This month, Nicole Knepper released her hilarious book “Moms Who Drink And Swear” based on her blog of the same name. It’s insanely funny, which isn’t surprising if you’ve read Nicole before. But it also got me self-reflecting a bit.
As I looked at her book sitting a top a pile on my nightstand of other recent releases in its genre, I was bothered by a theme running through the framing and marketing of these raw accounts of motherhood from this new generation. I began to wonder if this wine-swilling, expletive-spewing, social-media-addled image of “Mom” is any more liberated than the cigarette-smoking, curler-wearing, mumu-clad, overextended housewife that came before her. Are we really gaining ground if it’s on the shoulders of a new stereotype?
“Moms Who Drink And Swear” is described by its publisher on Amazon as follows:
If you feel like your kids are killing you, you’ve come to the right place.
Attention all potty-mouthed, cheap-wine-drinking mothers: Prepare to meet your match.
I find myself questioning if our identities as Mothers and our identities as adults partaking in adult activities need to be one and the same. I think that sometimes, we can declare our independence from stereotypes and still wear different hats when necessary. And y’know…sometimes not drinking and swearing and snickering on twitter while mothering is kind of necessary. (Obviously not all the time, I mean, we’re entitled to be human.)
I’ve certainly been guilty of tweeting about the tantrum that drove me to xanax, or throwing in an f-bomb for dramatic effect. But as my daughter grows up, so do I. There was a time where I’d tell anyone who would listen about my refusal to stop swearing because “it’s part of my voice as a writer” and “just who I am.” Until my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter told my father she “wasn’t eating any fucking chicken” and I realized that maybe it would be okay to stop swearing on certain occasions while wearing certain hats. I think the biggest mistake we make with our own identities as Mothers is letting the Mom title permeate everything else we do. Sometimes, we act like Moms because that’s what’s best for our children. Other times, we act like teenagers because that’s what’s best for our soul. There can be a separation between the two. [...continue reading...]