Wednesday, May 9, 2007

From Irish mammy to yummy mummy

Is the Irish mammy in danger of being driven into oblivion by the yummy mummy? asks my That's Men for You column in today's Irish Times. And would it be an entirely bad thing if she was? The column is part of the Irish Times premium content so I can't reproduce it here.

However, it goes on to point out that no other woman can ever live up to the Irish mammy's devotion to her son and this is made clear to any woman who has the temerity to become his wife - sometimes sonny boy continues to visit his mammy for his dinner on a daily basis as his wife sits at home and grinds her teeth.

The column recalls that years ago, Gay Byrne read out a letter on his radio show from a wife complaining that her husband's mammy still made guggie for him every day. Guggie is made by boiling an egg, chopping it up in a cup and mixing it with butter while still hot. It's food for a child - but this chap was so attached to his guggie that he still went to the mammy for it!

Nowadays the Irish mammy is in danger of being replaced by the yummy mummy flying around the place in her SUV and nibbling a carrot for lunch. The yummy mummy, the column suggests, is most unlikely to drag herself out of the gym to make a nice cup of guggie for her son before he goes home to his inadequate wife.

In other words, the Irish mammy has fallen victim to an increasingly self-centred and materialistic society in which women expect to be able to give up minding their sons after they get married.

Perhaps it is all for the best, though. You will not see a yummy mummy producing a cholesterol-drenched full Irish breakfast for her darling boy. Nor will you see her insisting that he sit down on the sofa and have a nice rest – when he could be out having a healthy jog.

The column was partly inspired by blogger Paige Harrison's (she of blankpaige) comments on this earlier post.

I should add that in one email response to my Irish Times article a female, possibly a yummy mummy, says: "Padraig, you are forgetting that most children are fat or obese as Mummy has not got the time to do much with the kids, juggling a job and family to keep a mortgage paid. There is little evidence of youths out jogging!"

Hmmm, could this mean that inside every yummy mummy there is an Irish mammy waiting to get out?.....


Flirty Something said...

Well a bit of a conundrum as on one hand the Irish Mammy ruins men for life but equally the Yummy Mummy can only teach them the value of labels. What is the alternative?

Padraig said...

How about a yummy mummy who hovers helpfully just below the horizon?

paige said...

Thanks for the namecheck. Had I realised that i would appear in such an august organ, I might have been more careful with my prose!