways of controlling them besides hitting.

Alcoholic and drug addicted moms are classic and common examples of bad moms. Some are nice drunks and some are mean drunks, but none deserve a Mothers Day celebration.

There are a lot of shades of gray out there in the bad-to-good mom spectrum. Strictness and permissiveness are on a spectrum, as are protectiveness and carelessness. Moderation in all things is a good maxim for moms and everyone else. Exactly how far and in which direction from moderate you have to go to become a bad mother is a fair question. Err on the side of moderate.

Egocentric and cold mothers are probably the most common type of bad mother we encounter out in the real world. There are mothers with gambling addictions, obsessive-compulsive moms, and autistic-spectrum moms. Just plain crazy moms often qualify as bad mothers.

Mothers with bad values are bad mothers, but the world is full of people who argue about which values are good and which are bad. Joining a crazy religious sect definitely makes you a bad mother, no matter what else you do.

Of course every bad mother can point to worse mothers. Mothers who encourage their daughters to have sex with their fathers, or who pimp their daughters out for money. Mothers who actually kill their children. Mothers who drive their children to killing them. Mothers who drive away perfectly good fathers. Mothers who encourage their children to be criminals or soldiers or terrorists. Mothers who date men who abuse children. Mothers who have too many children for this overburdened earth to take care of.

So, here's a shout out to all of you children of Bad Mothers who are feeling a bit miserable today. I am with you. I understand.

Here is a tip: Don't Call. Don't be intimidated. You have a right to live your life and to pursue liberty, and happiness without being hounded by a bunch of people who did not grow up in your shoes.

On the other hand, don't be grumpy about people who have good mothers and love them. That is the way things should be.

Leave Feedback! Did I leave out a type of bad mother? Care to mention some particular examples of bad mothering? Favorite film about a bad mother?

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