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We moms are special, aren't we? We're so special, people just can't stop spewing vapid, cliche-ridden platitudes about motherhood. You know, the kind that sound like they came out of a Hallmark card? That junk about how no other job is as important as motherhood, no one loves like a mother does, moms just love to give and give until they have nothing left to give and then they just dig deep, deep within themselves and give a teeny bit more before turning into a black hole of maternal love.
Writer Jenny Allen "loves" those motherhood cliches so much she wrote up a parody mommy blog post about them: "I'm a Mom." She says, “I’m not saying that moms are better than other people, but there is, well, something different, something special about us." At first glance it might actually look like a real mommy blogger post. But nope -- it's satire. Here are my favorite lines. WARNING: Those of you who have trouble understanding irony may want to skip this post.
First of all, she makes fun of the idea that if you're not a mom, you're just a waste of womanflesh who will never make as important a contribution to the world as moms do. My childless friends hate that. "Because, if you're not a mom, you may not be a bad person, but you are an extraneous person." Ooh, have you ever heard someone imply this -- for real?
Without the single gals, we would be an even stronger America—there, I’ve said it!—or, at least, an America with fewer ladies passing their evenings on barstools.
And then there's that whole mom-as-martyr bit about how we moms have to do everything ourselves because dads are so incompetent:
[Dads] don't know a strep throat from a screwdriver and always get the washing machine confused with the dryer -- antics that are funny on sitcoms but have no place in the real America, which is my moms have to do everything.
Haha! Dads, what blundering clods. I mean, they are if we keep telling them they are. And by the way, it would really help if those dads who actually do know how to load the dishwasher properly and will change a diaper without being asked would quit ruining things for everyone else. If it turns out fathers care as much as mothers do, mothers aren't going to feel very special, are they?!?
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Okay, and now let's talk about how giving is a mom's job (and not anyone else's!), and how we don't expect thanks but we just can't help pointing out that we never get thanked ...
And if you’re not a mom you don’t understand that. You may understand expensive shoes, and having meaningless, drunken sexual intercourse with men who never call the next day, and trying to cheer yourself up by buying yourself baubles, but you don’t understand that it’s all about the giving.
Allen ends by mentioning that her kids are all off at college (where she calls them seven times a day, sends their ironed underwear via FedEx, and ships tampons to her daughters), but she keeps her good-for-nothing husband in the basement with their incontinent dog. Some people (non-mothers, of course) tell her they think that's mean!
You know what I tell them? I say, Are you a mom? Do you run this country? Do you know the first thing about holding up America? Of course you don’t! So go along and scat, and let us moms do the jobs that we women were put on the planet to do.
Haha! Ew. I've actually heard moms talk like this. And I've heard men say this about moms when they want us to stop blathering on about equal pay, laws against sexual harassment, and asking men to share in the household chores.
I should point out here that Jenny Allen isn't some bitter, single woman who never knew the joys of motherhood (so what does she know, huh?!?). As it happens, Jenny Allen is a mother whose children are grown and in college. And I think she's pinned down the essence of motherhood perfectly -- or anyway, she's pinned down a lot of mommy bloggers perfectly!
Have you heard other people say the same things about mothers that Jenny Allen does in her humor piece?
Image via Mike on Maui/Flickr