"I'm going to try to do everything by myself today," Mom exclaims as she's serving breakfast and seriously contemplating if she just doomed herself by putting that into the Universe. She continues, "...as long as everyone does what they are supposed to do, right?" Mom, very rushedly gets everyone into the car and is headed off to drop kids off to school and make it to work in one piece - while trying to figure out how to also get the limping dog to the vet! Arriving in the front of the kids' school, Mom is approached by the PTA President and informed that there's an "emergency PTA meeting" that very same night. As Mom looks at this cheery woman dispiritedly she wonders how she can find a sitter so she can be sure to attend this godforsaken meeting...
Sound like a morning in your life? Wondering if I was a fly on the wall in your kitchen today? Well, the funny thing is that this is actually the start of the trailer for the 2016 movie, Bad Moms (check out the hilariously honest, NSFW trailer here). The "Mom" in my above example could easily be you, but in this movie it's actress Mila Kunis. And, after a few other mishaps (and a night out with other exasperated moms) she triumphantly declares, "Let's be bad moms." And, you know what? I'm with her!
Working with parents daily has taught me one thing - that the trailer perfectly sums up: There are definitely a lot of bad moms out there!
Oh yeah! That's right! You're probably a bad mom yourself! Bad moms have decided that trying to keep up with every single instance of perfection that is thrown at them is completely ludicrous; they have given up on the notion that becoming a parent somehow made them immune to being human; and, these bad moms have figured out that ignoring the rules of parenting and simply connecting with their children is one of the greatest ways to be a great mom!
Essentially, this movie has shown us why we need more bad moms out there! The idea that shaming another parent for not getting it right 100% of the time has become so commonplace in our society that movies like this need to be made. While you can see that as disheartening, I see it as a move in the right direction.
Art often imitates life, doesn't it? For me, this movie is a great way to not only show everyone that parent shaming is ridiculous, harmful, and not effective at all at helping change the dynamics in parenting. But it's also a great vehicle for getting us to talk about the pressures placed on parents in today's society. When we can laugh at the absurdity of trying to be perfect parents in an imperfect world from the guys that brought us movies like "The Hangover" you know that parent shaming and mommy wars has become a cultural phenomena.
And since my other posts go into more detail about the effects of parent shaming, I'll share something a bit different! So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why we need to more "Bad Moms":
1. Bad moms remind you that no one is perfect.
When you feel like you're being a bad mom, you can ease up on the pity party! If you're wondering how bad you really are that's called awareness. And, in my book any parent that has the awareness to question their actions or behaviors is doing good in my book! You're going to mess up; you're going to get it wrong. But, awareness helps us get back on track. If you're sitting here reading this to see if you are a bad mom, you're not. I'll tell you what I tell the hundreds of parents that I've worked with over the years: if you're seeking help, if you think something isn't clicking in your parenting, and if you're even trying to do it better, you're a great parent!
2. Bad moms teach you how to see beyond black or white thinking.
The best of the bad moms know how to see the gray shadows that permeate every single decision we make as humans. No decisions is purely black or white, especially when it comes to raising healthy children. When you're doing your best it's good to remember that there is a fluidity to being a human and making decisions. If you make a not-so-great decision (that doesn't harm yourself or your child -- I'm not condoning child abuse here), bad moms know that they can learn and grown from that experience. And you know what else, bad moms don't judge other parents because they know what it feels like to have to sit with a decision they wish they hadn't made.
3. Bad moms give you more reasons to embrace your humanity.
If you always feel great, always get it right, and always know exactly what to do, then congrats -- you're a perfect mom! But, if you're the opposite of that description then welcome to the bad moms club. Being wholly and imperfectly human is a truth that bad moms know all too well. And while they may beat themselves over trying to be perfect, they eventually understand that being flawed is part of being fully human. They remind us all that through the fog of happy Facebook pictures and beautifully crafted Pinterest birthday parties is a real live human in there -- and they're not afraid to proudly show her off by bringing home a Costco pizza and putting the kids in front of their 100th viewing of Frozen!
4. Bad moms make it easier to fit self care into your schedule.
While others may scoff at the idea of taking time for themselves, bad moms make it a point to squeeze wine nights into their schedules. We have become accustomed to self-care being synonymous with meditation and yoga so much so that it almost feels indulgent to allow self-care into our schedules. While those two activities definitely fall under the umbrella of taking care of yourself, the definition of self-care includes anything that helps replenish your energy. So, if it's yoga, wine, reading, sleeping, eating, Netflix-ing (yes, I just made watching Netflix a verb), or whatever else makes you feel good can fit into your schedules (hint: they can) - then do it! Bad moms know that your self-care doesn't have to take several hours out of your day - as long as you take just a few minutes to recharge you'll be able to tackle your day a bit better!
5. Bad moms help you remember the real reason you're a mom.
This isn't always a sentimental and sappy reason either. Bad moms have a variety of reasons for choosing to be a parent -- some are sappy, some are honest, some are miracles, and some are none of your business! But, a bad mom isn't trying to win any trophies for having the best "I became a mom because..." story because she's too busy connecting with her reasons for being one. Your children give you the best reasons for why you do what you do everyday - and if you forget, just ask them, they may have a few ideas. But, in all seriousness, bad moms look internally and to their children for their why.
So, are you a bad mom? The answer is yes! Unequivocally yes! If you can relate to these 5 reasons then be a proud bad mom! You've earned it!
(Image courtesy of STX Entertainment)