I recently was able to get away from my kid and selfishly enjoy some adult time with my girlfriends. As was the hype with Sex and the City, the same goes with the new movie, Bad Moms, which won in an unanimous vote for a girls night out. I was clearly just as excited as the other millions of tired, overworked moms looking forward to laughing at our woes for a couple hours. The movie did not disappoint and I literally laughed the entire time.
Without spoiling the movie, the theme is moms who "quit" being moms - running errands, over stressing their kids with extra curricular activities, multi-tasking to the point of exhaustion - and decide to say, "Fuck it, I'm done." Some have helping husbands, while others do not. "You're smart, make your own breakfast," is a response from Mila Kunis who decides to take the bad mom route after learning about her husband's affair.
Now, this blog isn't a movie review of Bad Moms, but the movie did give me a quick review of my life as a mom. I am one of those lucky women with a partner (husband in this case) who helps tremendously when it comes to the home and baby needs. While I do carry more of the burden of both, he does assist when needed. We have a pretty good routine going, and so far we have kept our home, marriage, and daughter alive with few incidents. I guess you could say, we have it figured out. But, as the movie would point out, every mom needs a break from time to time. It's only natural to get exhausted by the demand of it all, so why can't we say, "fuck it" every once in a while? I guess the better question is, why can't take said break and not feel guilty about it?
I have the tendency to need some me time from time-to-time and if I go by the standards set in this movie, I would actually be considered a "bad mom" the very night I went to see the movie.
First, I ditched my husband and baby at home so I could wine and dine with my friends. I also did so ditching on a Sunday, which if you ask my mom, is family day. Second, I not only ditched my baby and husband on a Sunday, but I did so when his mom, dad, brother, sister, and aunt were coming over for dinner. In my defense, before everyone reading this thinks I'm a jerk who deserts her family, the original plan was for family dinner on Monday and was changed last minute. (See, I'm not THAT much of an asshole.)
Lastly, I was supposed to be gone for roughly 2.5 hours, but ended up being gone for roughly 6.5 hours. Let me explain. Actually, let me paraphrase... There was wine and shopping involved and I didn't have to entertain an 11-month-old while doing so. The rest is history.
To add to this, I told my husband I would be home by 8PM to put Lennon to bed per usual. But, one thing led to another which led us to pasta and more wine post-movie, which attributed to the 6.5 hour jail break. Thankfully, I left a bottle of pumped milk in the fridge ready to go, and my husband was more than willing to take over the bed time routine for this one night. I do it every.single.night.
Whew, that was a lot.
I expected my little night of charades to annoy my husband, or even piss him off to the point of starting a fight. When I finally came home at the wee hour of 9:30PM, my husband greeted me with smiles, hugs, and a very clean house. His response to me being late and a little buzzed? "I hope you had fun, you deserve to go out." Wait, what? You're not mad?
You see, I have what I think all moms have which is an unending feeling of guilt and betrayal whenever we leave our mom roles and visit our "pre-baby roles" of zero to little responsibility. If I do something fun without Lennon: guilt. If I nap when she naps instead of making dinner: guilt. If I look forward to work when she is having a cranky morning: guilt. It's exhausting. Even last night during the movie, I kept checking my phone and texting my husband to make sure everything was okay. He eventually stopped responding and told me to enjoy myself. I did, eventually, but you see, I still came home feeling guilty for needing a few hours away AND for really, really enjoying it. (Seriously, I really enjoyed it).
Does that make me a bad mom or an honest one?
Overall, I had a great time with my other mom friends, Lennon had a great time with family, and Joe had much needed daddy-daughter time. It was a win-win-win, so why do I still feel like I did something wrong? I honestly believe that parenthood can be summarized in one word: guilt. It doesn't matter how great a parent you are, or whether you are a SAHM, or full-time employee by day and full-time mom by night; you will find a reason to beat yourself up. My advice to you? Don't, just don't.
Bad Moms was hysterical, I will give you that. But, it actually did teach a valuable lesson: Be truthful to what kind of parent you are, and embrace it. Remember to always take some time for yourself, but don't go overboard. Have a date night with your family, but also have one with yourself (and your friends). Love your children, but love yourself as well. Give them all the time in the world, but save some time for yourself.
It's easy to feel guilty, or brand yourself a "bad mom" when in reality, there are probably more important things to worry or feel guilty about (like leaving work to get a pedicure when your calendar says "executive meeting.") Take it from this bad mom who lived to tell the tale and still has a baby and husband to show for it.