Stacey Sims Is Hardly The Worst Mom

Stacy Sims - Unrealistec Expectations of WomenSince her brand is “World’s Worst Diabetes Mom,” maybe Stacey will get mad at me for saying it but no way she’s even in the bottom three quintiles of worst moms. In fact, what IS it about moms that they run around calling themselves “just the worst” at anything? Especially when it’s so quantifiably not true.

Look at it this way. Can you imagine that the dad out there who really is the worst – The. Worst. -Father in the history of the world EVER in a million years said to himself, “You know what? I’m pretty bad. I’m just not cut out for this whole ‘dad thing’!”

Of COURSE not! The dads who really are the worst or close to it are still wearing their “world’s best dad” T-shirt sand drinking from their “world’s best dad” coffee mugs and demanding their kids send them hand-drawn “world’s best dad” greeting cards. And not the cheap cards either. And that’s the world’s worst dad who stuck around to actually BE a dad. That’s not counting all those billions of fathers who never stuck around to be terrible dads. Men like my biological father. They just left.

Now I know there are some terrible mothers out there. I haven’t seen “Mommy Dearest” or even read the reviews. I did see “Animal Kingdom” the movie but not the TV series. I am aware there are some mothers who have children who wish their mothers would just eat their young and get it over with.

Stacey is not even remotely near these wretched people. When I grow up I want to be Stacey. She had a brilliant career in broadcasting at WBTV and WBT at some ungodly hour every morning. Having mastered TV and radio she moved on to write books (including the aforementioned “worlds worst” title) and now launch a podcast (Diabetes Connection) with encouraging words for parents of sick kids everywhere. It is a genuine public service. As if all that wasn’t enough, she’s an inspiring speaker. A profoundly spiritual person. A giver. A friend. A community builder. And – oh yeah – a great mom.

So WHY do women even joke about being The Worst anything? Because that’s what my generation of men has demanded of them.

As she gently explained to me in this week’s ManListening Podcast, women who labor and give birth are expected to get back to work — to continue to have brilliant careers and yet still be home to help with all manner of school projects and homework. Mothers are expected to cook all day and still weigh a magical, gravity defying 110 pounds. Mothers are expected to push out bowling ball sized babies yet maintain the size and shape they were in high school. And perhaps most controversially, women are still expected to BE mothers. They’re expected to know what to expect when they’re expecting. But most of all they’re expected to one day BE expecting. Excuse me, but that’s a whole lot of expectations, most of which defy the laws of physics.

So is there a way for brilliant, accomplished women like Stacey to actually lay claim to the facts of their amazing accomplishments? Not really. If they state the simple truth – if they were to just speak aloud a complete resume’ they would be savaged by men — and women alike. So these brilliant women run around calling themselves “the worst.”

I hear you, Stacey. I get it. But you know I’m not buying it.

Here’s the great news. Stacey has a daughter. She is brilliant. She is accomplished. And she is growing up in a world that is quite different from Boomerland. She is living in a world different from Stacey and Gen X. The Gen Z’ers get a new world. In this world this young woman can choose to be a mother or not. She faces fewer expectations that she will age without aging. Not none. But fewer. So Stacey’s daughter walks in confidence without worrying that anyone will mistake the simple truth for arrogance. Her mother is deservedly proud.