A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey


Tina Fey Hard At Work

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, Youdammit.

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.

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.


-Tina Fey

(That my friends, is what you call good writing. Click on the link and pick up Tina Fey’s book Bossypants for more.)


About Melody Godfred

Writer. Blogger. Editor. Thinker. Author. Check out my debut novel, THE AGENCY: HOLLYWOOD TALENT, CIA MANAGED: http://amzn.to/qqSGSy
This entry was posted in Creative Inspiration, Quote of the Day. Bookmark the permalink.

329 Responses to A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey

  1. Nancy Passow says:

    Wow! Sitting here with tears in my eyes and a big smile. Mom of two (32 and 29).

  2. Alan says:

    Tina Fey is the smart, witty, clever, funny, nerdy-but-cute woman who doesn’t exist. She’s like an obtainable Sarah Silverman; without the meanness.

    She’s probably a cyborg created by that guy who produced The Kids in the Hall, because he’s obviously got a finger on the pulse of ‘Merica. When we need a mostly gay skit troupe from Canada, he’s there. When we need Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, and David Spade to dress as high school girls and talk about how they were wearing the same clothes they were three days ago; he’s there.

    You say “hold’on a minute dude, she’s somebody’s mom.”

    I say, “She’s a skinny unicorn that’s make believe.”

    • lga says:

      yes yes and more yes

    • Baunfire says:

      She is, indeed, something awesome. We need a million more of her… we need imagination and wit… these are as commonly seen these days as the skinny unicorn. Unfortunately, most are a tiny horse dressed in a painted icicle… soon to melt away in front of our eyes.

      • Hi Baunfire – Although I’m not usually a big fan of comedians in general, Tina Fey always make me smile. I like her way. She’s incredibly witty and if you listen to her closely, you will hear statements of raw truth subtly dropped into our laps. What I like most about Ms. Fey…she’s not obnoxiously loud and annoying. She’s truly likable.

    • ugh says:

      except that you just said this:

      Tina Fey is the smart, witty, clever, funny, nerdy-but-cute woman who doesn’t exist. She’s like an obtainable Sarah Silverman; without the meanness.
      She’s probably a cyborg created by that guy…

      Because women can never be all of those things. So it must be a man.

      • Heather says:

        Those women do exist, all over the world. Tina is very real and that is the magic of her and why so many other women love her. She speaks for those of us who all too often aren’t the ones in front of a camera. She is beautiful but loved less for her looks than for her brain and although I am not a mother, I too had tears in my eyes by the end.

        That is, indeed, a fine example of good writing. And to think, I thought I might pass on her book. Thanks for posting this.

      • Peter says:

        The writing is lovely.
        The responses come from both genders.
        The comments are consistently warm, positive, and civilized.
        Except for yours.
        Why is that, do you think?

      • Lou says:

        Thank you so much for pointing that out. Tina Fey is an amazing woman pointing out the flaws of our culture but the hilarity and beauty of it as well. You, person, get it. Thank you! We’re not crazy.

      • Matt says:

        I guess “meanness” toward Sarah Palin doesn’t count?

      • Sam says:

        From Bossypants, in response to Matt, complaining about Tina Fey being mean to Sarah Palin. “There was an assumption that I was personally attacking Sarah Palin by impersonating her on TV. No one ever said it was ‘mean’ when Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford falling down all the time. No one ever accused Dana Carvey or Darrell Hammond or Dan Aykroyd of ‘going too far’ in their political impressions. You see what I’m getting at here. I am not mean and Mrs. Palin is not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to us both.”

    • None says:

      I love you Alan.

    • Helga Schmidlap says:

      I like that a lot!!!! You are funny.

    • b says:

      She’s not obtainable.

  3. Dixon L. Creasey, Jr. says:

    Dammit, dammit dammitdammitDAMMIT!

    I have sworn the Great Man’s Oath , hand on package, promising to never, ever read, nor appreciate, a Womyn’s Blogge. I am noisily immune to Activia commercials (inasmuch as Jamie Lee Curtis is still hot). I play in FOUR BANDS, for God’s sake!
    Then I stumbledUpon this site…dammit!

    This article was wonderful. It spoke to all the hopes and dreams of parenthood.
    (I’m a father of two grown boys, and I know what it’s like to worry about what I cannot control.)

    Dammit, Ms. Tina. You wrote something special.
    Dammit, Ms. Melody. You helped distribute it.
    Dammit, StumbleUpon. You caught my eye with it, in the same way you have helped me waste countless joyful hours online…dammit.

  4. Tina Fey is flat out brilliant. Funny, funny, funny, funny. Funny, period.

  5. Bonnie Mom says:

    That is so wonderful! Thanks

  6. alsofood says:

    you write very good!!

  7. Thanks for the wonderful comments — I found it and knew I had to share it. Tina Fey is incredible. Cyborg? Possibly. A woman that is impossible to ignore? Absolutely.

  8. Pingback: Tina Fey’s A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child | Sinting Link

  9. Veryon says:

    God, why can’t I be married to Tina Fey?

  10. Love it! I’m totally going to go get this book now. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Laura says:

    Tina Fey is awesome! How lucky we are for her talents!

  12. Wonderful! I must have this book. Now. Thank you!

  13. Amanda Boltz says:

    This was dead-on! I must read Tina’ book!

  14. Ms. Messy says:

    Just when I get thinking “Enough with Stumble already…go DO something!” you do this to me. Damn you Melody Godfred. Now I have to hunt around here and see what other goodies you have for me. Thank you kindly for sharing Ma’am.

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  16. Francis R. says:

    Beautifully written, Tina Fey.

  17. rufree2nite says:

    nice blog, i enjoy reading it.

    By the way, would you like to exchange blogroll?
    Let me know if u r interested, best wishes

  18. Tim says:

    wow this was some sentimental bullshit

    • Pablo says:

      I read a study once regarding gender and painters. They put on an art show with a 50:50 female to male ratio and opened it to a group of viewers who were not aware of any of the artists, either by name or style. The first showing had all the paintings correctly labeled according to their gender. The 1st group of viewers were asked to make comments regarding the work and the most used word for the female painters was “sentimental.” They then took every painting and switched the gender of the painter. So if it was really painted by a man, they gave the painter a female name, and visa-versa. They showed the work to a 2nd group of viewers and once again, the most common response to the paintings they “thought” were created by females (but were really created by males), was “sentimental.” I found that study about as telling as your comment above.

      • Janet Paris says:

        So women are not so much “stereotypical”, anymore, because it is 2012? We do it to men, too…Did the study point out a male theme with respect to comments by the audience?

  19. Clare Bear says:

    She’s got it in a nutshell – Tina Fey for your next president. I plan to share this on, with all my mother friends and all my daughter friends too.

  20. Daniel Daugherty says:

    “no tatoos … break the Internet”: Good job writing from my 55-year-old mom’s perspective.

    Not sure what’s worse: the “prayer” or everyone hero-worshiping this in your comments

    • Tracy Brown says:

      Now there is a man who still likes his tattoos.

    • Annie says:

      ditto on not sure what’s worse… bleh….

    • Ms. Messy says:

      You say that now but wait til you have a 13-year-old daughter who threatens to call child services because you won’t let her get a tattoo of a crimson unicorn on her temple, is being cyber-bullied, and screams that you’re a dick in front of your boss.

      • Tracy Brown says:

        ok I am sooo not a child psych but I would look for an intervention, just someone you both feel comfy with? Negotiate the Big stuff totally role on the small stuff. The issue wasn’t really the tattoo just like it really isn’t the dirty room or the missed chores? At 13 there are some very important issues that get pushed under the dirty clothes?

      • Ms. Messy says:

        It was soooo an example situation. Anyone who works with teens would get it as many teens do similar things, and more.

    • Claire says:

      LOL! I agree! I’d have to change this to “May a bad tattoo never stain her tender haunches” because real skin art is beautiful and only growing more popular and seriously…dream on about the internet breaking they’ll probably be something worse then the internet to worry about in 20 years! I hope Tina turns out to be a little more hip of a mom then this article is making her out to be. Also, I had no idea she was so religious it all reads like something from the 1950’s and unless you were a rich, white man that’s a time you don’t want to revisit!

      • M Cress says:

        let me tell you what being a hip mom gets you….. a child with zero boundaries. this was light hearted, funny and true – when you’re a responsible mother, you see both humor AND truth in this prayer parody.

      • Maria says:

        She’s not religious. It’s a parody. That’s what she does. Buy and read the book, maybe you’ll get it.

    • Dana Kennedy says:

      I think you may be taking this too literally. Remember that Tina Fey is also a comedian. As a mom of two girls – 8 and 4 – I am reading this as a little tongue-in-cheek. The whole paragraph about protecting her on escalators, and near swimming pools . . . that’s how moms (and dads) are. I ride escalators and swim in the ocean, I have tattoos. I don’t think Tina is saying that these are bad things. I think she is simply writing this as a mom who is a comedian. She’s playing up the fears and insecurities that moms especially have about their daughters. I didn’t read it and think that Tina hates tattoos and the internet, and I also (trust me) don’t worship Tina. I read it and smiled because every second of my day is spent worrying about what could happen to the little loves of my life – even when my fears are completely unreasonable. That’s what parents do.

      • M Cress says:

        Well said…. I have three, and yes, worry worry worry, it’s a nice thing to have a comedic reprieve to identify with every now and then.

      • Alecia Dowling says:

        I agree with you Dana. It is one of those things you take with a grain of salt. It is light and humorous, and at the same time stating all of the little things she doesn’t want to harm her precious child. I can tell you when you have an 18 year old, and a 14 year old, you change up the parenting just a little to accommodate the needs at the time. When ours were babies, you cannot phantom anything in the world harming your child. You almost wish you could put a bubble around them. One of my favorite writers was Erma Bombeck and if you were to read over some of her funny statements of child rearing, this is along those lines I think. I do honestly pray for our girls. I always have. Everything isn’t in our hands, and it never will be.

    • mari toler says:

      tina may not be a hero, but she does have a tina way of expressing the same concerns that every parent has, or should. How old are your kids? what? you don’t have any? trust me, don’t be ashamed, every parent who read your post knew already.everyone is entitled to thier opinion but some opinions are best kept to themselves. Why don’t you go diss on dolce & gabana or whatever it is you do?

    • lildeb says:

      Please, wait to your daughter has a stalker. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
      and she is missing.

  21. kirukals says:

    Very Good Prayer. A prayer that lingers in the minds of all mothers and mother to be.

  22. Free for all my life says:


    I am so happy I got that vasectomy done.
    Never EVER have to worry about potential children’s future. What a relief!

    • GrandmaNettie says:

      No responsibility now; no child to change your Depends later…

      • Sarah says:

        Having a child so that there’s someone to change your Depends is an awful reason to procreate.

      • irishcav1 says:

        Hahahahaha touche.

      • jordan says:

        I don’t know which is sadder: That you think that those who choose not to have children are somehow irresponsible or that you think your children were put on this earth to change your diapers.

        Even sadder for those who can’t have children.

        I don’t have any children, but I loved the piece. (Wasn’t too thrilled with your mean girl act, though, Grandma. )

      • Moose's Momma says:

        lol Grandma!!!! It’s not about the changing of the depends (entirely ;)) But my grandmother raised me to respect and care for my elders. As I often remind her, she drove 45 min to pick me up from school… I owe her every trip to the grocery store/hairdressers/dollar store she wants! I do my best to care for my son and raise him to respect and appreciate his elders, and hope that as he gets older he remembers what I did for him and he is as happy to help me as I am to help my grandmother.

  23. ceceliafutch says:

    I sit here with tears in my eyes as I read this, from a link on my 35-year-old son’s facebook page as the prayer he prays for his daughter, my granddaughter. Beautiful. Eloquent. Thank you.

  24. Tammy says:

    So true. It is so scary raising a teen now. My son is 15 and my baby of 4 and I am more scared of his future than any of the others. It is a strange world we live in. I guess we do our best and pray.

  25. What a beautiful piece of writing. But why does the eponymous mother have “its” child, rather than “her” child? This is strange, as is the bigness of Tina Fey’s arms on the cover of her book. Neither, however, is quite strange enough to merit further commentary from me.

  26. Maddy says:

    Just listened to her interview on Fresh Air – have to buy that book.

  27. Alex says:

    I have a friend who shares the best blogs! Glad to have found you! and Tina Fey’s prayer! Something to tuck into the kids babybooks for sure!

  28. I like the part about the tattoos, because nothing says “I’ve done time at the Big House” like a permanent mutilation of the body.

    • Claire says:

      That’s so ignorant! You must live in the midwest because in New York and Los Angeles nothing says “I have a great deal of money and wonderful tastes.” then a beautiful, tattoo from a famous tattoo artist that costs thousands of dollars. Yes prison tattoos are horrible, but well done and expensive tattoos are beautiful. Once again everyone on this blog sounds like they grew up in the 50’s! LOL!

      • M Cress says:

        seriously? new yorkers are not going to pay thousands of dollars for a tattoo…. we’ll get them – but we’re not financial morons. This is a light hearted forum, not an arena for mud slinging temper-tantrum throwing comments. We get it – you LOVE your tattoo(s).

      • jneuphilly says:

        That’s so ignorant! To imply that people from the midwest are all ignorant… And everyone that you seem to think sounds like they grew up in the 50s really just sound like loving parents. And for the record, most people who grew up in the 90s can appreciate that a BAD tattoo is tacky, which is what Tina mentions, unless you think Winnie-the-Pooh is just awesome.

      • Margaret says:

        I grew up in the 50’s and this mother of 2 has tats. Wish I had the money to get more.

      • Moose's Momma says:

        Claire, Please, Please, Please print this out for yourself. In 15 years when you look back on this you will understand and get a huge laugh. Then burn it before you toddlers become teens and hold it against you when they come home hungover with a tattoo of thier current bf tattooed on their tush. And when you have kids…. You will SOOOOO wish it was still 1950…. what seems horrible now will seem awful safe when you are responsible for another human life.

      • Mickie says:

        We’re all praying for you, too, Claire, and feel a little bad for your mom.

  29. funnyinnews says:

    O Lord, break the Internet forever

    I like the sentence!!!

  30. Deneen says:

    OMG Loved this so much…I received it from my firstborn. A college freshman @ FSU. I will pretend that the gesture was “delayed gratitude” and smile! Thanks to her for sharing and being a HUGE Tina Fey fan! I’ve already downloaded the book:)

    • Paula Kiger says:

      Of course I focused on the most profound part – the FSU mention! Do we know what FSU she’s referring to? As in Florida State University? If so does anyone know the connection? 🙂

  31. elfpix says:

    Just you wait, Tina. The next one is gonna be a boy! Then what are you gonna do?

  32. Pingback: Links for 4.17.11: Let’s do this. « the listenerd

  33. bbycatcher says:

    Wonderful. Love and appreciate your mention of midwifery as a career option… happens to be my career choice…this was much enjoyed and I can relate 100%

  34. Cat Sampson says:

    So cute. LOVE Tina. Looks like this is definitely a book worth purchasing (not that I had any doubts).


  35. mpunfun says:

    She forgot the one thing I told my son almost from birth, especially after the words “I have an idea,” crept into his consciousness……. IF you can follow your idea all the way to the end and picture the absolute WORST thing that could possibly happen with all its horror — eyes gouged out, house burned to the ground, teeth being replaced with plastic ones, broken glass EVERYWHERE, huge fines, no car, a long stint in prison, then by all means, go for it. If not, then reconsider. I beg you.

    • Moose's Momma says:

      Thanks for that! I hate that, “I have an idea” look… it always leads to blood, crying and a trip to the dentist….

  36. WI Snowflake says:

    Love it! And it is so true. I have a young boy. I wonder what that poem would be like. Thanks for sharing.

  37. best thing on the internet today, just loved the photo…

  38. hotdogfish says:

    Tina, this was a wonderful example of mother and her child, may God bless you and keep you and yours safe and happy forever, and ever!

  39. Pingback: A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey (via Write In Color) « justforgetandwrite

  40. Love this! I’m adopting her prayer and adding one more thing…to ask God to give us enough money for laser hair removal so my daughter will never sport a mustache in junior high like her mother did. ;}

      • mari toler says:

        like myself I am sure there are alot of people praying for you now that God grants that wish for. In school, I didn’t have facial hair but I prayed to have my knees cut out from my legs cause I was too tall. Now I am 33 and shrinking. Should have been more careful what I wished for. But high school is a sensitive time for a kid and I pray at the very least when it is over she can count it as a good experience. Glad to see other parents who appreciated this poem as I did.

  41. Natasha Judd says:

    Awwwww… I’m a new mum to a baby girl, and I got a lump in my throat reading this. As soon as the sonographer told us that I was having a baby girl, my thoughts automatically leaped forward to her teen years and to a similar – though less well articulated – prayer for her.


    Which god is she praying to?
    I’m assuming Calypso right?

  43. Graciela González says:

    What’s wrong with tattoos? As long are they are not located in her forehead I don’t see the problem…. Everything else I totally agree…

  44. Curius says:

    “…it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty”… interesting quote; in our high school it was the volleyball coach.

  45. Gary Fales says:

    Better than I thought her book would be. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Leah says:

    People think this is good? Not at all. Stop worshiping the unfunny. Break the internet forever? Hahaha, not.

  47. Alex says:

    OK. Most of this is brilliant and true. but I don’t understand the “damaged” line. what is the joke / funny thing here?

    • Kathy says:

      That line was not supposed to be funny or a joke. It is, however, thought provoking. None of this article is a joke from a mother’s perspective, funny but not a joke.

    • CharlieBarley says:

      Yeah, not really a joke, but funny (?) because it’s sadly true. The pathetic losers who go after young girls aren’t necessarily looking for a hot chick. They are looking for a vulnerable little girl to take advantage of, whether she’s cute or otherwise. Only the “damaged” (ie, low self-esteem or whatever) would allow a gross old man to say more to her than “Meet me in my office.”

      • Sally says:

        I don’t like that line, either. It throws off the rest of the hilarity of the piece, because it lays blame at the feet of (the nature of) a child for what some pervy guy wants to do.

      • frannie says:

        I too thought it was more thought provoking than funny. I DONT think she meant to blame the “damaged” child so much as a condemn the perv who preys on them. The beautiful child cant help if they are damaged. The perv can help if they take advantage of that!

      • Nora says:

        I really would have to agree with Sally on that one. The “damage” of any child….any person, for that matter, should not be blamed for a creep’s lack of self control. Under the right circumstances, even a smart, confident, “undamaged” girl can be taken advantage of.

  48. Laura says:

    I like it very much and I usually detest pieces with such titles because they tend to be schmaltzy but without any zest. This piece is the opposite: Low on schmalz with high zest content.
    Question, though; for such a good writer, why are there seemingly random initial letter capitalisations? [That’s the correct spelling of ‘capitalisations’ for me, because I am British, btw. 🙂 ] Was that part of the original piece or an error in copying?
    As such a good writer (and one who clearly finds others’ poor writing offensive and I hear her!), I can’t imagine the author would put them in without noticing them: They must be deliberate, no?

    Thanks for any info.


  49. Carlalala says:

    I’m with Danial….
    clever: yes.
    brilliant: hardly.
    nothing is said by Tina Fey that you wouldn’t have heard at the PTA, Trader Joes, or How-to-Deal-With-Your-Nanny support group.
    She ‘aint no Nora Ephron.

  50. Pingback: A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child By Tina Fey (via Write In Color) « UnseenLibrarian's Unseen Blog

  51. freepersonalz says:

    Great Post! I can relate to a lot of that being a father.

    P.S. Tina Fey’s office is a mess! lol

  52. Erik says:

    Truly epic. Glad I stumbled upon this.

  53. b says:

    how could you not like this–there is sooooo much truth to it:)

  54. Kellie says:

    Your site was a StumbleUpon recommendation. I don’t usually open the emails but, for some reason, I did this time. The polka dots instantly made me smile…thanks. I love color and colorful blogs…the great writing was just icing on the cake. I’ll be back.

  55. I need to stop reading links my friends send me says:

    5 minutes I’ll never get back. I am not sure what was worse, the prayer or the comments. Wait, no, it’s the comments.

  56. Pingback: When I grow up. « Notes to self.

  57. onnenpuu says:

    Tiers and laughter… As a single mum of two (girl 10, boy 9), I know exactly what she means!
    Ps. My daughter still plays with Barbies Ds.

  58. Donielle says:

    Hi there! This is brilliant have been a huge Tina Fey fan forever and am very eager to read her book. I am going to repost this on my blog today, but I’m a newbie so I am not certain of the etiquette, I’ll make sure to notate it came from yours and I signed up to get your posts emailed too!

    Thanks for spreading such good writing around – it’s inspirational to relative beginners like me

  59. Pingback: A Mother’s Prayer for Its Son. « Whuffling.

  60. Hi Melody –
    How brilliant charmingly witty is Tina Fey! Perfecto ~ thank you for your excellent blog post.

  61. I read Bossypants the first day it came out. Fey is hilarious and a genuinely good writer.

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  63. laurie langley says:

    Absolutely love this!!! Amen Tin Fey, Amen

  64. Enough Rope says:

    Thank you, Tina for being wonderfully articulate, witty and poignant.
    Now I really can’t wait to have a daughter – so I can wipe poop off her neck.

  65. Emily says:

    I am a daughter of a mother and the mother of four daughters, ranging in age from preschool to junior high. I have only been off diaper duty for less than a year and half. I love this and will have to buy the book. Thanks for sharing!

  66. julie mangile says:


  67. Liegan says:

    I did not get the “Damage” line, either. So, all children that get molested by trusted adults are already damaged in some way? Way to perpetuate myths surrounding child abuse!

    • kos says:

      That is not what she is saying. She is saying which is true btw. Children that are neglected or mentally abused / beaten are at greater risk for being molested.

  68. Jan Wade says:

    Tina is a genius. We could all stand to look at the world with such wisdom and humor.

    A little aside: I met Tina the year she started working SNL. I was in a coffee shop in the Village and struck up a conversation with this cute girl who turned out to be Tina. I had no idea she was on SNL until later. To me she was a smart, engaging, funny lady. The fact that she is at the top of her profession and still a nice person fits with the person I met that day.

  69. Yeah Tina…you rock! So well put. And I concur with the Spirit of your prayer. I’ve been offering up like supplications lo these 35+ years. Lighting candles, saying prayers….it all works! Bless you. You are now on my top 10 SHERO list! xo

  70. Gail Nadeau says:

    I love what I have read so far. I may buy it. I can honestly say that after hearing about a terrible accident, I cut up Becky’s grapes.

  71. kay says:

    Liegan – why r u taking such offense? I don’t believe she said anything about a child who has been molested. Perhaps damage was referring to a broken home life as in a bad relatonship with parebts or going through a parents divorce? And Claire, I don’t think “im rich and have great tastes” I ehat she was going for I think it was more like, “I love my child and don’t want to worry myself to death before they hit puberty” is what she was going for. An as someone said before, she is a comdian.
    Sory for typos I’m on my cell and its extremly annoying to spel some words out completely and erase half a sentence to rewrite…

  72. JudiB says:

    Double WOW! The first WOW is for that fabulous writing that feels like it was drawn right from my own heart….and the second WOW! is that my own daughter, Shannon, saw this first and thought to share it with me! Thank you, my love. It seems you, too, have seen into my heart! Oh, and my Shannon…SHE writes in COLOR, too!!! {{{smiles}}}

  73. Shannon says:

    Genius. Pure genius.

  74. jim says:

    the passage beginning with “lead her away from acting but not all the way to finance” almost made me wet myself. My sister has been a finance manager for 25 years and you described her life to a “T”

  75. Barb Pitkin says:

    If Tina Fey gets any better…she’ll be perfect! God bless this woman of her love , wisdom and laughter at life!

  76. Barb Pitkin says:

    If Tina Fey gets any better, she’ll be perfect! God bless this woman for her love, wisdom and laughter of life!

  77. Berto says:

    Awesome. I have thought many of the same things about my little daughter. Two things, there’s nothing wrong with tattoos, (I used to watch my awesome artistic writer mother do her own), and the job you’re looking for Tina in case by some magic you ever see this, is sign language interpreter. It has all the great parts of acting plus the high marketability, plus all the stuff mentioned in the letter, minus the hope of fame and being a multimillionaire. It’s a great job.

  78. Scurryn says:

    “My mother did this for me.”

    As a 44-year-old first-time NewDad, I have been grasping for the words to express this feeling. Thank you Tina Fey.

  79. Jeeem says:

    Never got past the first sentence.

    No, I don’t have children…but if I did, I’d never wish my expectations onto them. My life was Fornicated Under Consent of the King…ed up from the get-go by a parent who imposed her expectations upon me…even though she had committed the very acts, on a daily or weekly basis that she, herself either forbid, or prayed I’d never commit.

    Sure, parenting doesn’t come with instruction booklets or manuals, but what ever happened to individuality?

    I would wish my child grew up in whatever manner they wanted. If they took some of my influence…fine. If not, fine.

    Leave kids the Fornication Under Consent of the King…alone!


    • Melodie says:

      The first line of your post says it all “No, I don’t have children”. I think you made a wise decision – for you.

    • You know, it’s not about wishing our expectations on them. That line, about the tattoos… I don’t care if my daughters decide they want tattoos. My husband has 3 or 4 of them. It’s their body, which I’ve always taught them, and they can do whatever they want as long as they do it because they choose it.

      The focus isn’t on tattoos, it’s on their “tender haunches.” You’re right, you don’t have kids, so you projected your experience on that. But, I have daughters. And I’d bathed them, I lotioned them, I put on sunscreen to keep them from burning, I kiss their owies. That skin is precious. Not because I say so, because my actions prove it to be. And that’s just not something you can understand until you have children.

    • Mickie says:

      Whoa — that’s just what we need; more children without values or a sense of responsibility.
      Thank you for not procreating.

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  81. Pingback: Tina Fey: A Mother’s Prayer for its Child « TakeYourKidsOutside

  82. Amy says:

    So I am going to print this and carry it in my pocket for the rest of my life so I can show my kids that I am not the only mom who feels this way.

    Tina Fey is just awesome!

  83. Kenneth says:

    We must protect the wee ones from themselves—the youth do not have the experience or the power to think through the consequenses of quick choices…….It is these choices that will color every day of life thereafter. Yet we cannot be with them—
    Our example and training is all that will protect them as they explore the freedom of growing up.

  84. Joni Kirby says:

    Only Tina Fey could put truth to laughter and still come out true!!!! I love her, what a gift, her daughter and her comedy, great team!

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  86. blackwatertown says:

    Right on.

  87. Leslie Woodie says:

    Sometimes when sitting in front of a screen, struggling for words, for insight, for joy and love; it comes in the least expected places. The words come from a person, that I can’t even wrap an idea around, because they seem so far away. Tina Fey’s prayer – It hit me. So real coming from someone I tend to not think of as being so real. Only because she is there and I am here.
    Mom of 4
    Grandma/”O” of 2

  88. Reader says:

    Have you seen this version for sons? Inspired by Tina.

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  93. Mathiasp says:

    I want the “dammit” t-shirt….

  94. Tad says:

    This is so many different kinds of awesome. Tina Fey is amazing.

  95. deb says:

    Saw this on FB and shared it .. incredible ..
    thank you .

    and thank you Tina.

    ( mother of four daughters , one son )

  96. jay says:

    read this, sent it to my daughter and then went out to buy a copy of “Bossy Pants”.

  97. Another Mom says:

    Why didn’t she title it “A Mother’s Prayer for HER Child?” Since when are mothers, its?

    • jlodovic says:

      Tina Fey has made this joke before in her writing. She doesn’t call mothers “it” specifically. She has called multiple things (people) it. It’s not offensive intentionally as far as I can tell. Just meant to be quirky and unexpected and funny.

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  101. Tracy Kristalakis says:

    Well said. As someone whose child will officially be a teenager tomorrow, I miss those sweet baby days.

  102. jaymiek says:

    I think writing “O Lord, Break the Internet Forever” on your freaking blog is just a tiny bit hypocritical (not to mention everyone gushing in the comments)? Tina Fey, you don’t think the Internet has helped your career at all? Luddite attitudes (and hypocrisy) disappoint me. What about giving your children media literacy skills instead?

    • Lauren says:

      Well, there’s this notion in humor that some things are not meant to be taken literally. Novel, eh?

    • Kaye says:

      ….You really don’t get her type of humor, do you?
      What a sad, strange life you must lead.

      • jaymiek says:

        [scans comments] Oh, you’re right. No one is taking this literally at all. My bad.

        Thanks for helping me realize how pointless my life is, based on a few sentences. Idiot.

    • Peter Mentor says:

      Anyone can post on the Internet, this is NOT a skill! Not anyone can write well. Of course it is funny to talk about wiping out the Internet on the Internet. We did the same about television … It is not about the machine or the tool, but the human interface.

  103. crunchy fart says:

    As everyone knows you are very talented. That was never in question. But when you write something like that which hits home to all of us who’ve had kids (have a 14 month old and one on the way)…it’s what we all think and want to say….but don’t have the ability to string the words together..the thoughts together, like that. Just awesome Tina!

    • Thomas says:

      Crunchy, you can’t have a user name like that. It’s just too funny.

      Tina is a godsend. I love how she strings the thoughts together, as well as our fears (meth, balconies)

  104. Laura says:

    It’s hard to type when you are crying…. Thank you, Tina!!!

    Mom of 3 adults + 1

  105. Odelia says:

    What an amazing post…..WOW!!!
    Isn’t it amazing that we will become a “nut case” just like our parents when we become parents ourselves with minor changes???
    So should we as children respect our parents’ wishes more or live our lives because our kids will do the same to us???
    Also, would our parents do anything differently if they could go back now that they’ve seen so much in life and have learned so much or would they do everything exactly the same over again!!!
    Melody as always very INSPIRATIONAL POST…..

  106. Peter Mentor says:

    I love the photo. Who took it? It is s00000 baby Christ! Halo and all. I just read this to my daughter. I am Mr. Mom.

  107. I laughed until I cried and then cried through my laughter. I was planning to write my own poignant yet funny blog post for Mother’s Day, but nothing can top this. Tina Fey is genius. I’ve tweeted and shared this on Facebook as a must-read for all mothers of girls.

  108. Becky Young says:

    Had the book in my Kindle for a couple of weeks…this is going to make me start it tonight. 🙂

  109. Carmen says:

    I hear you and appreciate your prayers for your daughter having done that and been there. My advice after raising 2 wonderful children is keep them active in sports too exhausted to get into trouble after practice. Go to every meet, play, event and be there cheering them on even if you are only one of the few there. Choose your battles and let them know you are on their side but God help them if they walk on the wild side because they would have to answer to ME!

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  112. Liza says:

    ‘That my friends, is what you call good writing’…..aside from the ‘off of boats’ howler.

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  114. jujube says:

    I really laughed and cried, right in my cubicle. “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.” Tina, may you live long enough to hear your kids tell you you were right – I have, times three. I cried, every time!

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  116. Charity B says:

    I am not usually a fan of comedians and I haven’t followed much of Tina Fey but this couldn’t of come at a better time. Such a truth.

  117. Pingback: Tina Fey: A Love Letter | Growing Up Wilds

  118. Sam French says:

    Wait. There’s a BOOK! How did I miss *that*? I spent countless hours wading through the bottomless pit of infinite solicitations that has become my INBOX, trying to differentiate between what’s about IBS and what’s from the IRS (et cetera.) I don’t have the time to “stumble upon” the occasional E-quality. I accidentally backed into this one sideways with my hand on the wrong mouse button. Because I never get ANYTHING ‘real’ from the gal who sent me this link. And for a split-second I thought, “if she’s resorted to praying to me about her kids’ future and this ends with yet another link over to FarmVille where her pigs are waiting to be fed…”

    And yet my cynicism has subsided. I have –if only momentarily– connected with something pure, something meaningful and extremely well expressed. Something I desire more of.

    And yet I post to you via Firefox, the browser I have meticulously over-loaded with all the plug-ins necessary to remain ignorant of where I’ve been, how I got here or where I could possibly go from here. The only course of action is to graciously thank my host in advance for her hospitality –past and momentarily future as I gather her website and all that it links to so that I may unearth a link to this Tina Fey book mentioned in previous posts.

    [completed in another window prior to clicking POST COMMENT]

    Thank you , Melody for perpetuating such wonderful content. Now that I basically have this entire domain stored for offline reading, my curiosity may inspire me to “survey it forward.” From the looks of this link, you’re about to receive credit for a purchase I’ll no doubt have made by the time you read this.


  119. imadeinspirations says:

    ❤ this one so much (and make me remember one of our mother song here)

  120. MomofFive says:

    As one whose child’s haunches are already stained by the dreaded Chinese symbol and someone’s seriously demented version of a buttercup, I wholeheartedly endorse any and all musings of the wonderful and wise Ms. Fey. And I can still beseech the Lord above for the rest, especially the scene outside Hollister, to which I can fully relate. And I too Will Not Have It!

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  123. Stephanie says:

    Don’t lead her to architecture, I can tell you that from first hand experience… unless you want her to be stressed out, broke, and never able to spend time with family!

  124. Pingback: An MBA’s Prayer for Her Future Self « Plan MBA

  125. olukokun says:

    Am gonna borrow this for my blog

  126. Sue says:

    Fun reading, but don’t diminish its value by over thinking. Tina Fey is a very talented comedian, actor, and writer… there is truth and humor in what she has to say. Enjoy it!

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  130. Monica says:

    Made me laugh and cry at the same time

  131. Sumayyah says:

    *sniffle* I’m going to call my mother now.

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  134. Christina says:

    What an amazing piece of writing. Funny and touching. I love Tina Fey!

  135. Being a single father, I could relate to these. Amen to you.

  136. carol galligan says:

    If I were all those things Tina claims a mother is, I’d be a saint!!!


    Thanks Tina….didn’t know that until now. I’m 73 years old!

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  140. Every time my 15 year old goes on a new adventure without me–I ask God to protect him and tell him to always remember that I love him, want him to have fun, and that anything were ever to happen to him…my life would be over. Then I kiss him.
    Such a wonderful read…we love them so much..don’t we? Thank you.

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  149. The article is great, but I have just one question:

    Who took that flippin’ amazing picture of her??! I just love it. Is it found in Bossypants?

  150. Pingback: A Modern Mom’s Prayer « Heaven In A Jar And A Burrito. Still.

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  153. E says:

    Haters gonn’ hate! If more people were like Tina, the world’s blood pressure would drop. She is someone who truly knows how to laugh at herself, and I respect that so, so much.

  154. Debbie FitzSimmonds says:

    Wow…tears and laughter as always with Tina Fey…I have 3 daughters 35, 31, and 28…and I sent it to each of them. Two of them have daughters of their own. luvvvvv.

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  156. Susie says:

    I have three daughters and sooo much of this is exactly what I’m thinking, just not funny like Tina Fey!

  157. Mish says:

    It’s inspiring to StumbleUpon a simple text with raw emotion and the truth of life and how parenthood is. Though I am still decades from being a parent, this article made me understand my Mom more since we have a lot of misunderstandings and we often don’t agree with each other. I’m her exact polar opposite. So thank you for posting this.

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  159. Alex says:

    Hmmm… where is my kid? … *after working next on laptop for the last 8 hours… ))

  160. jlodovic says:

    Actually, it’s titled “A Mother’s Prayer for its Child”

  161. Pingback: A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child. « Two-Legged Animal

  162. M Joshua says:

    Love this. I picked up Bossypants at a bookstore and made it about a quarter through it before I realized an hour or two passed. And I usually suck at reading things that quickly.

  163. Veronica says:

    This was pretty good except for:
    “May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.” — May the 13-year-old little girl I once was somehow travel through time and kick Tina Fey’s ass. I was not damaged at 13 when I was raped. I was raised by a happy, loving, supportive, and morally sound family; I was full of energy, played basketball, drew horses, and saw the world through innocent eyes until my naivite got ripped into shreds by a sick, sick man. This kind of bullshit should not be taught to little girls. They are in no way damaged because some low life decides to hurt them.

    And also, ” And should she choose to be a Mother one day.” — Sadly, not everyone can “choose” to be a mother, and there are many who become mothers while trying very diligently not to become them. So motherhood isn’t necessarily a choice.

    • Ella says:

      She’s just hoping for a healthy life and great experiences for her daughter, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I understand you may have gone through a tough time as a child, but really? Do you feel the need to rip on her for that?

  164. Paula says:

    Aw, why no tattoos?? And to actually want your child to be interested in Barbies at all, let alone for too long? How about, ‘dear god, please don’t let my daughter become obsessed with an unattainable body image perpetuated by the media and, well, Barbies’?
    Priorities, woman!!

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  166. Nektar says:

    Love Tina Fey…..love this piece (brilliant!!)….love your blog!! I am a technicolor girl indeed so I am loving your background!!! 🙂

  167. Pingback: It Is Never Okay | Neurodiversity

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  169. Corrinne Rose says:

    After 15 years of trying and waiting, my beautiful daughter arrived in 2010… I read this full of mixed emotions…tears, laughter, but most of all, HOPE…Well put and may the Lord keep my wonderful daughter safely tucked under his wing for the duration of her life…to protect her when and where I cannot.

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  173. Alison Burden-Blake says:

    Brought a tear to my eye! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  174. Suraya says:

    I’m not a mother, but I someday hope to be. Tears in my eye, smile on my face, and knowledge that this will someday come out my own mouth someday.

  175. ScottinBoston says:

    Wow. I’m glad she stayed away from inserting any political references in this poem. It made it possible to enjoy it. Smartest line…”Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short.”

    Nice job.

  176. Nikoya says:

    Lol, this was exquisite.


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  178. finbar says:

    a wonderful prayer, but she forgot one hope: “may she never be bill clinton’s intern….”

  179. Pingback: Tina Fey’s Mother’s Prayer for her Child | leadme.org

  180. Jen says:

    That’s absolutely hilarious.

  181. theheartfulfoodie says:

    Love her.

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  183. I say it’s HILARIOUS! Love the humor…

  184. Laurie Moorhead says:

    Wow! Great to see my thoughts in writing. Mother of 4, 2 of which are girls 21 and 5

  185. Pingback: A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child By Tina Fey « mamafunkhaus

  186. Kam says:

    Thank you! As a new mom of a 4.5 month old little gorgeous girl, I raise my glass! Lord may I have the strength to be the velvet hammer a young teenager needs to push against and learn to respect her elders. Tina thank you for your words they are a shared senement.

  187. Gunfighter says:

    The odds are that her child WILL be tattooed someday. I think Tina probably ought to pray that her kid doesn’t get any really stupid tattooed.

  188. Betty H. says:

    I’ve never been in such a hurry to call my mom … and we haven’t spoken in several months. Why is it that disagreements over some of life’s truly insignificant topics can make you forget how truly important family and friends are?! Thank you to Tina Fey for being Tina Fey. Thank you Melody Godfred for taking the time to share this.

  189. Ashlie says:

    I seriously love this, and can relate so much coming from being a daughter. Tina is truly and talented writer. How I long for that kind of talent.

  190. TooManyPrendieGirls says:

    Looks like I dated ALL the wrong girls in Upper Darby!

  191. Alex Dail says:

    I have twin 2 year olds; I so wish them a happy and safe life. Thanks for a fun little piece on what we hope for our children.

  192. IngR says:

    Even when I was an evil teenager (and I was bad) I got on pretty well with my mom. It took the poop on the neck when my daughter was born to really get it though. So true.

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  195. marseamodest says:

    I never heard of Tina Fey and Thank G*d I have a wonderful relationship with my only daughter(17) however, I have 3 grown sons (28,26,24) who had to grow up…. now that was a challenge… and I could have used a prayer for them … but they are all married and each have a daughter of their own.. If anyone is interested in modest swimwear for themselves or their daughters (to protect them from the sun, boys, etc)

  196. Susan says:

    sure is the truth

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  198. Till Rolls says:

    Wow an amazing post. Maybe im overly emotional today but almost brought a tear to me eye. So nice!

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  200. Jill says:

    Great post, as a mother to an 18 month old I wish all the same things. Brilliantly written.

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  202. TashNz says:

    Best thing I have ever read! It is 200 percent correct in what I pray for my daughter :DDD

  203. colta says:

    Reblogged this on Our Road to Becoming Adoptive Parents and commented:
    Just thought this was a fantastic little blurb from Tina Fey… Something I definitely plan on tell my daughter someday.

  204. robertkcole says:

    As a father of two daughters, 21 & 14, the only additional parenting advice I can offer is to drill into them at a very young age, “only use clean needles.”

  205. Really no matter if someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other users that they will assist, so here it happens.

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  209. notmyyearoff says:

    This is SOOOO good. Would it ok for me to reblog this?

  210. notmyyearoff says:

    Reblogged this on Mummy Ramblings and commented:
    I discovered this

  211. Pingback: I love Tina Fey so I just had to share… « Jovie & Mazie

  212. Well prayed, Tina Fey! There is good stuff here, to be sure. Yes, may all of our daughters avoid Groupie Syndrome and form Bands Of Their Own. And may our Sons respect that. Aho.

    It was easy to laugh through this essay; with two daughters in college and a son in high school, I’ve now lived through some of it. While reading it, a few of my own life lessons as a Mother came to mind that I respectfully contribute:

    First, don’t sweat the tattoos. Or haircuts and dyes, for that matter. They are ways, important to developing individuals, of figuring things out and finding their place in the world that are different (or maybe not) from how our generation did it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting we don’t offer guidance, structure, information and influence as a parent. Just know that their choices won’t always reflect our counsel and (thankfully), in many cases, both parent and child survive this.

    Second, the Mommy Bitch moment is also an important stage. Give me the Daughter who has the gumption to get Good And Pissed, and the Courage to use her Voice – out loud – even to the person she’s closest to at that time. Even if that person is Me. For that means I raised one strong, capable, confident, fiercely independent young woman and THAT was my job.

    Yes, protect her when swimming in oceans but may she have the great good fortune to experience them! May she know the intense power and freedom of wild waves cresting as she body surfs, strong and sure, toward the shore. May the surge and lift of that massive body of water envelop and support her and may she feel renewed, energized and blessed knowing she has a place in the natural world. And may her only memories of balconies, whether spring break or dorm party, be of really great (std free) kisses and of glasses raised with good friends toasting moments of camaraderie and closeness that help carry her through some of life’s less pleasant times.

    May she not be so protected and she live so safely that she misses opportunities to feel, experience, mess up, skin her knee and her heart and survive it, and take risks and chances that make the whole ride worth it.

    And while it is extremely important to walk that line of wanting them to be safe and also fully alive and present in the Grand Experience of this Lifetime, it is not easy! Not by a longshot. Our wishes for our Sons may be the same in some ways and different in others – something that merits its own prayer, yes? To be certain, though, Mothers everywhere want what you ask – that our children someday realize all the sleepless nights and sacrifices we made on their behalf, that they know how deeply we believed in them from the very beginning of their existence and that they recognize our Courage in each little letting go along the way.

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  217. Jean De Santiago says:

    Do not walk alone aftet 10 in the city

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