The bad mom bench

You try and try, but sometimes, you just may have to give up your Parent of the Year tiara. Members of Salon's Table Talk community explain.

By Salon Staff

Published November 21, 2008 6:58PM (EST)

Family Life

Does It Make Me a Bad Parent If....

Nicola O. - 06:33 pm Pacific Time - Nov 11, 2008

Feel free to say yes. Sometimes we need a reality check.

Does it make me a bad mom if my daughter's singing inspires me with profound irritation rather than affection? It's not even bad singing. It's just ... pop star wannabe vs. innocent kid voice.

Nola - 03:46 pm Pacific Time - Nov 12, 2008 - #30 of 216

I want to believe that there's someone out there who can do better than I can, but I've given up looking for one. - Aspidistra

Am I a bad mother because I sent my kid to school on her birthday with cupcakes from the Sam's Club? I thought they were awesome because they had hello kitty rings on top. And me bake? Pshaw. I think I got some raised eyebrows at the school though. Geez.

Christine E. - 04:50 pm Pacific Time - Nov 12, 2008 - #34 of 216

Am I a bad parent because I fed my child popcorn and Reeses Cups for breakfast on Saturday? During a matinee of High School Musical 3? Does it matter that she called me the Best Mama Ever for taking her to that movie and letting her eat said unwholesome breakfast?

But ... but ... Alton Brown says popcorn is a good breakfast food! It's a whole grain! Yeah, I know he meant proper popcorn made at home in a pan, and not that chemical-laden styrofoam they sell at most movie theaters.

Oh, and I too cannot stand it when my daughter sings like ... um, the characters in High School Musical 3 ... instead of in her own idiosyncratic rough, sometimes-off-key voice that I love so much.

Valley Girl - 11:08 am Pacific Time - Nov 13, 2008 - #45 of 216

Am I a bad mother because I told my 14 year old that if she loses her retainer again she should just go ahead and find herself a new family to live with?

Clearly she did not take me seriously because her response was "WhatEVER, Mom."

Thryn - 10:58 am Pacific Time - Nov 16, 2008 - #85 of 216

I also tell Ariel 'because you have a hard-knock life' if she asks whyyyyy she has to do some perfectly normal thing (like fetch her own toothbrush).

And put me on the Mama Without Sympathy bench for those occasions when she's bonked herself by willfully doing whatever I just told her not to do.

For whining, I generally say "I don't speak Whinese, speak English. Or you can say it in German or Spanish, if you know how." I'm the meanest mom ever, I tell ya.

Nicola O. - 08:58 pm Pacific Time - Nov 17, 2008 - #126 of 216

My Inner Bad Parent at this very moment is wishing I could LOCK THE CHILDREN IN THEIR BEDROOM as it is 30 minutes past bedtime and the children are still playing the part of the pop-up whack-a-moles, and me without a mallet.

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------