A Mother’s Prayer by Tina Fey

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Many years ago I stumbled upon A Mothers Prayer by Tina Fey from her brilliant book, Bossypants. I knew you mamas could relate.

OH Tina Fey, how you SLAY! The queen of comedy, comedic writing and general funniness has blessed us mamas with A Mother’s Prayer. This is a prayer she wrote and featured in her book, Bossypants. While I never thought I would put the words hilarious and prayer – hilarious prayer, together – this is exactly what this is. 

a mothers prayer by tina fey

Tina Fey’s A Mothers Prayer

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, You dammit!

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

tina fey bossypants

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.”

-Tina Fey

Prayer for Tattoos

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

winnie the pooh tattoo
via tattoo ideas

I’m okay with tattoos, as a tattoo mom myself. But yes, no Chinese symbols or Winnie the Pooh tattoos, please!

Prayer for Protection

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

Sigh. I hate the world these days, and hate the thought of even having to pray for protection – but this, is just so raw and true. 

Prayer for Independence

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

A mothers prayer for independence. How we want our daughters to be their own person and to find that drum that she can beat all on her own. 

Prayer for Teenage Years

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

As a mom to a teenager daughter, YAAAASSS! The marketing campaigns, while better than of yesteryears – they still are awful. 

The drama of shopping with a teen is real, y’all. We need ALL THE PRAYERS for that crap. 

Thank You Tina Fey

Thank you Tina Fey, as this reminder that a mothers prayer should be raw and real. Keep it honest and you guys, just keep praying for our kids. But throw in a sanity prayer for all mamas to. 


This post was originally posted in 2014 and updated in 2019.

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