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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Confessions of Super Mom by Melanie Hauser

I have to tell you if I have a choice, I'm one of those people who would much rather skip Mother's day than acknowledge it. Now, I know that seems a little weird to some of you. I mean, it's the one day a year that many of us will actually hear a thank you and all that. But here's the thing, as far as I'm concerned Mother's day is another tool of Satan to make women feel bad.

If you are one of millions of women who are not mothers you feel bad, especially if you are one who desperately does want to be a mother but can be. If you are a mother you feel bad because no matter how it's played out Mother’s day can be just as bad for your self esteem as any fashion magazine or prime-time television show. It isn't about what is said or not said. It's about a woman's weird ability to take whatever is said and turn it into a negative. "See. I'm not like that so I'm obviously lacking as a mother."

Okay, maybe I'm just weird but that's what happens for me. I'm okay with sitting through the Primary kids singing while picking their noses, that's normal motherhood. But then somebody (ies) inevitably starts extolling all the virtues of their particular mother or mothers in general and I start a mental check list. "Nope I don't do that, nope I don't do that, nope I don't do that either."

I have yet to hear anyone celebrate the kind of mother I am. No, I don't think anyone would say I don't love my children or call protective services but I definitely do not reek of motherly virtues either. I don't cook. I don't clean. I don't run my kids to endless activities or cheer at all their games. I'm not totally supportive of everything they do. The list could go on and on. In fact I've decided my one motherhood claim-to-fame is the fact that my children can read me to sleep. No, not the other way around. My children take great pride in the fact that they can read me a bedtime story and I'll snuggle right down and go to sleep. I’m such a good mommy. :)

Why am I telling you all of this? So you'll understand where I'm coming from with my book pick for Mother's day. Of all the wonderful books put out by LDS and national publishers each year extolling the virtues of motherhood I wouldn't recommend a one to you. (Well, okay, maybe Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother.) Why? Because if you're anything like me you don't need something else to feel bad about on the one day that is supposed to make you feel good.

So, here's my recommendation. This Mother's day, skip church and curl up in bed with a large bowl of chocolate and Confessions of Super Mom by Melanie Lynne Hauser.

Super Mom is just about the most fun a person can have pointing out all the stereotypical characteristics of a mother. After a freak accident involving her Swiffer, Birdie Lee becomes a superhero to rival those in her son’s comic books. A typical single mother is suddenly transformed into a super cleaning, organizing, cooking, budgeting, and lecture-delivering super hero with an ├╝ber mother's instinct not to be messed with.

There are a few pages that you'll have to cover your eyes for-- when Super Mom discovers that even moms are entitled to a love life. She's actually a little aghast at the fact that she could possibly even think about sex when she's supposed to be saving the world's children . . . Those few pages are very tame by a national standard, but they are still there.

So, go ahead grab a copy and snuggle down. I for one will spend the day with the sequel: Super Mom Saves the World. When your visiting teachers show up to hand you your already wilting Mother's day plant, and ask why you weren't at church Sunday, smile and hand them a copy of Confessions of Super Mom in return. With any luck it will get you released from some ward calling that requires you to be an upstanding example of motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

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