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May 8th, 2013

The Edgy Moms Manifesto

Started in 2006, Edgy Moms is an annual reading of funny, poignant, shocking, and fresh writing about mothers and motherhood at The Old Stone House in Park Slope (presented by Brooklyn Reading Works). This year it’s on May 9 at 8PM. The Edgy Moms Manifesto, which I wrote, is read at the beginning of  each year’s event:


Seven years ago I created Edgy Mother’s Day. I had sort of a vague sense of what that meant but it’s always been hard to articulate when people ask for, y’know, the quick elevator speech.

So what is an Edgy Mom?

She’s feisty and fun and a little bit zany. She whines to her friends and can be a bit of a martyr. She fantasizes about taking long trips without her children,

And getting a room of her own on Block Island with a computer and a view of the sea.

She lets her kids have dessert before dinner,

Reheated pizza for breakfast.

And NEVER remembers to bring Cheeros in a little Tupperware container to the playground

Except when she does and then she feels VICTORIOUS!

Her kids have seen her fight, yell at her mother and curse her sister on the phone.

They’ve watched her cry.

She’s been know to throw away her children’s old toys and art supplies when they’re not around,

And then pretend she doesn’t know where they are when they ask.

But she can’t let go of their artwork, even that sharp pointy wood sculpture her son made at the Children’s House back in 1993.

She loves when they sleep over at a friend house because the apartment is so quiet, so serene and so  terribly lonely.

She looks forward to her late afternoon glass of wine

And lets her kids miss school when she feels like sleeping in.

For years she didn’t own a First Aid Kit or keep children’s Motrin in her bag.

Sometimes she takes a bath when she should be making dinner.

Or reads The New Yorker when she’s supposed to be helping with homework.

She watches shows like Gossip Girl and discusses Blair, Serena, Chuck and Dan with her 15 year old daughter

Even if the show isn’t appropriate for 15 years olds.

She’s not sure what is appropriate for 15 year olds.

Sometimes she feels like the most boring person on earth.

Like someone’s mother and that’s all.

But who could ask for anything more on a good day.

She tries not to tell “my kids are so amazing” stories

Or say to new moms enjoy it, they’re gonna grow up fast

Even if it’s true

She hates to sound like an old fart, an elderstatesmom or a know-it-all.

Even if she is

Or say:  Do you mind if I brag?

Even though there is SO much to brag about.

Do you mind if I brag?

She’s made a lot of mistakes, some she would never ever admit.

To anyone.

She’s afraid she’s ruined her kids somehow. That everything is her fault. If only she’d followed those expert books

Or even read them

And didn’t let her kids get away with murder.

She hates to watch them puke or be in pain or feel sad when they’ve had their feelings hurt. She wants to kill anyone who hurts her child

Sometimes she even wants to kill her child. But just for a teeny tiny fleeting second

On a good day

She tries to make eye contact when they have a very long story to tell (even when there’s so much else she needs and wants to do).

And now that they’re teenagers she practically GROVELS for their attention, for those long stories she used to tire of.

She’s learned that if they hate you, you’ve done your job well and that perhaps the most important thing is to learn to let go.

She  loves her kids with a passion that makes her ache, moan, yell and scream, and feel all  gooey inside.

Oh Patron Saintesses of Edgy Moms: Lucille Ball, Erma Bombeck, Sylvia Plath, Jodie Foster, Josephine Baker, Alice Walker, Melissa Etheridge, Elastagirl, Lisa Belkin, Smartmom, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Eartha Kitt, Morticia Addams, Toni Morrison, Lenore Skenazy, Tina Fey, Shirley MaClaine (in Terms of Endearment), Maya Angelou, Ayalet Waldman, Nina Simone, Cher in Mask, Cher in real life, Josephine Baker, Susan Sarandon, Liv Ullman, Marge Simpson, Claire Dunphy in Modern Family and so many more

Bless this Edgy Mother’s Days and bless tonight’s readers and writers. Edgy moms all: they are gonna sock you and shock you and make you laugh and make you cry and make you  look at motherhood in a whole mother way.

Join us at the Old Stone House in Park Slope (of course) on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8PM (336 Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues). F train to Fourth Avenue, R train to Union Street. Sponsored by Babeland and Magdalena Pure. A donation of $5 includes refreshments, wine, goody bags from Babeland and an evening of  writing by women with sharp pens and sharper wits.


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