I don't go to the movies. Like, ever. So when my sister in law said she'd go with me to see Bad Moms in the theatre, I was super ecstatic. I don't know about you and where you live, but movie tickets are way too dang overpriced here in Kentucky. I grew up where tickets cost $5 and a giant diet coke was $3 (oh, and we had free refills!) Before walking in to the theatre, I had some definite pre-movie-attending-anxiety.
Please don't suck. Don't be a waste of time. Please be worth every single cent we just spent to get in here and slurp on our $7 soft drinks!
But lo and behold, seconds into the movie both of us were dying laughing. Don't get me wrong, the F Bomb is dropped every five seconds but oh.my.gosh soooooooo worth it! The main character (played by Mila Kunis) seems to have the "perfect life", but just like most moms, she's completely over-worked, exhausted and way over-committed. She meets two women, who couldn't be more opposite from one another, and together they have some way overdue fun encompassed by tons of laughter and tears.
As the movie ended I thought, I have to write about this! And then I received a Facebook message from a dear friend of mine who solidified this need to write even more.
"Do all moms feel like they could be better moms? Or do I just suck...After I put her to bed and she's lying next to me (yes, she sleeps with me), I look back on the day and see all the wasted opportunities for her to learn and grow and for us to grow together, because I had other shit to do. And I see this angel, God's GIFT to me, peaceful beside me, and I feel like the biggest f'ing asshole..."
Ladies? How many of you are RIGHT THERE?
"I feel like a bad mom. I feel like I could be better. Like she deserves BETTER. I don't know how anyone does it, if you're not a millionaire who doesn't need to work or cook or clean or pay bills...I don't have childhood memories with my mom. She was working or grumpy. That's what I am? I'm THAT?!? I don't want to be that. I don't want to be too tired or too grumpy or too BUSY. It isn't fair."
Isn't that what we all are? We are tired, we are grumpy, we are busy. We are MOMS. WHY are we so hard on ourselves? In this day and age, it seriously IS pretty impossible to be a good mom. These lines in the movie had me splitting up and also need to be said here:
"There are so many f'ing rules now"
"Don't punish your kids."
"Don't say NO to your kids."
"We all work too damn hard trying to make our kids lives amazing and magical. Their lives already ARE amazing and magical. Screw it. Let's be BAD moms." [Kiki, Carla and Amy from Bad Moms]
Maybe it'll help you if I offer some personal perspective. Guess what my four year-old wants to eat EVERY SINGLE DAY? I'll give you a guess: NOT spinach and kale.. Nope. Try Pizza Luncheables. And the first thing my kids do when they wake up in the morning? Use their iPads for 15 minutes (cough, or thirty, cough) so that I can drink my coffee and keep my talking to a minimum. I hate mornings! What in the world am I going to do when I stay home full time come this winter?! Oh, probably the same thing.
Does it make me a bad mom because I allow Luncheables to be "lunch" three days a week? Or that I give them screen time when I need a break? (If you say yes, we probably shouldn't be friends....)
This job is HARD. It's emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually EXHAUSTING. We work jobs outside of the home and come home to more work, or we stay home and there's a crap ton that go unnoticed by the littles ones we are raising. And no matter what your other titles are, I can tell you that being the Maid, Chef, Nurse, Handyman, Therapist, Friend, Pooper Scooper, Professional Cuddler, Discipliner and so freeking much more... all roll into a giant combustion of what MOM really is.
But yet, we feel guilt. We don't want to be remembered for our yelling, for our tears, for our frustration. We want our kids to have these picturesque memories of rainbows and sunshine and kitten cuddles and nothing but laughter as they tell THEIR kids what their childhood resembled. Well I'm here to encourage you--be a BAD mom!
Take care of yourself. While your kids play hide and seek go lock yourself in the bathroom for three minutes to breathe and have some positive self-talk. Make arrangements to go out with a girlfriend and do whatever the HECK you want. Laugh. Cry. Punch a punching bag. Go for a run. Eat a pint of ice cream. And then keep being Mom.
I bet you're doing the best you can. I know my friend who sent me that message is! She is a woman who I admire immensely, who has always been a go-getter, working herself through college and raising a kid at the same time. I bet you get angry and your kids have seen you cry. I bet you've raised your voice at them and screamed for them to go to their rooms. I bet you've had to apologize and ask for forgiveness and grace. And I also bet you have hugged them, and danced with them and taken them out for ice cream and slushies and to the theatre where they can have THEIR very own bucket of popcorn and too big of a soft drink.
So ladies? Why don't we breathe? Give yourself a pat on the back and go ahead, give yourself slack, "I'm going to be a BAD mom!"