Mommy Rules: Magazines

Ah, motherhood. A state of being so fraught with cultural meaning and weight, it’s a monolithic symbol that’s been constructed and reconstructed since the freakin’ dawn of time. And I think it’s fucking great. I think that women being able to sustain two lives with one body is absolutely the coolest thing in the whole wide world. (You can read more about that here.)

I am officially at the point in my life where I have lots of wedding and baby shower announcements in my newsfeed. Eek. One of my very best friends, we’ll call her Belle,  is preggo with what will I’m sure be smart/sassy/talented/epically gorgeous little girl whom I will always call sugar bean. I am excited and jealous and absolutely cannot wait to start teaching that precious child all the tricks of the trade. Belle has been sending me weekly belly photos, which make me long to be there, and also keeping me abreast of some of the nonsense that happens when you are visibly pregnant. With her permission, I’m gonna share some of those stories in an ongoing new series: MOMMY RULES.

Here are some dope Mom’s:

Powerful, resilient, and raised one smart cookie!
Powerful, resilient, and raised one smart cookie!
Oh, this is my mom. She is holding the orchid i got her for mother's day and wearing a pin with a baby pic of me. Precious.
Oh, this is my mom. She is holding the orchid I got her for mother’s day and wearing a pin with a baby pic of me. Precious.

Obviously there are too many dope mom’s to list, and that list would overlap a whole lot with my ‘dope women’ list, obviously.  So this series is dedicated to all the dope ladies who are also moms out there. And to sugar bean (love you already boo bear!)

Our first story takes place in a maternity store (photos not edited, please excuse touch screen spelling errors!):


After making a purchase, Belle was offered a choice between 2 magazines: Parenting and the Top 150 Cupcake Recipes of 2013. She hates baking. She was immediately offended and outwardly irritated.


The magazines themselves lived up to her expectations.



I think my main concern with her story (other than the poor sales person on the receiving end of her anger LOL) is that Parenting magazine seems like it would be more accurately named Mothering, or Parenting for Women. I shudder to think of the variety of stories written whose main function is to make women feel insecure and inferior. It sounds like the main theme is ‘You’re doing it wrong!‘ Your choices, your post baby body, your relationships. I mean good lord, how are women supposed to get their kids fed and clothed between the constant bouts of anxiety and their obsessive worrying about doing it right and looking perfect to boot?!

And the cupcakes? Do I even need to say it? The assumption that ‘all mother’s must know how to and enjoy (or at least fake enjoy) baking’ is insane. Because mothers are, what I like to refer to as, people. And people, generally, are all super complicated and unique, with lots of different interests and passions. And being good at baking is not a pre-requisite for being a human, or for being a mom. The above mentioned Kristin (hey boo!) is an excellent baker and colleague/bestie of Belle’s, and it’s great that she loves to bake and has a side gig and lots of talent! We love that! But that’s not all mother’s… or all women… or all people. However, people have lots of opinions on how mother’s should act, and because we revere mother’s and give them all kinds of status, we also feel as though we can criticize and critique their behavior. This is often done publicly, face to face, with no remorse or embarrassment. These magazine offerings are a kind of critique, and while Belle felt angry because the choices were limited and stupid, my anger extends to the fact that the choices offered were also a judgment on the perceived behaviors of the store’s clientele.

So mom’s beware. You are being watched, judged, and held accountable.

But hey, at least it’s not the late 50’s…

Ah, smoking while pregnant. Those were the days…

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