I’ve been thinking about stereotypes of NotMoms, and my brain naturally turned to TV. There’s the Motherly NotMom like Mayberry’s Aunt Bee, or The Beverly Hillbillies’ “Spinster”, Miss Jane Hathaway. More contemporary TV (HBO) gave us Sex & the City’s Samantha Jones, a childfree-by-choice woman who didn’t necessarily hate kids…she just didn’t want ‘em.
Characters on 2 CBS hit shows revealed NotMom status this season. On The Big Bang Theory, perky microbiologist Bernadette (above) shared that she’d help raise her siblings; she has no intention of raising anybody else. Don’t be fooled by the perkiness. This is the character who hates kids.
Conversely, Robin (above) , a key character on How I Met Your Mother has shown depth (for a comedy) in accepting a doctor’s news that she cannot carry a child to term.
I realize that these “examples” are make-believe, of course. Simply fictional composites of real-life women.
And then, TV delivered to me a real world NotMom, the worst example I could imagine. Someone outspoken and abrasive who weaves that hellfire into daily interactions with O.P.C. (Other People’s Children.)
Abby Lee Miller, leader of a girls’ dance troupe on Lifetime-TV’s Dance Moms often screams at the mothers that they are not raising their daughters properly. I don’t even watch this show, I swear, but I know who she is and how she rolls.
(*Between the TV and the Internet, it’s hard to evade the most basic knowledge of stuff you’d otherwise swear you know nothing about. Don’t believe me? Fill in the blank: Kim, Khloe and Kourtney ______.)
At the end of the day, I think Abby often displays the worst attribute a NotMom can have. Poking, meddling, offering unsolicited, untested and generally unwanted advice on child rearing.