The Fall Of Good Mothering: A Week In Review

There are likely some great moms out there...but they don't have a reality show

The July/August issue of Scientific American Mind magazine features an interesting article called “Baby Power” that states having a baby and becoming a parent shifts the brain chemistry in both mothers and fathers, for the better. Men find their nurturing side and apparently “pregnancy transforms a woman from a self-centered organism into an other-focused caregiver.”

The article is warm and fuzzy and includes scientific research to back up its claims, but thankfully, the world of entertainment and news utilized this past week was an opportunity to prove science wrong. Let’s review, shall we?

The Casey Anthony Show, sponsored by Nancy Grace and friends, featured a mentally ill young mother accused of killing her toddler, and ended with a fantastic finale episode: a not guilty verdict. The series concluded just in time for the premier of Toddlers in Tiaras, which thankfully gave viewers their much needed fix of witnessing emotionally abusive parents with personal agendas first-hand. Other-focused my ass.

Pushing maternal incompetence into a deeper swamp of mental health ruins, Teen Mom also premiered this week. After deciding to take out a loan for her breast implants, rather than use her hard-earned savings (thanks MTV!), teen mom Farrah struggled to deal with the physical pain of receiving her size C’s. Thank goodness her barely-a-toddler daughter was willing to sit alone on a staircase while mommy received multiple bags of frozen vegetables to heal her pain. Obviously,  dealing with child safety need not be part of the equation when plastic surgery recovery is the focus.

In other what-it-means-to-be-a-mom-is-going-down-the-tubes news, ‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman appeared on The Today Show this week with 9 of her 14 children -- her two-year-old octuplets as well as her parentified nine-year-old, Amara.

After verbally interrupting Ann Curry throughout the entire interview with a seemingly substance-induced statements about not wasting her energy on negative comments and running 40 miles a week, ‘Octomom’ made sure to let us know that her children are in the 80th percentile in height and weight. Phew. What she forgot to mention though, was they are also in the 80th percentile of those most likely to need future intensive therapy. Other than that snafu, along with Ann Curry having to run to save one of the octuplets who had face-planted and lodged himself between the stage and backdrop, the interview was totally normal.

Lastly, abstinence preaching mom, Bristol Palin, also graced the television this week by appearing on The View. She discussed her comments about her virginity being “stolen,” though she remains firm that she wasn’t raped, which totally clears things up. Apparently her virginity was “stolen” while she was drunk on a camping trip, leaving us to wonder if her inspiration to name her child “Tripp” was after camping trip, similar to Mariah Carey’s choice in naming her child Moroccan, inspired by the Moroccan décor of the room her husband proposed to her in.

Let's not forget Natalie Portman, who named her son Aleph after the Hebrew letter most commonly understood to mean wholeness or g-d, and we’re reminded that naming your children after events, décor, linens, fruits, vegetables, letters, numbers, and the almighty, are all great options when putting your child first.

Sorry Scientific American Magazine. I love you like mad, you are my sanity among the multiple issues of In Touch and People on my desk, but baby, when it comes to motherhood, you got served. “Other-focused caregiver” is so out…“Self-centered organism” is so in.

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