What’s so Bad About “Bad Moms”?

It isn’t often that I find inspiration for a blog in a movie, especially a movie entitled Bad Moms!  Make no mistake, this is most definitely NOT a movie to take your kids and be warned, there are some scenes that might be offensive.  Besides some great laughs, I was pleasantly surprised at the redeeming values in this movie that left me with a few impressions.

(Spoiler alert!)

The first lesson is that perfection is not attainable in parenting and that’s OK. Good enough is a goal in its own right!  As much as we strive to do our best there are going to be days that go wrong. There will be mornings when you realize your kids don’t have clean clothes so you dig through the dirty laundry, throw something in the dryer with a couple extra scented dryer sheets and pretend like it’s clean. There will be meals that consist of prepackaged and canned goods or even worse, the McDonald’s drive through. They won’t have malnutrition if every meal doesn’t include organic vegetables. Your kids will survive if there are a few nights that you just can’t muster the energy to sing “You are my Sunshine” one more time or they go to bed without a story.

In the beginning of the movie, the character of Mila Kunis was the image of a mother that appeared to have it all together. Trying to maintain the image of a perfect mother was slowly destroying her, taking all the joy out of parenting and creating helpless children. Her resentment and exhaustion soon boiled over and she went from doing it all to doing very little before finding a healthy balance. As she did less for her kids, they became competent, independent people who not only survived but thrived with a little less “over the top” parenting!

The other takeaway from the movie was that everything is not always as it seems to be. The character of Christina Applegate was that of the perfect mother; blonde, wealthy, in control PTA President. She appeared to have it all; beautiful clothes, luxury SUV and even a private jet. She created an empire within the school, demanding perfection and subservience from the other mothers. Haven’t we all known people like that? People that we look at their life and wonder how one person can have it all; beauty, brains, wealth and power. In the end we find out her perfection is a fragile façade hiding a life of pain and troubles. We never really know what another person is going through and the flawless outward appearance is often presented to obscure the less pleasant reality.

The final lesson is that we all have our “bad mom” moments. Understand I am not referring to abuse or neglect, just times life overwhelms us and our real life fall short of our parenting vision. I know I’ve had a few epic bad mom moments, some I’ve shared in previous blogs. There were times I went to my children and apologized for a less than stellar day.

As long as you’re giving your child love and doing your best to create a good life for them, it’s totally OK to have some mediocre days. I go by the 80/20 rule. If you can get it all together 80% of the time, you’re doing well! We’re moms, we’re humans and we’re fallible. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough.

Categories: Single Stepping