Whenever I feel like I’ve had a really bad day, that I’ve failed as a mother and 100% guaranteed my son’s future need for therapy, I remind myself that there are at least five women who are WAY worse at this mothering thing than I am.
While I’m all about family and, just like Cersei, I turn into a ferocious Mama Bear when it comes to protecting my kid, I’m happy to report that my son’s father is NOT my brother. Also, I’m not a murderer. Also, I’m not a liar. Also, I’m not a crazy person who will blow up an entire city because revenge is a dish best served with a secret stash of wildfire.
It’s not the recovering alcoholic part or even the slew of inappropriate sexual comments in front of our friends that make this mom’s mothering less than perfect. It’s that she’s a passive-aggressive narcissist, which basically means her daughter is not a single mother of two—she’s a single mother of three. And the third child is a grown ass woman who isn’t maternal but mean as hell.
I work really, really, really hard to not be passive aggressive and to model for my son this simple rule: “If you’re going to say something, have the courage to say what you mean.” Sarcastic parenting and snark are shields for the Passive-Aggressive. In our house, we lay down our shields and choose to be honest and kind. One thing I kindly and honestly try to teach my son is that I am not the center of universe, and neither is he.
She’s got the coifed hair and pearls to rival June Cleaver, but this woman is so scary, witches have nightmares about her! Petunia’s claim to fame is that she’s Harry Potter’s aunt, but she locked her poor nephew in the cupboard for a decade. Reason #1 to call the Department of Children and Families. If my kid complains about two minutes in the Time Out Chair, I remind him of Petunia. A decade in the cupboard! Hellooo!
As bad of an aunt as she is, she doesn’t get any points in Mothering either. Petunia thinks her son IS the center of the universe. Used to always getting his way, Dudley is a 10-year-old bully who is mean to animals and humans alike. Petunia’s no mother—she’s a smother! And her over-indulgent helicopter parenting has created an entitled, spoiled rotten monster of a muggle. I admit that I’m an engaged parent: I’m in my kid’s business at school, at home, and on the playground. But I don’t automatically take his side just because he’s my scrumptious little angel baby pookie pie perfect face.
- Janine Cody
If Petunia Dursley is dedicated to her one and only child, Janine Cody takes dedication to her kids to a whole new level—like dedication on steroids. Or, dedication doing a truckload of cocaine. Janine’s got four boys, and like most women surrounded by that much testosterone, she’s cray. Unlike most women, Janine uses that cray to kick some serious ass and break a whole bunch of laws as the matriarch of a Southern California crime family.
And Janine (AKA Ellen Barkin) couldn’t care less what mommy bloggers think about her as a role model. She thinks loving “her children to a fault…makes for a very juicy role” that’s far more interesting “than someone sitting there knitting socks for her children.” Ouch! When I start to feel bad that I can’t knit (or cook, or clean, or craft, or…) the way other moms can, I comfort myself with the fact that I haven’t killed anybody or raised my kid to be a drug-dealing mafia kingpin.
Never mind that this mom lays her eggs in the dead carcass of some other animal, consumes the dead animal, and then vomits the dead animal as a way to feed her young—I can respect this. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Girl’s just making sure her kids can eat.
But when her hungry kids pester her for food (I don’t know—maybe she’s had a rough day—maybe she’s tired of living in a dead mouse, eating the dead mouse, and puking mouse parts all the time) something inside her snaps, and she eats her hungry kiddos. I can honestly say that no matter how tired I am, and no matter how much my kid bugs me, I will NEVER eat my son. Score one for me in the Motherhood Column!
Remember, if you compare yourself to the perfect moms you see on Facebook, you’re gonna think you’re doing a lousy job and ruining your kids for life. The next time you feel like a loser, compare yourself to these 5 moms. You’ll feel like a winner for sure!
A different version of this article first appeared on 4 Boys Mother.