2 Feb 2012

Are You A Model Mother? Take the 1950s Test.

I love how articles from the 1950s are like Germans: anti-semitic blunt. Sure, we have antagonistic headlines today that also present opinions as fact, but back in the 1950s, this was a rather hilarious norm. Right and wrong, good and bad - it was all often spelled out unapologetically, especially when it came to explaining what it meant to be a "good" mother, wife, woman, father, husband, or man. It's not so much the suggestions within the articles that make our eyes bulge (ok, sometimes it is), but the absolutism of it all.

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about: "Are You A Model Mother?" This little checklist was printed in a 1959 edition of Best Wishes, a magazine that was provided to new mothers compliments of The Salvation Army. Best Wishes was sort of the gift-with-pushes (hee) that women would get in the hospital as they were coming out of their drug haze from having a baby.

The thing I find most interesting about this particular article is that it actually has very little to do with parenting and more to do with the kind of woman you are 'despite' becoming a mother. In short, if you live the "Mom Jean" lifestyle ("I'm not a woman any more, I'm a mom") and commit the sins that would get you a mention on STFU, Parents, you're not a model mother.

Hey, don't shoot the messenger! See for yourself:

That last one is simply magical, especially considering that the woman reading this magazine was likely still in her hospital bed nursing a destroyed vagina newborn.

So, tell me, are you a model mother? Do any of these describe you or the mother you hope to be? Or can this entire article kiss your model mother ass?


Anonymous,  5:41 pm, February 02, 2012  

As much as some women might hate the idea of a model mother (you're right, it's the absolutism of it that's off-putting), I think these suggestions are rather sane. It's about creating balance in your life. Loved the mom jeans link!

Vivianne 8:02 pm, February 02, 2012  

Sure I am :-) But I don't take my pills, forgot the hubby was a member of the family for several months, may or may not have neglected to make dinner the first few weeks, and have only just achieved a happy level of 'newness' in my closet. No second child yet, either. But I'm sure my first would tell you I'm a good mommy. That is, if you can get her away from the Little Einsteins on tv.


Anonymous,  10:52 am, February 03, 2012  

Maybe I was born in the wrong decade but this doesn't seem unreasonable. I wonder if women back then managed to retain a greater sense of themselves (as an individual, woman) than women do now when they become mothers. I might try to keep this list in mind and see how it goes.

Di Smith 12:07 pm, February 03, 2012  

Hmmmmm. Since I never pretended to be a "model mother," this list doesn't bother me. Sure, some of the things are completely reasonable... on a good day. Others are subjective (and downright hilarious).

I'd venture to guess that my personal definition of a parent/mother (or even a woman, for that matter) is vastly different than the author's. Shrug.

Meghan,  6:04 pm, February 03, 2012  

CAN WE BRING THIS BACK?!!! Friends I had before they had kids have suddenly turned into Pod People-Pod People who have even deluded themselves into pitying me for not wanting any little bank account bandits myself..

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