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This Mother's Day Poem Pissed Me Off!

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Jennifer Ginsberg: For Mother's Day, my 5-year-old son presented me with a beautiful, handpainted butterfly magnet that he had made for me in preschool. Along with the gift was a card with a photocopied poem inside that read:

furious woman

Real mothers don't eat quiche;
they don't have time to make it.

Real mothers know that dried Play-Doh
doesn't come out of carpets.

Real mothers don't want to know what
the vacuum just sucked up ....

Real mothers often have sticky floors and
filthy ovens but ...

They have happy kids.

How shall I count the ways that this poem insulted me?

First of all, I love to cook and I'm quite good at it. While quiche is not my speciality, I have the time to prepare delicious, healthy meals for myself and my children. It's something that brings pleasure to me and my family. I love it when my toddler asks to help me, as she shakes seasoning all over salmon fillets and cuts cucumbers into tiny shapes. It also brings me joy when my son sets the table and attempts to fold the napkins into triangle hats.

However, according to the poem, if you have the time to cook, you are a bad mom and neglecting your kids. Extra points if you feed them processed crap full of chemicals. All along, I thought I was teaching my kids the importance of good nutrition. By involving them in the process of cooking, I even thought they were having fun!

But apparently "real" mothers are too busy to cook. Doing what? I'm not certain. Because according to this poem, "real" mothers aren't allowed to clean their homes, either!

According to this poem, I've also committed a maternal sin by teaching my children that it is not OK to grind Play-Doh into my carpet. Ironically, this exact thing happened a few months ago. My children were playing with Play-Doh in my living room. My son had the brilliant idea to make Play-Doh pancakes, and proceeded to violently stomp on the neon-pink goop -- on my expensive wool rug.

Maybe someone should call Child Protective Services, because his consequence was that he had to help me painstakingly remove the Play-Doh from the rug, crumb by crumb.

I also explained to him that if this ever happened again, Play-Doh would be permanently removed from his life, and there was a good chance that SpongeBob and Skittles would disappear, too!

I am pleased to report that this hasn't recurred, but according to the poem, it's actually a virtue to have Play-Doh ground into the carpet. I suspect the mom who wrote this asinine poem also lets her children draw on her walls and piss in her garden!

Lastly, according to the poem, if my house is a filthy mess, I am a "real" mother. If my vacuum cleaner is constantly needing to be replaced from sucking up little made-in-China plastic toy pieces and my kitchen floor has barf on it, I am a Mommy Rock Star!

Again, I must be a "fake" mom, because my children have to put their toys away when they're done playing with them. Also, when something spills, the person responsible for the spill must clean it up -- accident or not. And (gasp, gasp!) my 3-year-old daughter puts away her clothes in the hamper and my son makes his bed!

All along, I thought I was teaching my children important life skills like responsibility and discipline, but according to my Mother's Day poem, a "real" mother lives in a pigsty where her piglets are allowed to not only run, but destroy, the farm. And if her reaction is anything but, "Oh, how cute that Jakey took a piss on my calla lilies!" or "Look at the gorgeous rainbow that Emma drew on the wall in our den!", then she's a nasty bitch who lacks perspective and her unhappy children are being creatively stunted.

So to all the "fake" mothers out there who have the time to cook and value order and cleanliness in your lives: I hope you had a happy Mother's Day.

And to the "real" moms -- whose feet stick to the kitchen floor, whose houses look like Romper Room, who subsist on McDonalds and frozen dinners -- I hope you enjoyed your day, too.

But I also hope that you went to the spa for at least an hour to escape from the filth and chaos of your home, and that you had the time to eat something delicious and fresh with pronounceable ingredients!


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80 comments so far | Post a comment now
Cat May 10, 2010, 9:55 PM

I love how you are more insulting than the insulting poem you are complaining about. How about, real mom’s are hypocrits. You’re obviously one and you made it VERY clear, YOU are the definition of a real mom. @@

Tania May 10, 2010, 10:53 PM

You let your son watch Spongebob squarepants??? Wow

Lori May 10, 2010, 11:01 PM

Hey Michael B, read my comment again. I said my previous comments were “tongue-in-cheek.” As in, I wasn’t actually offended, instead I was feigning offense in response to the author’s offense.
Reading comprehension goes a long way. ;-)


Erin W. / Beatnik Momma May 10, 2010, 11:04 PM

I definitely see where you are coming from, and had I received the same poem under the right amount of stress or if it caught me when I was in just the right (or wrong, as the case may be) mood, I may have gone off on a similar rant.

I do, however, feel that the tone of this rant implies that there is no in between. We’re either raising little Pigpens (via Peanuts) or we’re the perfect Stepford family.

I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt here and assume that Jennifer was just hit at the wrong time with the poem and hope that the way I as well as many other commenters read into the tone is incorrect.

I think the point of it all is that perhaps we should take it a little easier on our fellow moms. If your kids are happy and healthy, pat yourselves on the back, ladies, because we’re all very lucky to be called mom.

Heather H May 11, 2010, 5:25 AM

I 100% percent agree with you and think the poem is ridiculous. I’m certainly not June Cleaver but I try my best to keep a nice clean home and put good meals(including quiche) on my table. :)

Kisha P. May 11, 2010, 6:54 AM

I found the article quite amusing. While, reading the poem, though I didn’t take it seriously, I did think, “Hey, I cook EVERYDAY”. I wasn’t upset by the poem or the article. My children have responsibilities in the home and my youngest is six. She doesn’t do a very good job all the time, but I am still teaching her to clean up behind herself.

I was shocked to read all of the attacks again the author of this article; it was very surprising. Hoorah for moms that cook daily and don’t allow the kids to trash the house! No, my house is not spotless, I have children, but we do make sure the kids play an active role in taking care of their rooms as well as the house as a whole.

K May 11, 2010, 7:26 AM

Yeesh, all the people who bashed this article… the poem says that all “real moms” are too busy parenting to worry about cooking and cleaning, and that IS insulting to those who make the time. You’re just as “real” whether you have a Martha Stewart side or not. It’d be okay if it said sometimes or often, but implying that you HAVE to have a house like that or you’re not a “real mom?” Not cool.

th May 11, 2010, 11:02 AM

I think this Mama def has some issues that is why she reacted the way she did. Maybe she has pressure from her hubby or neighbors or some sort of female family member that causes the short circut on this innocent poem.

Maybe she is just insulted because she tries sooo hard and gets nothin but “its not good enough”. That’s what it seems like to me. Who knos.

OUTRAGED!!! May 11, 2010, 12:09 PM

Ok, I think the author of this article took that poem WAY to personal. First of all it was a photographed copy of a poem not one your kid wrote personally. I think that you just immediatly thought it was about you personally. I have 2 kids and work 40 hrs a week, my house is not always clean, and it would be impossiable for me to cook EVERY day. My kids didn’t get me anything for mother’s day. There teachers did not take the time to have them make anything and I don’t believe in buying things on mother’s day. My feelings were not hurt. They both gave me a hugs and a kisses and said happy mothers day to me. I think we put too much emphasis on mother’s day. I think so many mom’s out there think they should be showered with gifts on mother’s day. I don’t I think it’s just another hallmark holiday. My kids are sure to tell me every day how much they appreciate me. Not just on mother’s day. I get homemade presents from them all the time. Just remember what your role as a mother is and don’t take everything so personal. Nobody is perfect. The teacher just wanted to send home something for every mom. Be thankful your kid has a thoughtful teacher and hey…Relax!

Anonymous RG May 11, 2010, 1:15 PM

I can’t believe how many people went off on the author of this article, while telling Her to chill out. *Shaking my head* I thought the article was funny and took it as it was intended—tongue in cheek. It is an article…one person’s opinion..which for most women and people can change daily.

Perhaps some of you are just feeling defensive because you use being a mom as an excuse not to clean your house or do laundry? LOL.. I have an friend whose home is usually filthy…laundry piled up, clutter everywhere and she blames it on being a SAHM. I love this gal, but c’mon - Um most small kids take Naps and go to bed at nite and do have periods of independent playtime…I have an outside activity with my child every day almost, do lunch with hubby a couple times a week, host playgroups etc and manage to do laundry 2x a week and still keep a spotless (very large) home. It’s not that hard. Just do it here and there and clean up after yourself and family and it isn’t that hard. That’s just me…

We are all different, as are our priorities, perceptions and tolerance levels. I still love my messy friend and don’t judge…that’s just her comfort level. She doesn’t care about it. I personally have to have order and cleanliness. We all have our own ways, our own quirks and things. That’s the beauty—-we’re all unique works of art…just as our children should be. The bottom line….be yourself, do what works for you and don’t judge others. Accept people as they are, quirks and all and hopefully teach your kids that too…maybe more people would get along in this world…

Rita May 11, 2010, 1:33 PM

I think the poem was just saying its ok if you have times when the house isn’t at it’s cleanest because you’re a mom. Maybe you feel too pressured to be too perfect all the time to impress others you may not like. I’m glad you’re raising your children right but geez lighten up.

Hannah May 11, 2010, 5:15 PM

Wow, you need a chill pill! Its a cute poem that is in no way intended to imply that you are a bad mother. Relax a little. If something like this pisses you off, I’d hate to see what you do at the store if something rings up wrong at the register! :O

Dutch May 11, 2010, 10:13 PM

You should get a job.
Stupid women.

CJ May 11, 2010, 10:49 PM

I don’t think the poem is cute or funny. If I was a mom, I would have mommy issues with that poem too.

nurse_allie May 12, 2010, 7:33 AM

It’s just a poem, I can see how some women would take offense to it, it’s best just to be thankful you have a child to bring you home a little gift for Mother’s Day instead of taking offense to the words.I’m sure the teacher tried to come up with something cute and suitable too! Clean House, Dirty House, Cooked Food, Fast Food, being there for your kid is the most important thing you can do! Allie in Kansas, Mother and Nana

Anonymous May 12, 2010, 7:50 AM

Wirter is 100% right. I’m actually shocked that so many “moms” disagree with her. Seriously, I too think that poem was offensive. Real moms know how to cook real foods and don’t have gross, nasty, sticky floors or allow their children to mash play-doh in the carpet.

Michelle May 12, 2010, 5:45 PM

I too, was not offended by the poem but by Jennifer Ginsberg. This was the first I had heard of Momlogic but I won’t be looking at this website again. The poem was meant to acknowledge that it is really hard sometimes to do and be everything that moms are expected to be..moms who are not perfect and if you really look at yourself you will see you are not either. Most of us moms want our kids healthy, happy and BALANCED!

momof4 May 12, 2010, 8:02 PM

wow…I definitely think you are over reacting. I agree with the other ladies that his teacher probably meant it as cute, to say that being a mom does change your life and even though you don’t have time for things you did before you had kids, that you are still appreciated. I wouldn’t take it literally.

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Anonymous May 13, 2010, 11:47 PM

My issue isn’t with Jennifer’s offense over the poem, but instead how she goes on to slam other moms who don’t raise their children the way she raises her own. It doesn’t make sense to complain about the poem, then turn around and do pretty much the very thing that offended her.
If this was some sort of attempt at humor, it was in bad taste.


I also love all these comments about “real moms.” Real moms love and protect their kids to the best of their ability. Whether or not you can cook or keep Play-Doh off the floor doesn’t determine “real mom” status. It’s not a pissing match people.


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