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couple of weeks after my first burlesque performance, The Man of Mans and I had a meeting with The Green Bean’s teacher to discuss some issues with classroom shenanigans.

It was a productive conversation, but as the teacher recounted The Bean’s random acts of hooliganism, a thought began forming in the back of my brain.

I wonder what this nice teacher would think, if she knew you took your clothes off in public. She’d probably think The Green Bean is acting out because you’re a bad mother.

Crap. I’d had boarded the I’m A Bad Mother Train.

The Bad Mother Train train travels along dark, seemingly endless route with stops that include Self-Doubtsville and Big Guilt City. Once I get on, there’s nothing I can do but ride it out, while my black thoughts stoke the engine’s fires

Nadine, you’re a disgraceful mother. Look at you – with your smutty writing and your non-stop jawing about sex. And to top it off you’ve started swinging your tits about in public!


You don’t even have a noble excuse! You’re not pole dancing to pay for your kid’s college education. You’re strip teasing for your own exhibitionist pleasures! You’re selfish! Mother’s are not supposed to be selfish!


Your mother wasn’t selfish. Your mother was committed to doing what she believed was best for you and you alone. She put aside her own desires and wishes. Instead you became her main source of pleasure and pride.  Mothers are supposed to derive satisfaction from their children, not from dancing the hootchie-koo.


Of course, for all of her dedication and propriety, your mother raised a daughter who grew up to dance the hootchie-koo.  Which is lots of fun and kind of cool, but probably not something ever she envisioned for you.


She loved, she cared for you, but ultimately those sacrifices didn’t benefit you. And they certainly didn’t mold you into the type of person your mother expected you to be.  But that’s just fine — you’re happy being a self-focused weirdo who goes pantsless in public.  And that makes your mom happy…because she loves you.


Just like you love The Green Bean. No matter what mistakes you make, or how unconventional your choices, your kid has a mother who loves him. Talk to his teacher, deal with his rascality and then keep right on twirling your tassles. In the end, he’ll also probably also be just fine.

And just like that, the engine ground to a halt. I grabbed my baggage and got off The Bad Mother Train.


  1. Alicia says:

    You should never have boarded that train. You are one of the few Mothers that has keep her identity which in turn will only make your son a better human being. Nadine you are the Mom I aspire to be one day (When I board the have kids train). Just keep being you. xo

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Thank you so much, Alicia!

      I don’t know if my rabid need for a Mom-independent identity will make my son a better person but I hope it won’t make him worse. Even the most perfect parents seem to screw up their kids in one way or another. :-)

      I think virtually every parent rides the train at some point. We’re all human and we all let our kids down sometimes but we also love them a STUPID lot which makes the mistakes difficult to accept.

  2. Shora says:

    It hasn’t been so long since I was a kid who was friends with other kids, so I still remember that the thing that made my mother a good mother was that I never doubted that she loved me and that she created an emotionally stable and consistent environment where I felt safe and loved. I’ve seen bad parents, and they weren’t bad parents because they were crazy or wacky or deviated from the norm. They were bad parents because they didn’t support their kids, they didn’t make them feel loved, and sometimes they downright terrorized them.

    My mom has a life, and so do you. As it should be. There used to be a time when the only way a woman could be “good” was to completely subsume her identity and her needs into someone else’s. Fortunately, that time is no more! I can tell you’re a good mom, and some day your Green Bean will grow up and do the same thing I did; recognize everything you did for him and thank you.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      Thanks, Shora.

      At this point all I want is for him to grow up into a relatively happy adult who doesn’t have a drug dependancy. Getting an actual ‘thank you’ would make my whole life! :-)

  3. Kate S says:

    You’re a totally rockin’ Mum, and Green Bean is a super fab kid, and will continue to be. So there.

  4. Vick Ko says:

    Oh ouch. That is one train that you didn’t need to ride on. “What other people think” can destroy “what you are” and “how good you feel about what and who you are”. Don’t let that happen.

    And kids do things for a million different reasons. It may be surprising to find out why had nothing to do with you feeling like “you’re a bad mother”.

    Feel good about yourself, and just about everything else will improve

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I’m very insecure as a parent. As a result I’m self-conscious about what other people think when I’m with my child. Which isn’t helpful or healthy, but it’s something I struggle with a LOT!

      • Vick Ko says:

        Okay. Good that you recognize it. Helps to talk about it, particularly with someone who is supportive.

        Funny, raising kids might be one of the most important activities we do as humans, but, guess what, unless one specifically trains for it, most people raise kids with no prior training, and the baby didn’t come with any instructions.

  5. Lisa L says:

    Looks like we were both on the Bad Mommy trail this week!!

    You are a wonderful mother and don’t let anyone else tell you different. We are not all June Cleavers nor should we be! We all doubt our parenting skills now and then (hence my post). But all we can do is love our children and give them the best well rounded childhood experience. I know that when the Green Bean grows up he will appreciate you tenfold.

    Hugs :)

  6. DeeGee says:

    It’s funny. No matter what we do…our children will find something to be embarrassed about when their teenagers. Likely, though, it won’t be your lovely dancing sans vetements. More likely it’ll be how much you love him…and how you won’t stop being an awesome mom. *giggle*

    • nadinethornhill says:


      You’re right, though. All kids are embarrassed by their parents. Since it’s inevitable, I might as well provide a source of humiliation that I enjoy. That way at least one of us is happy. :-)

  7. Oh, do I know that train. Ahem. Strip Spelling Bee, anyone? :)

  8. Nat says:

    Better an unconventional yet loving and devoted parent who is honest and realistic than one who is cold distant…

    I think we all think we’re doing a so-so job with our kids. Hopefully, your bean will grow up accepting and loving of all choices without a lot the stigma that we faced…

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I hope he does too. I guess it’s just as likely he’ll grow up rebelling against my examples and become uber-conservative. Or by the time he’s old enough to be aware, it’ll be old hat like, “Pffft! Whatevs. My moms always stripping and writing poems about the clitoris”. :-)

  9. neeroc says:

    Hey Nadine, do you follow (warning – she’s currently in the middle of a 2ww from her latest embryo transfer, so…there’s a bit of infertility talk atm *g*)

    This theme reminded me of her Milk makers and money shakers series –

    • nadinethornhill says:

      THANK YOU for the recommendation! I wasn’t following Dead Cowgirl, but after reading a few entries she’s definitely on my daily “must-read” list now.

      Hey, everyone! Read…now, if not sooner! :-)