Friday, June 17, 2005

Because "good enough" isn't good enough

Found this article through Rebel Dad, who got it from Playground Revolution. It's about the minds behind Alpha Mom TV, a cable channel for "the new breed of ‘go to’ moms who are constantly looking to be ahead of the curve and ‘in the know’ on the newest innovations, hippest trends and research breakthroughs.”


Her channel will be like a support group or a church—the church of the immaculate perfection. Goal-oriented parents can go there and find comfort that they’re not alone, that others are also struggling to grow the perfect child. They’ll be told what to do and what not to do and how to do it better—discover how to boost their newborn’s coordination and strength; learn massage that “can help babies eat and sleep better”; hear “research-based explanations of how children separate and attach”; and obtain guidance on “raising overachievers.”

Grow "the perfect child"? As if there is such a thing. Children are people. No person is perfect. This is yet another competition that can't be won (no, not even if your precious little Harrison or Ashlynn scores the highest on the math quiz, or has the most friends over for his or her birthday party, or reads at an eighth-grade level). And, as it can't be "won," it's a false goal that serves only to set parents up for feeling like failures.

Ah, but has the channel thought of that already?

And when inevitably they’re frustrated in their goals, they’ll find programs for that, too: some calm high priestess of motherhood, some Oprah-meets-Martha image of perfection, coming on to absolve them for failing to be perfect today and bolstering their resolve to be more perfect tomorrow.

No, apparently not. Because however you slice it, it's still baloney about perfection: perfect parents, perfect kids. It's enough to make you want to drink yourself into a perfect oblivion, courtesy of several perfect martinis.


Blogger Gina said...

Found your blog via POW and Mimilou. Can I just say that Ms. Kallman scares the bejesus out of me?

Oh, yes, she can really empathize with the "Snow Belt Mom with one car." She of the Night Nurse, Babysitter, and Nanny knows all about the loneliness and hard work of taking care of a child by yourself.

I sort of feel sorry for the boy. I hope her business plan for him works out. However, I think perhaps he will be seeking out a few martinis of his own when the time comes.

12:51 AM, June 18, 2005  
Anonymous suzanh said...

O.k., seeing red.

Also, crazy much? (I know, I know, very judgmental.)

And why, exactly, do you need a babysitter AND a nanny? Just curious. You know, for when I hit the big time.

11:05 AM, June 18, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

Ick, ick, ick.

12:02 PM, June 18, 2005  
Blogger LibraryCrunch said...

I just want to say one thing, who the fuck grows children?

12:11 PM, June 18, 2005  
Blogger Songbird said...

What a horrifying woman!

3:22 PM, June 18, 2005  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Enough to make me puke.

11:42 PM, June 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it all depends on how you define "perfect."

4:27 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger George said...

Surely there's a happy medium between the increasingly OCD surveillant mode of parenting encouraged today and the "open the bottle of whisky and anything goes" model of my parents' generation.

I'm just glad I don't plan to have kids.

8:41 PM, June 20, 2005  

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