It has been suggested that many publications trend toward a
singularity of thought. That is, they only showcase voices that
reinforce shared beliefs, lifestyles and ideology. Up until this
month, even Chicago Parent seemed guilty of this. The publication
consistently favored one very specific kind of parent.
The other parents, bad parents, were left scratching their heads
wondering if their cause would ever be championed.
Bad parents, such as me, throw away the school fundraising
packets without hesitation. We give our kids Cheerios for dinner.
We have a hard time keeping our carpools straight and we can't make
heads or tails of our third-grader's math homework.
Most telling of all, we are the parents who ignite the accusing
whispers of "I've never seen her volunteer for Market Day" and "Why
is she still wearing maternity clothes-her youngest child is
So I applaud Chicago Parent for finally giving voice to the
failing parents of Chicago. I gave up on perfection years ago,
right around the time I noticed my post-baby stomach wasn't
bouncing back like I'd hoped. In fact, it had taken on a whole new
shape that resembled a forward-facing tush. When a woman realizes
she now has two butts, the quest for perfection is clearly
The best thing about being a bad mother is expectations are very
low. It doesn't take much to dazzle. When I finally brought
something in for the school bake sale (a box of Jewel cookies), you
would have thought I was Julia Child herself with individually
wrapped crème brulees. The response from other mothers was so
overwhelming that I actually considered transitioning into the Good
Then they all started talking about Market Day, and I ran like
Sometimes I rationalize my "bad mother" status by citing my
family's ridiculous schedule and my very real memory issues. But
then I forget what I was worrying about, and I Google "Nutella
Yes, the ne'er-do-well parents of the world will at last have a
champion. Whenever a mom loses the notice for Picture Day and sends
her son to school in a promotional Budweiser T-shirt, I will stand
by her. Whenever a dad drops off his daughter with misaligned
pigtails and no lunch, I have his back. After all, if we don't
stick together, you know how this story ends.
It's called Market Day, and it ain't pretty.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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