The other night, amidst packing and paying bills, I stumbled upon the movie Bad Moms. And while I never had a strong desire to watch it, for a combination of comic relief and some much-needed mental respite, I decided to put it on. I was immediately hooked. As a mom who struggles with work and kids, family and career, there was something to this movie. And while I don’t think it will win an Oscar, the movie not only made me laugh, but I also came pretty darn close to crying (and not because I was laughing so hard).
My emotions went south because, from the title to the struggles that Mila K and her besties faced, I could relate. The being late to everything, the never having everything under control, and the constant feeling like you are doing a C job as a mom, a wife, and a professional resonated with me. Add to that the constant feeling that people are watching and judging you, and you really have yourself in a tailspin. It’s a wonder any of us can get out of bed in the morning! It seems that no matter how hard you try, crossing the threshold from “bad” to “good” feels impossible.
Unfortunately, this piece won’t offer you much in terms of advice. It doesn’t come with “10 Tips on How to Feel Better about Yourself as a Mom” or “5 Ways to Feel Good Rather Than Bad.” And that’s not because we wouldn’t share it if we knew (trust us, we give you all that we’ve got!), but because we also don’t really have the answers. We, too, just like many of you, struggle with the “bad mom” feelings on a daily basis. No matter how big our smiles are on Instagram or how color-coordinated our outfits are, we are far from perfect.
We are sharing these emotions, as well as our flaws, to bring unity amongst women. To help us all recognize our similarities rather than dissect our differences. At the end of the day, we pretty much all want the same things—health, happiness, and love. So, let’s promise each other that the next time you think about uttering the words “I am such a bad mom,” you stop yourself. Take a deep breath, and think about all that you have already accomplished today and all that you will do, both for yourself and for others.
Cut yourself some slack. Cut out the negative thoughts. And cut out the negative people who perpetuate those emotions. Although we didn’t learn it in medical school, we are pretty confident that a processed lunch with non-organic bread or an extra 30 minutes on the iPad is not the end of the world.
Give yourself a break: doctors’ orders!