My Mom is ... So-So

One of Colin's favorite books is My Mom is Great (by Gaby Goldsack, in case you want to rush right out and buy it).

It isn't a bad book. It isn't exactly one of those that I dread reading - you know the ones. (He has several that make me wonder if I, too, could get a book deal by taking a dump on a few blank pages.) But it's a book that, sadly, makes me feel like a lazy piece of crap slightly inadequate as a mother.

When I bought the damn thing, I thought, "Awww. A chance for the overworked, underappreciated title of 'Mom' to get the attention it deserves." I was hoping that maybe, throughout years of reading it, it would make my sons reflect on how lucky they are to have a wonderful mom like myself.

Then I actually read it. And damn you, Gaby Goldsack, for making me pale in comparison to the mom in the story. Let's take an in-depth look:

The first page has a picture of a yawning, frizzy-haired, pajama-clad Mom (OMG, that's ME!). The text says, "Every morning, her magic begins when she disappears into the bathroom. She changes from morning Mommy ... into daytime Mommy!" And the picture shows the Mom emerging from her morning toilette, fresh-faced, hair combed, and fully dressed right down to the shoes.

Um, dressed? ... Shoes? At my house, "morning Mommy" IS "daytime Mommy." It's why I wear pajamas that, in a pinch, could pass for workout clothes or something. Or I can always lie to any unexpected guests, saying I look like this because I've been cleaning house. But then I'd have to keep a straight face ...

The second page goes on to say, "After that, Mom is ready to tackle anything ..." and shows a picture of the Mom with a feather duster, swiping it underneath the child's bed.

I'd hate to see what's beneath my bed. At best, it's Dust Bunny Central; at worst, it's possibly a portal to hell. Which is why I'm not looking under there, thankyouverymuch.

"My Mom's not afraid of anything," the third page boasts, as it shows the Mom climbing onto the roof to coax the family cat down (with a whole fish, no less).

When we're gardening, and I come across a worm, it's all I can do not to hyperventilate.

Skip ahead to page five: "Then, for her next trick, Mom fixes my Mr. Wobbly." Super Mom is - you guessed it - sewing the leg back onto a stuffed toy.

I tried to hand-hem the legs of Colin's Halloween costume once; they ended up four inches too short, and I had to find a last-minute replacement. (Same with a miniskirt I tried to hem in college ... although I didn't find a replacement for that, because I kinda liked looking slutty.)
Did I mention I got a "D" in Home Economics?

The next page is a doozy. It shows Mom in what appears to be a mechanic's jumpsuit (or is it the suit from her side job at NASA?), fixing a car. WTF? "In fact," the text says, "my mom knows how to fix just about anything."

I can unclog a toilet. Sometimes. Does that count?

"My Mom always knows when I've done something wrong," page seven declares, "but she never stays angry with me for long." The illustration shows an absolutely trashed room; the kid has strewn toothpaste, soap, and mousse all over the place and is blow-drying his teddy bear. And what's Mom doing? Standing there, one hand on her hip in mock-sternness, with an understanding "kids-will-be-kids" smile on her face.

The other day the kids decided to make our dog some "cereal" by filling his water bowl with dog food. I shut myself in the bathroom for a minute until I could deal without screaming bloody murder.

And the last great guilt trip is on page ten. "She's a fantastic cook," the text says. "She makes me the yummiest meals." Two pictures portray this: in the first, Mom is standing in the kitchen beside two bubbling pots. In the second, she's wearing a chef's hat and unveiling her culinary creation - complete with a lemon-and-parsley garnish.

I burned a frozen pizza yesterday ... so badly that it was stuck to the oven. I guess cooking it directly on the rack really DOES make it crispier. Especially if you leave it in for like ten minutes too long.

To add insult to injury, the very last illustration shows Mom picking up toys at the end of the day. I stumble over them every night sometimes on my way to bed.

So you see? The book I hoped would exalt my status really just makes me look like a tool among SuperMoms. The moral of this story: don't judge a book by its cover. At least skim over it first!


  1. My favorite book as a child was "Where the wild things are" and another book about a little boy who wasn't scared because "I'm big and I'm brave I am" but i dont know the name of that one. Thankfully my mother was safe in those two books. And my daughter doesn't really have a favorite book because she makes up her own stories to everything. SO, I think I am safe. But for you, I have no words...Just pray that he grows up to be a daddy one day and calls to apologize to you as I have my mother on NUMEROUS occasions.

  2. So far he hasn't said anything like, "Mommy, why don't YOU do that?" ... but I'm sure the day will come. :)

  3. Rita
    My first time here, as I noticed you are a follower of my mutterings. And you are hilarious. Love it. Thanks!

  4. Um, you and me both, my friend. There is no difference between morning mommy and daytime mommy in my house either. In fact, I think I fall more into the "everyday mommy" category. I've been known to sleep, get up, and go back to sleep late at night all in the same clothes.

    Who is this crazy woman the book is referencing? I want my kids only to know realistic women. :)


  5. I'm impressed with this mom just by the illustration on the cover! First of all, the fact that she even rides a bike is extraordinary. Much less, she is moving at the speed of light, toting a half-grown child, and not getting irritated in the least that his foot is obviously interfering with her pedaling.

  6. Okay, I think I'll write a kid's book about two little boys who have a mom who reads to them, takes the time to help them research their interests on the computer,helps their daddy provide a very nice home to live in, and is quite capable of cooking gourmet meals any day of the week! And the illustrations will show a mom who looks great with or without makeup, with curly or straight hair, all dressed up to go out or looking comfy in her jammies.
    When your kids grow up, they won't remember whether the house was spotless or not, but they'll remember the good times they had with their parents. You guys do a great job!

  7. This is hilarious.

    I think we'd get along perfectly because I'm the same mom you are. In fact I nearly twisted my ankle walking to the computer because it got stuck in the toys.

  8. This is an evil stereotyping book. Evil. I want to know where this mommy lives? I don't think she is real, do you? This is a make believe story, right? What about, "My mommy is smart, she PAYS A MECHANIC to fix her car?" Or "Mommy is even smarter because she makes me pick up my own toys so when I grow up and marry my wife won't be expected to pick up after me?" Phew. How can we compete with phoney supermom? I thought I was doing great with, "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and He Won't Come Out" and "The Sleeping House." This was a GREAT posting!!

  9. Okay, that book?!? Is so not allowed in my house. In fact, we should work on getting it banned.

    Better yet, lets write a childrens book about real mommies.

  10. Oh my goodness, thank God I never read that book to my kids. I hate that mom! (Only because of the mom I am in comparison.)

  11. i think perhaps that book was really written by a man, and a mysogynist at that.

  12. The other day my husband said to me "Wow! You're wearing jeans!" He was genuinely surpised. I always swore I'd never wear yoga pants almost daily....but at least I dont go out in them haha. This post made me so happy, I read a lot of "Mommy blogs" and most post pictures of their perfect houses, billions of crafts and gorgeous holiday decorations. I have an 11 month old and 2.5 year old and my house has toys, dirty dishes and mail randomly scattered. Thank you :)


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