Have you seen the movie Bad Moms?

Oh my gosh, so funny. Not very flattering of Dads so go with girlfriends for sure. The movie does a great job of illustrating the problem modern moms face. Somewhere around the invention of “Baby Einstein” we picked up this idea that being a “good mom” means taking responsibility for our children’s mental, physical, emotional, social, and academic needs. We so desperately want to be “good moms” that we kill ourselves trying. We have created an impossible, idealistic goal that we will never achieve. We will never have perfectly healthy, happy, whole, content, responsible, friendly, kind self respecting kids who get perfect grades. If you did have this perfect kid, you would be calling me up and saying, “Torie, I think something is wrong with my kid. She’s like, happy all the time, she never makes a mistake, she’s always courteous and kind and gets perfect grades. Something’s got to be wrong with her.”

We aren’t meant to raise perfect kids, nor are we meant to be perfect parents. We are here to love, accept, grow and appreciate them and ourselves, while we stumble through this crazy thing called life.

In the movie, Bad Moms, you can see how the oldest daughter takes on the stress and perfectionism from her Mom. This is the one thing the girls at my summer camp all complain about, the expectation to be perfect. When we Moms don’t make mistakes but take care of everything: cooking, cleaning, coordinating, school work, income needs, etc. Kids learn that unless they can do it perfectly, they shouldn’t even try. Sometimes messing up, dropping the ball, forgetting things, or being an irresponsible Mom is the BEST thing we can do for our kids. They look at us and think, “I could do better than that!” and they start trying.

The lead character in the movie hits her breaking point and her world starts to implode. You don’t have to wait for the shit to hit the fan before making some changes in your life. Listen to that nagging voice that says, “I can’t keep going like this” “something needs to change”. Listen to your body that tries to communicate through physical pain, rashes, IBS, headaches, etc. Pay attention to the whispers of discontent and instead of tuning OUT, tune IN.

Laughter is always the best medicine so grab a Mommy friend and go see “Bad Moms”. After the movie, ask them:
1- “Imagine you won a great mom award, what would make you worthy of that title?”
2- How do you know when you’ve been a bad mom? Let’s say you yelled, ask “Is it true that a good mom would never raise her voice, ever?” “How many times would a mom be allowed to yell and she could still be considered a good mom?”
3- See if you can come up with contradictory definitions. For example, one Mom might say “A good mom provides high quality, nutritious foods without artificial colors and flavors.” Another Mom might say, “A good mom provides foods that are quick, easy and fun so other kids will want to come over to your house.” or “A good mom makes sure the kids are ready for school with a healthy breakfast, homework completed, and lunch made.” Another mom might say, “A good mom expects their child to take responsibility for getting up and out the door in the morning with all supplies necessary for the day.”
4- How much of your definition of a good mom/bad mom was formed by your own mother? Where are you similar and where are you different? How did your mom’s area of expertise, or lack of it, effect your own beliefs and beliefs around what makes a good mom?