May 24, 201212:05 AMPlain Jane

A laugh-out-loud look at life as a mom
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Mommies of America Unite

Raise your hands if you’re sick and tired of hearing how French mothers raise perfect children and Asian moms corner the market on rearing prodigies. All this Tiger mothering and Bébé boasting is really burning my buns!

It all came to a head for me recently when my German-born mom friend told me she allows her almost-9-year-old-son walk to the park by himself! I almost had a heart attack because, as we all know, there are pedophiles and child-abductors around every corner. After telling her I thought she was crazy, she said, “Oh, you American mothers! You’re so overprotective.” 

Was she right? Are we coddlers? No, it can’t be true. After all, I live in the greatest country ever! So I decided to start my own movement. That’s right, I’m gonna do a little flag-waving and tell the world how we American moms are far superior to every other sister-mother around the globe. This is war, ladies! 

Our Unique Style

You may not know that we American mothers have a uniquely innovative, transformative child-rearing style, which I have aptly named: the Platypus Mothers Superlative, or P.M.S., for short. You see, a platypus is an unlikely mix of duck, beaver, and otter. It is also only one of five mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth. It is, in its truest sense, an enigma—just like my fellow USA baby mommas. Allow me to give you some examples of our superior parenting style and its effects on our children.

  1. American children are raised to overcome any obstacle or perplexing situation they encounter. They are masters of decisiveness. Offer them the choice of playing a DS game, surfing the Web, bowling on their Wii system, or selecting a DVD from their home library and they will give you a definitive answer. No shrinking violets here: our kids know what they want! 
  2. Our offspring also have grit. No matter how many times we strap them into helmets and safety gear, they persevere without them. When they fall off the monkey bars onto the 12 inches of rubber padding, they pop right back up with a smile. The result is a hearty stock of kids you won’t find anywhere else on earth.
  3. The French fall all over themselves bragging about their children’s diet. They claim their kids eat anything they put in front of them. Well, baguette babes, feeding our kids is breeze, too. A Platypus Mother enforces the one-bite rule and offers food choices in colors not even found in nature. 
  4. As for self-esteem, American children have bucketfuls. We ensure this by handing out ribbons and awards for showing up, and dole out spools of “Great Job!” stickers just for trying. 
  5. American procreators are honest with themselves. Unlike delusional Tiger and Bébé moms, United States mothers actually “get” the fact that we are winging it. Of course, we have no idea if we’re doing everything perfectly; we just trust our gut and pray we make it to bedtime without a tantrum. Sure we screw up. In fact, it’s more often than we‘d like to admit. But we brush ourselves off and continue on; vowing to do it better tomorrow. 

And that’s what makes us so entirely cool and so enigmatic. You see, world, by embracing our imperfections and shortcomings, we ultimately give ourselves, and our children, permission to improve. By accepting ourselves, we accept others. And, due to this insight, we clearly see that all mothers have a little Platypus Superlative in them, whether they admit it or not.

Jane Suter is one funny mom. To share some of your own parenting experiences with Jane, email her.

Do you think there is an American "style" of parenting? If so, how does it differ from other styles? In what way(s)?

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