Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bad Mother

There has been a lot of talk about Ayelet Waldman in the media the past few days. Ayelet became widely known when her essay was published in the New York Times admitting that she loved her husband more than her children. She experienced a huge backlash from mothers everywhere and in every media for being a bad mother.

She has now written a book called Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. Although I have not read past the first chapter, essentially it is about how mothers sabotage eachother in our judgements of one another.

And I am guilty as charged. I absolutely judge others as bad mothers. Just this morning, as we dropped Ariana off at school, we pulled up next to a car where there was a lady in it with 2 small children. The windows were up and she was smoking a cigarette! That drives me insane. We now know that second hand smoke is very toxic. I also have personal experience with living in a household of smokers. I grew up in a very small house with 2 chain smoking parents. The smoke was smothering, it left a nicotine goo all over our belongings, our furniture, our walls. I walked around my whole childhood smelling like a pack of cigarettes. It was so disgusting. And from a young age, I always found myself getting winded far earlier than my classmates, my lung capacity just was not what it should have been for a healthy young girl.

So, yes, I am judging. I think those parents that smoke in a car with their children are completely selfish and thoughtless. I think that mothers need to hold eachother accountable for our actions to some extent. I mean, would you watch a drunk mother get into a car to drive her children? I would have to step up and say 'You are being an idiot and clearly a bad mother making even worse choices.' Am I going to attack a parent for what they feed their kids or for their choice in the music they listen to? Absolutely not. But we need to recognize that there are bad parents out there and it is our responsibilty, as a village, to watch out for the innocent children.


  1. I totally judge women who smoke and women who refuse to even CONSIDER breastfeeding.

    I try not to, but I do. Every time.

  2. then again, I also judge mothers who really need medication for a mental or physical health condition that chose breastfeeding over taking the medications that they need to be well.

  3. It's hard not to judge other parents, mothers especially. You know what you would and wouldn't do as a parent. That is the standard to which we hold others.
    I know people look at me and judge because we eat fast food a lot but I know I'm doing a lot more right than wrong.
    PS> I love the fries, what can you do?

  4. I believe your analogy of a drunk mother driving is flawed. It should go if we saw a mother drinking alcohol behind the wheel and driving their children then we should be alarmed.

  5. Another all time favorite of mine is the neighbor who was walking the neighborhood towards the very, very end of her pregnancy... pushing a baby in a stroller with one hand... and smoking with the other... every day... parading around the neighborhood like that.

    For gosh sakes lady, save yourself the embarrassment and do that in the privacy of your own home.

  6. Hi. I just found your blog. I live in NH too, but am from MA.

  7. I get LIVID when I see someone smoking around babies and kids! They should be kicked to the curb!