Summary: Like Desperate Housewives, many mothers today are desperate mothers.
Gen. 4:1-8, Ex. 2:1-10, 1 Sam. 1:1-11
John Tung, 5-8-05
Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms here. It is a special day for you. It is your day to be loved and appreciated in a special way.
There is no doubt moms do a lot for their families. Everybody’s mom does so much for them. And for that we all should thank our moms.
And I believe that this generation of moms does more for their children than moms in the past. Moms are so busy, doing so much for their kids. It’s no wonder that the term “Super Mom” was coined for this generation’s moms.
I came across this funny description of super moms (www.christianitytoday.com) and I thought I share it with you as we begin today’s message:
“Faster than a speeding toddler, more powerful than a cocky teenager, able to leap roller blades and hockey sticks in a single bound! Look up on that ladder… is it dad changing a light bulb??? a workman painting the ceiling???
NO!!!! It’s AWESOME MOM sorting through the laundry pile that has accumulated over the weekend.
Strange alien to a lazy teen, she hustles through the house with power and authority far beyond that of mortal man. Yes, its AWESOME MOM!… Who disguised as a *totally weird creature who never ever was a kid herself* fights a never ending battle for TRUTH… JUSTICE… and time alone in the bathroom!”
Moms today do so much that Newsweek devoted its Feb. 21 issue’s cover and main articles on the contemporary mom.
This is the picture of the contemporary mom on that Newsweek cover:
The modern mom is so busy she is portrayed as having 8 arms! There are two arms holding the baby, one arm for the soccer ball - she’s a soccer mom - one arm holding weights since she works out, one arm holding high heels since she is also a wife, one arm holding a phone since she also works and does many of the errands, another arm cooking, and one more arm holding a doll to play with her kid! Wow, and all the while she’s still smiling! I don’t know about that. I think she probably should look more tired.
That’s why the caption over the picture of this mom says “The Myth of the Perfect Mother.”
In other words, some moms think they have to do it all. They feel the pressure to be everything to their kids that they are really stressed out. That smile on the mom is a myth. In reality, she is not smiling.
Recently a mom who lives in the DC area, Judith Warner, wrote a book that has been widely talked about, titled Perfect Madness, in which she interviewed 150 women across the country and it confirmed what she felt intuitively. She realized that she and many other moms were really overdoing it as a mom, with all the kids’ activities. The pleasures and joys of motherhood were being slowly but surely replaced by stress and a slow boiling anger.
So the book is making fun of herself for being wanting to be such a perfect mom that she drove herself batty and incredibly stressed.
In fact, there is now a countermovement against this perfect mother stereotype. A book that was published last year has the interesting title, Confessions of a Slacker Mom, written by Muffy Mead-Ferro.
Here is what the author of that book looks like at home.
She has a strong sense of humor in this book. It is deliberately written to humor. She was raised in a fourth generation ranch family in Wyoming, where motherhood was much simpler and relaxed. Just letting the kids play outside in the ranch.
An article about her said this: “You won’t catch Muffy Mead-Ferro at a toddler fitness class. When it comes to enriching after-school activities, she’s not ferrying her kids to traveling soccer or French lessons either. She lets them amuse themselves in a mud puddle in the backyard instead. This Salt Lake City mother of two says she isn’t feeling a shard of guilt about her choices. ‘We’ve raised the bar too high on parenting,’ she says, ‘And squeezed out all the fun. Someone has to say, ‘Stop the Madness’.”
Last spring, Mead-Ferro published her manifesto, “Confessions of a Slacker Mom,” which called on women everywhere to park the mini-van, bow out of the childrearing sweepstake and lighten up” (Peg Tyre, Newsweek, Feb. 13, 2005).
So, which is it: Perfect mom or slacker mom or something in between?
I have a lot of empathy for mothers today. I really sense moms are under a lot of stress. I sense they are trying so hard so that their kids get every advantage.
I am not a mom, I am a dad, and it’s different being a mom than a dad. There are certain things that only moms take on and feel the pressure. And no matter how much dads do, and many dads today are doing more than their own fathers did, moms still carry more of the burden of raising children.