Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm no yummy mummy

I know, you're thinking "What the heck is a yummy mummy?" There are so many answers and the "Yummy Mummy" TV show is careful not to choose any one. Yummy Mummy is a show on Discovery Health that says it aims to find the woman in every mom. The woman on the street definitions all seem very shallow ... "makeup, clothes, highlights and confidence," one little pop tart chirps. "A woman who knows who she is even though she has kids," one man (MAN???) says. Of course, what he means is, "A woman who knows that she's still expected to be my eye and arm candy."

The TV show, though, does a good job of putting forth the expectation that we should all want to be sexy and have adult stimulation. In one episode, the hosts talk about wearing heels when you just want to feel sexy (perhaps when I'm vacuuming the house?). In another, they presented Music to Strip To and pole dancing for exercise. Of course, there are other topics that are slightly less shallow like assuring women it's okay to take time for themselves (and if you need a TV show for that little revelation, you've got more problems than a TV show can solve).

Really, though, I suspect the women who craft this fairy tale of a TV show have nannies raising their children. Their kids are likely handed off to them after work squeaky clean and wearing $100 outfits. There's no way that these wafer-sized women in chic Bermuda shorts and three-inch heels have EVER cleaned their toddler's poop off the floor because they let their child run around diaperless after failing to wrestle that diaper and at least a shirt on the child. Nor have these women ever had spinach thrown in their hair, their face scratched by nails that are impossible to cut or had to eat a cookie in the bathroom just so they didn't have to share the damn thing.

But in all this, do I long for my former life? Rarely. Do I want to prance around in three-inch heels and pole dance for exercise? Honestly, when you're a parent, sleep is the new sex. And I get plenty of exercise chasing my toddler. Do I need music to strip to? Actually, that may be the key to stripping down the kid without drama.

And as a mother, do I really need to find the woman within? So often when I hear moms say they don't feel like a woman, I feel sad. They've accepted a patriarchal society's definition of womanhood as separate from motherhood. And that's wrong. Being a woman isn't about pole dancing, feeling sexy and attractive or keeping up our appearance. Funny, but I didn't really feel like a woman until I became pregnant, gave birth and nursed and nurtured a child.

(Sorry, no disclaimer today. I'm not feeling generous. If you think I'm being judgmental and are offended, tough.)


Anonymous said...

the image of you pole-dancing in your living room is enough to get me through the rest of this week!
--Your hysterical cousin Kelley

maryellenlewis said...

eating a cookie in the bathroom???????

I can totally relate :o