As I watched the Oscars Sunday, I thought aloud that the most unofficial nominations and kudos of the evening went to moms. There was mother praise all around, from the Mominations video pre-awards (when all I wanted to do was see pretty and not pretty dresses) to the campy bit with Ann Hathaway’s mother and James Franco’s grandma.
It seemed everyone acknowledged his or her mom. And that was good. Refreshing. The guy with the crazy hair and the short documentary. Then Natalie Portman thanked her mother and said she was grateful for her upcoming biggest role ever– motherhood– and she looked so dewy and pretty I was near tears.
As a mother of three who has not had acknowledgment in a public acceptance speech– to date– I was feeling pretty satsified with all the warm, fuzzy, sincere applause for the jobs mothers do. One good mother praising leads to another. I was getting ready for a possible close-up. Someday. Or maybe just a call from college from one or both of the older two not asking for something I can do for them. Sure, they say thanks. They do text “Love u.” So maybe I am being a little demanding.
And along came Charlie.
I have to say I couldn’t help myself but watch the train wreck Tuesday night in what was possibly The Most Restraint Ever Practiced by A Journalist in an Interview on ABC by Andrea Canning. As the porn star and the model goddess snuggled up his twin toddlers in Broll, Sheen chain smoked and drank Orange Crush (right) and made one narcissistic outrageous statement after another. So much so that I prayed, really prayed that in the middle of it all, children and family services would pound down the door and take the kids away.
Lo and behold they pretty much did. Phew.
Which brings me to the Hollywood mothers who have been scorned for outrageous acts and occasional rebellions, like Octomom, whose crime of having too many kids is really a lack of sense and self. The mother of all bad or mad mommies was Joan Crawford, whose Portrayal by Faye Dunaway in “Mommie Dearest” still occasionally flashes before my eyes, especially when I clean out a closet. There have been some bad Hollywood Moms, in between, OK Brittany, but mostly not so many really, really take the kids away in the middle of the night for their own sake moms .
Because here is the thing. It is new to call mothers who work saints. The Working Mom Vs. Stay-at-Home Mom battle has been ongoing since before I had my first son in 1988. Moms did not have to chain smoke, do crack, drink for three days or wreck a hotel room to be called a monster. All she had to do was get up and go to the office. She was selfish, she was about all about herself. She worked.
I have never heard someone call a father selfish because he has a job. You gotta be pretty awful to get labelled a Demon Dad.
As a mother raising three sons, I know how hard it is to be a parent. I know it is harder than it looks, even on “Parenthood” or “Modern Family.” And I think it is great that mothers are getting their due (I was trying to be funny, anyway.) Thank the moms in the speeches. Blow her a kiss in the crowd. Send her a thank-you note.
And for the Saintly Dads out there, sharing in the childcare duties, papying their child support and driving to practices, paying for college? You deserve your own round of applause. And I won’t blame you at all for believing Charlie Sheen gives cool, goo dads a bad name. Just please do not follow him on Twitter.