Tabloid magazines. They’re sordid. They’re trashy.

I love them.

(Yes, I know I am Part of the Problem.)

I don’t know why, but I love sitting down with an US Weekly while I am getting my hair done or pretending to watch Toy Story for the sixteenth time. I like getting lost in the first world (possibly entirely fictional) “problems” of celebrities. For a few solitary moments, I can worry about Brad and Angelina’s nuptials, instead of trying to decipher the source of the foul odor in the kitchen (answer: old sippy cup full of soy milk).

Trashy gossip mags have been my companion through highlights and bed rest, and they always make me smile –

Except for today.

Today I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed, and I saw that one of my friends had posted this:

 

Star_magazine

 

Seriously?

You guys all know how I feel about mom guilt. To put it mildly, I am not a fan. And while I like a little celebrity dish now and then, this crosses the line. It’s the same problem I have with the “Dear Mom on the iPhone” letter: unless you witness an act of abuse, you cannot determine the quality of someone’s parenting by a paparazzi photograph or what some “unnamed source” told you.

And what is the criteria for being a good mom? Where the hell is this grading scale that they are using? Did you guys get a syllabus with assignments and a point value when you left the hospital? I didn’t. All I had was a baby, and my intuition to guide me, with the occasional support of family and friends. But it was up to me to find out what worked for my family. Which is not your family. Or Jennifer Lopez’s family. So the idea of some objective grading scale being applied to motherhood is kind of ridiculous. What must one do to get an A in being a mom? Short of abuse or neglect, how does one “fail” at motherhood? If a mother’s children are happy and healthy, does some imaginary scorecard really matter?

No, it doesn’t.

If a paparazzi photographer had been following me around this week, he may have caught me in any of these A+ mommy moments:

  • Sitting outside with my boys playing sidewalk chalk
  • Pushing my boys on swings at the playground
  • Having a family sing-along in the car
  • Giving snuggles after a skinned knee
  • Hanging out on the patio of Whole Foods sharing some Fig Newmans

However, the paparazzi might also have caught these totally embarrassing F- mommy moments:

  • Throwing a cup of lemonade in frustration when my son refused to hold it for himself
  • Telling my oldest we’d cancel his birthday party if he didn’t take a nap
  • Struggling with a screaming child who was arching his back and kicking to avoid his car seat
  • Shouting “Please leave me alone for five minutes!” when I was trying to make a deadline
  • Letting them have a cookie with breakfast because I didn’t feel like arguing

My point? One shot of Christina’s son looking pitiful or baby Brangelina holding a bag of Cheetos is not enough evidence to make a judgment on their parenting.

I know it’s probably ridiculous for me to expect the tabloids to back off, but really – can we leave the kids out of it? Go back to making fun of celebrity fashion choices and arguments between the Real Housewives. Despite my love of trashy entertainment, I think it’s time for me to back off the tabloids. If this is the turn they’re taking, then I really don’t want to be a part of it. As I stated earlier, when I give them money for crap like this, I’m Part of the Problem. And mom-guilt is not a problem I want to perpetuate.

(Could we also stop calling Jessica Simpson fat while we’re at it? Thanks.)