Happy June. We’ve reached the other side of Mother’s Day, Father’s day. In May WTF celebrated the Imperfect Mother. I thought, Oh how sweet! So, this month we can celebrate the Imperfect Father… huh… but I have never heard of a “Perfect Father” or an “Imperfect Father”. I haven’t seen any books on the NYT bestseller list titled, “The Good Enough Father.” WTF? It’s obvious Fatherhood doesn’t need the qualifier of “Imperfect” to fight off the tyranny of “Perfect.”
This inequity doesn’t make me bristle with indignation – but it does make me want to set us free! I think we are in need of a Mommy-Moses, “Let my people go!”
I mean, maybe the imperfect and the perfect are like matter and anti-matter. If we can get them in the same room together, it will lead to the annihilation of both, and then we can all sigh with relief because we are left with simply MOTHER.
The fact that any of us (or many of us) are grappling with the guilt and feelings of inadequacy in our mothering is a much larger discussion. But, for me, it’s superficial deconstruction is that even though I know that I can’t be a PERFECT Mother (which, let’s be honest, is synonymous with GOOD Mother) giving up the goal of perfection makes me feel somehow vulnerable. This is because the pursuit of PERFECTION in mothering feels like armor; my motives are unassailable both to others and myself. But, conversely, allowing myself to embrace IMPERFECTION in mothering, (just being who I truly am) feels like I am falling down on the sacred job of motherhood and failing my kids. Caught between a rock and a hard place.
Stepping back from this conundrum, I have to ask, “Who would give themselves a truly impossible job, then beat themselves up daily (if not hourly in my case) for not doing it PERFECTLY?” If we had a boss, or a friend, or a partner who did that to us, over and over, we might call that person … a Mother Fucker, no?
It’s shocking I know, but let’s look at a definition of that phrase: “Mother fucker – a despicable … or vicious person. One who fucks his mother.”
My first step in setting us free would be to make the phrase “Good Mother” synonymous with ‘Mother Fucker.” Because that’s what we are doing to ourselves, and letting others do to us, being vicious and despicable. We are fucking ourselves.
My next step in setting us free might seem hypocritical but it’s claiming the power of Motherfucker.
A pal showed me a video recently of her 4-year-old daughter spinning around the room pretending to be a princess…excuse me! NOT a princess – a queen! “ I am a queen!” she sang as she danced around in a circle, “I am a queen” she sang louder, with a dishtowel tied on her shoulder, “I am a… Motherfucking queen!” I must have watched that video about 50 times because I thought,
“Yeah, she IS a MOTHERFUCKING QUEEN”.
Do you guys remember that line in the movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” when Jessica Chastain, as Maya, says, “I’m the motherfucker who found the place, sir.” And we have all heard, “He’s a bad-ass Mother Fucker.” That pronoun is the ultimate insult and the ultimate identification with power. It represents the primordial, raw power of the mother. We are mighty.
So, in June and for the rest of the summer, when we are chasing our kids around, begging them to put on sunscreen, feeling triumphant or embarrassed by our bathing suit clad selves; as we breathe in the long summer days and the soft summer nights. I have three ideas for freedom:
1. Don’t let ANYONE be a motherfucker to you, including yourself.
2. Be a Bad-Ass Motherfucker in the world.
3. Tie a dishtowel around your neck and dance around the room singing, “I am a Motherfucking Queen!”
Happy Father’s Day,