I saw the movie Bad Moms last week. I laughed, I sighed, I cried out, “Yes!” in my head at some scenes. It was a funny movie; very relatable, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. So why was I feeling so frustrated on my drive home? I’d liked the movie. I found myself remembering scenes and chuckling, wishing we didn’t live in an age where they had to make a movie called Bad Moms, to detail what it’s like to be a, “normal” mom these days.
That’s when it hit me; I hated the title “Bad Moms.”
Mila Kunis says in the movie, being a mom today is “impossible.” Meaning, between work/staying at home, homework, helicopter parenting/attachment parenting, food struggles and finally the JUDGING from other moms, it’s impossible to be what society deems a good mom these days. That’s where I have the issue.
It’s not impossible. We’re doing it every day.
I place an immense value on words. Their meaning and their intent can make or break someone’s day. There is nothing positive associated with the word “bad.” I related to all the “bad” moms in this movie, they ARE me. I struggle with feeling cut off from friends and craving (almost more than food – almost) time with women. I struggle with hating the way we school our kids these days – the testing, the lack of free time they have. I too have struggles at times in my marriage, that tear my focus away from my kids (hello, if you’re married, you have struggles). I find myself frazzled, am late to pick my kids up and don’t always make a gourmet meal to eat at the table, while we retell our day and talk about world peace. Sometimes, I make fish sticks and mac ‘n cheese and consider it a success if I have an apple to slice. That’s a GOOD day. Other days, it’s pizza or take out tacos. I do what I need to do each day to make it to bed at night and know my kids are fed, alive, have had a hug and maybe bathed. Maybe. Ok, probably not.
NONE OF THIS MAKES ME A BAD MOM!
I get where the movie was going, calling out the ridiculous line between what society (or maybe just folklore) deems a good mom vs. a bad mom, but I found myself really wishing there was another way to connotes what being a mom these days really means, without using the term bad. It’s hard. So fucking hard. It’s tiring, joyous, un-relenting, happy, frightful and hard. But, just because there are days where I am sure I am making every mistake and wrong choice in the book, I am doing the most important thing for my kids; I am loving them. I may get up and make pancakes some morning and other mornings it’s dry cereal, but they know each day that I drop them at school, that they are loved.
They may stink to the high heavens because I don’t have it in me to fight about a bath, but even at their stinkiest, they get a hug, cuddle time and an, “I love you,” at bedtime. I listen to them. I talk to them about their lives, their friends, their schoolwork. I also yell at them when they do something dumb, (I’m looking at you, teenage son) and I talk to them about WHY it was not the best decision. We share, we laugh, we yell, we cry and in the end, we love.
I am not perfect. My kids are not perfect. I fully expect to get the calls from the school asking me to come in for a chat. Because I am raising humans. Humans who are flawed, vulnerable, searching and trying. Humans who I hope will grow up to be kind. To know what it feels like to be loved more than anything and who will pay that love forward.
Just because hot dogs are always in my fridge and my boys may fart at the table, doesn’t make me BAD. I am trying. I am human.
I know “Human Moms” wouldn’t have been an enticing title for a movie. I just wish there was a way to celebrate all the GOOD we moms do each and every day. The good; even if it isn’t perfect. Even if it means too much TV time, sugar, video games or wine (only for US of course).
We’re all doing our best. We’re all going to fail at times. In the end, I truly believe we will all succeed. As long as we show up, as long as our kids know they are loved.
So pour that second (or fourth) glass of wine in your closet if you need to. Hide the good chocolate. Lie and say you’re out of chips, because you hid them above the fridge and dammit you NEED those chips for your Netflix binge, after they go to bed tonight.
You’re GOOD. We’re GOOD. We will end up being more than ok. We will be the proud mothers of some amazing humans that WE raised.
US, the GOOD moms.