There’s a grassroots movement afoot…building slowly but surely in the parking lots of grade schools, in coffee houses after morning drop off, on soccer game sidelines and during power walks. It’s called the Bad Mommy Club.
It all began innocently enough while I sat with another Mom (hereinafter known as co- founder) at our third graders' re-enactment of the Oregon Trail. This was no ordinary run-of-the-mill event for these third graders. They were living, breathing, sleeping and dressing the life and times of the Pioneers. They knew more about the details of frontier life Michael Landon ever did.
It wasn’t merely a parental photo op; it was worthy of local newspaper reporters, independent film crews and Hollywood paparazzi. Any GOOD Mommy would’ve come prepared with a device of some sort to record such a momentous event in the lives of these children. But oh, no; not members of the Bad Mommy Club. Not only did co-founder and myself forget the cool, hip, digital video camera/DVD /Gameboy thing-a-majig, we didn’t even have one of those disposable cameras that the most mediocre of Moms could've run out to buy at the last minute.
Then and there, two negligent, cameraless Moms decided to unite. Our cause welled up from deep within our souls. We knew it was time to link together and create a support network in which all Bad Mommies across this great planet could come forth and no longer hide their true 'Bad Mommy' selves. And we're confident that this humble groundswell will someday grow into an organization of great stature, known for it’s global conferences, interactive website, marches in Washington, and, with any luck, it’s own magazine and cable channel.
Now, the Bad Mommy club goes well beyond occasionally forgetting the Sony. Listed below are just a few line items that we’re proposing as the basis of a Bad Mommy Manifesto. This edict will surely continue to evolve and unfold as membership grows, but if you find yourself feeling a great sigh of relief as you read this decree, then please consider applying for a charter membership.
Bad Mommy Club Manifesto
- Bad Mommies cannot remember their children’s shoe sizes. The only reason Bad Moms get any of their child’s clothing sizes right at all is because of the brilliant system created within the children's clothing industry…age is approximately equal to size.
- Bad Mommies seldom remember to pack a snack (healthy or otherwise) for their children when picking them up after school or for a playdate at the park. In fact, Bad Mommies are the sole reason for the invention of the Gas Station Convenience Mart.
- Sunscreen? On regular days? The thought doesn't even cross our minds. It’s all a Bad Mommy can do to remember to slather her child at the pool or the beach. And reapply after two hours? Right. That would involve reading the back of the bottle, something Bad Mommies are loathe to do.
- Homemade baby food, cloth diapers and the Mozart Effect? These early decisions are crucial factors in charting the course of a Bad Mommy or a Good Mommy. While many woman may desire during their pregnancy to choose these routes, a Bad Mommy, usually within three days of birth, desperately dials the diaper service and cancels, purchases several cases of baby food (assuaging a small measure of guilt by buying only the organic variety), and turns on Teletubbies as soon as the baby’s eyes are fully open. (Or is that a kitten?)
- Cherished artwork? While we certainly have every good intention of saving our children’s creations for years to come, Bad Mommies can be seen on a regular basis with their heads buried in the outdoor garbage can, sloppily searching for construction-paper collages and macaroni sculptures that somehow got scooped into the trash bag with the junk mail and dinner scraps. Neighbors no longer even look twice.
- Bad Mommies are completely clueless as to their child's height in inches (or centimeters, for our European members.) The height question on all official health forms is either left blank or filled in with an arrow to the back page, where one will find a hastily scribbled description of the child's approximate height in relation to Bad Mommy’s shoulder.
- Bad Mommies mistakenly record over the video of their eldest child’s very first steps…with an episode of All My Children.
- Bad Mommies never remember to send raincoats unless there is actual precipitation at the very moment carpool arrives for pickup. (Weather forecast? Those guys are never right.)
- Bad Mommies never remember to purchase tickets to school plays. As a result, they are often seen frantically begging Good Mommies for extra tickets, thus temporarily delaying therapy for their thespian child.
- Bad Mommies only remember the shoebox for the Dinosaur Diorama after receiving a phone call from the teacher herself. Then, after poring through every closet in the house and coming up empty (shades of Old Mother Hubbard…an early prototype of the Bad Mommy), Bad Mommies quickly run to a shoe store and buy their child a new pair of shoes, just to get the box. Of course, the shoes themselves are completely worthless because, as we all learned in point number one, Bad Mommies never can remember their child’s shoe size!
So, I implore all Bad Mommies. Rise up! Unite! Down with the Supermom! It’s time to raise high our banner of dereliction, lunacy, absent-mindedness, good intentions, and, yes, hearts of gold, and march into the world. We are out there, and we will be heard.