Bad Mom/Good Mom
I love going to the movies ... alone. I can be a very social person, however, I adore showing up at a movie theatre in the middle of the day and having the whole place to myself or with just a few other people. When I sold my house north of Boston, one of the things I missed a lot was not having a movie theatre right down the street.
This summer, my sister has graciously opened up her home to me while I fulfill a 10-week RN contract. It's a little far to walk, but an easy drive to a movie theatre and last weekend I treated myself to two films! It had been hot and then, got cloudy and rainy, so there were more people in the cinema than I would have liked ...;-), however, it was still delightful. One of the movies was so well done, I knew I had to write about it this week.
I first discovered matinees when I dropped the youngest of my three small children off at preschool and realized I was "free" for the next four hours. I felt a small twinge of guilt (I think society puts that on us and we accept it without question), however I trusted that my kidlets were safe. It's interesting that I could feel that back then, when now, I might not without having my cell phone on me, but that's a topic for another blog. On the other hand, I HAD to trust that they were ok because I knew that I often felt like I was walking a tightrope between feeling like I was a good mom sometimes and a terrible one more often than not and a very small voice also told me to give myself a little break.
"Bad Moms" struck a nerve when I heard interviews with both Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell (who star in the movie). At first, I was worried it would be a little over-the-top and maybe, trying too hard to go for the laugh. My worries were completely unfounded. Instead, I found myself catapulted back 30 years to when I was trying to raise my own kids and it felt like it was just yesterday. I laughed and I cried which is pretty much what I did with my three wonderful children all born within 4 years. Mila said in her interview that the script had seemed so "true" and Kristen said it showed a side of motherhood that isn't often portrayed -- feeling like a failure, no matter what you do.
All of that was true and there was also a poignancy that hit me right in the gut.
The truth is, it's hard being a parent, much less a "good" one. And, as mothers, we make it even harder than it has to be. It struck me that thirty years later, women are still struggling with exactly the same issues that we were muddling over in the 80's. Our biggest downfall is that we think we have to be "perfect" when most of the time we haven't a clue.
I love the part of the movie when Mila's character speaks to the PTA and basically tells them that it's impossible to do it all "right" and that one thing we need to do is support each other in charting unknown territory. Out of fear and insecurity, we lose sight of owning our vulnerability and turning toward each other and figuring it out together.
Many, many years ago, a very misguided patriarchy felt threatened by women and recognized their power, especially in a group. Their solution was to create conflict and plant the seeds of discord and suspicion -- in other words, divide and conquer. Sadly, I sometimes still see this among women. The worst part of this is that if we doubt and mistrust other women, we can't help but feel the same toward ourselves -- we're all sisters. If you diss another woman, you're feeling it inside yourself, too. When that happens, both men and women (and their children) miss out.
I recommend you go see "Bad Moms", especially if you are a mom. Then, I recommend you reach out and see where you can encourage and assist another woman. It will do you both a world of good, I promise.