Thursday musings: The Power of a Woman's Face
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Was/Am I A 'Bad' Mother?

Guest blog by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

I recently took a 2,400 mile cross country road trip and because of that I had a lot of time alone in the Picture2 car with talk radio. I imagine it was in response to Mother's Day, but most of the talk show hosts seemed focused on how we mothers have "failed our daughters" or have "forced Hollywood standards" upon them. That got me to thinking about my own daughter. Had I failed her? Let's review. 

Let's see, when my daughter was born, I did not breast feed. I know that in light of the recent Times Magazine cover and article I apparently did her a disservice. Frankly, I found the idea a bit ooky so couldn't do it. She survived and thrived on formula, she and I bonded as did she and her father, and she has no health issues. Dodged a bullet there! 

Moving on to her toddler years. She, of cherubic face, flawless porcelain skin, and wispy beautiful hair. She was the picture of perfection. Wait! Because she was so beautiful, what was I thinking in not signing her up for Toddlers & Tiaras? I mean, I could have coated her beautiful skin in makeup, enhanced her already lengthy lashes with mascara, dressed her like a trampy teen and paraded her down a runway. Good mothering to protect her from that? Failed mothering because I deprived her of her shot at stardom? Hhmmm

Onto the dream (actually my dream) of seeing my daughter dance. I was born with no sense of rhythm and a decided lack of coordination so I figured that when I had a daughter I'd live vicariously through her dancing on stage. She joined jazz. Hated it. Quit. Then it was onto tap dancing. Never made it to a recital. Quit. Finally, it was time to try ballet. Tiny ballet slippers, pink leotard and tutu. She was adorable, but said she didn't want to dance on stage. Just a phase, right? Once the recital came, she'd be dancing alongside her friends. Wrong again. Recital day came and she stood there, arms crossed, saying, "I told you I didn't want to." Sigh, more of my dreams shattered! I apparently was no Dance Mom

Now that she's a young woman I stand back and look at her accomplishments. She graduated high school early, sampled almost every extra curricular offered, traveled with drum corps, has held down jobs, is attending college, helps out and visits her grandparents. Hhhmmm Could it be that because I didn't force Hollywood standards on her and let her be her own girl/young woman (well, except for the dancing!) I just might be in the good mother camp! 

Happy Mother's Day and on that day I will also be celebrating the amazing job I apparently did with my child! 



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Sybil Stershic

I love this post, Robbi. Congrats on your daughter and her liking your post! There's a lot of wisdom in trusting your gut as a mother and not falling prey to Hollywood standards.

I was fortunate to be in a loving family and to offer the same to my son. As my beloved mother used to say, the best you can do as parents is to raise good human beings. Kudos to our parents, our kids, and us. Happy Mother's Day!


Thank you for not being a train wreck mom. Being on tv does not make one a role model! I'm glad you appreciate the good job you have done.


Thanks Carol and Yvonne. Alexa read it and liked it... I mean, a kid liking what their mom wrote?! Damn, score more for me!

Carol Bryant

Great insights, Robbi. I don't have any human kids, but I can absolutely understand where you are coming from. Kudos to you for a job well done: with your daughter AND with your great piece of blog prose here.

Yvonne DiVita

Interesting post, Robbi. We can all 'look back' and wonder, but in light of the so called advice columns, etc today - I'm tempted to tell new Moms to ... button their lip. They don't know it all. They didn't invent motherhood, or breast feeding or any of the trials and tribulations of being a Mom. We did.

Ok, we didn't. Truth is, being a Mom is hard work. You do what you can with what you have - not the baby, the times you live in. And, funny... but the kids usually turn out all right.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed this.

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