I just watched the movie, “Bad Moms” and found myself totally nodding my head, laughing and telling myself, “I know! That is so right.” And I know many other moms could relate, to one of the characters, if not more than one. I’m even more positive you could see your mom friends in the characters. Who doesn’t have a mom friend with multiple kids who always looks tired and never goes out? Or the single looking for love mom? Or the seemingly perfect mom who appears to have everything together?
But that’s the whole point right? Being a mom is not perfect. We can try, but everything we try so hard to do is never enough. Either we do everything for our kids; make them breakfast, do their homework, take them to all their extracurricular activities, make them the perfect nutritious organic lunch and they become entitled kids who expect the world to give them what they want instead of working for it. Or we are the disengaged parents; missing their games, not caring about their school or social lives and they become disengaged kids who apparently don’t care about anything. We need to give ourselves a break.
Many moms are also working moms and I’m going to take a leap in faith and also assume we also maintain our household. We have to find time between our kids’ school and activities and our job to go grocery shopping, clean our house, laundry and meal preparation. Then our partner wants time to have “relations?!
Being a nurse working 12 hours a day or sometimes even doing midnight shifts; I’ve never been a perfect mom and frankly, I’ve never had the energy to try to appear perfect. I think the hardest time for me as a mom was when I was pregnant with the last baby. I had 2 in school and 2 at home. My husband and I were always able to be at home and avoid the need for daycare. But Eric was done with school and started teaching. We were now both working full time and needing day care. Being a nurse, though hard, can allow flexibility in your schedule. I started working every weekend during the day and Monday doing the midnight shift. So now I’m up all day Monday with 2 boys, working from 7pm to 7am and rushing home Tuesday to have to be up all day. I found myself being a bad mom. I would leave bowls of snacks on the table and by the couch so I could catch 30 minutes of shut eye on the couch. I let PBS be my babysitter. I let the boys co-sleep on the couch with me during their nap time. I let my older boys eat school lunch every day. I did not have the healthiest diet during this pregnancy.
I know my 2 boys were up to no good when I would open my eyes to see the youngest staring at me and frantically whisper, “hurry! She’s awake!” Or I would find a trail of candy wrappers that were not there before I dozed off for a few winks. But at that time, I was being the best mom I could be. I don’t know or don’t care if other moms talked about me when I picked my other boys up from school, looking disheveled and beyond the world tired. I was waiting to tell someone I haven’t slept for 32 hours! They might have been too scared to approach me or maybe didn’t want their kids around me? Who knew? But I could totally relate to the mom with 4 kids in the movie, Kiki. So knowing, we’ve all been bad moms at some point in our parenting career, I have a few tips to help you become badder moms. Or is it more bad?
Take a nap! I cherish my days off with all the kids in school and I can sleep! At first I felt guilty because I could be doing so many other things around the house. But the first time I napped and really slept, where you wake up and you’re confused at first and don’t know where you’re at. I was like, wow! This is really nice. And I can stay like this for a few more moments without anyone demanding my attention, or having to make something, fix something, wash something or whatever something.
Say “no” to your kids. I know you’ve read this in more parenting blogs, magazines then you care to read again. But saying no to them is more than making them more resilient, getting them ready for the real world but it saves your sanity. You start saying no when they’re young so it doesn’t hit them hard when they’re in elementary school and they’re shocked and start having seizures. My kids start off asking me, “I know you’re going to say no…” And when I say yes, I’m the best mom ever! Saying no also will save you a ton of money. How many times while going shopping (your) you’re kids ask for things and you end up spending more money than you planned. I bet saying no to all these extras will save you hundreds of dollars a month depending on how many kids you have.
3. You don’t always have to share your food. I always used to share my food when my kids asked, “Can I have some?” I felt like I was feeding baby birds when my kids would stand around me with their open waiting mouths ready for their next tasty morsel. Because that’s what a mom does, but I would look down and there was nothing left for me. Then I would get mad. C’mon. I know I’m not the only mom who got mad when that food you’ve been waiting for, is devoured by your greedy offspring. Guess what? It’s ok to be greedy sometimes too. I’ve learned to say, “this is mine.” When my guilt is overwhelming, I hide my treat and wait longingly for my kids’ bedtime. Then I retrieve my guilty pleasure and enjoy.
4. Don’t sign your kids up for every activity that comes their way. Not going to the story telling at the library will not destroy them. Now my oldest has discovered his passion for basketball and he’s pretty good. So I allowed him to play in an extra league during school. When you’re child finds his/her passion then allow that passion to flourish. Plus, there’s scholarships for college in about any hobby. Forward thinking: I have 5 to put through college. Otherwise, while they are young, let them be kids. Let them be bored. Let them entertain themselves. Let them find their imagination. Let them go outside.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. Allow yourself your own time because you are more than just a mom. On the other hand, Don’t make other moms feel bad; we don’t know their story.
Remember, moms are not perfect. It’s ok to have “bad mom” moments. It’s those moments that make us human, and those moments that are cherished the most. I cannot remember the perfect lunch I made for my kids. Not because I’ve never made a perfect lunch, but because lunches don’t matter. I do remember my boys drawing on themselves, cutting their hair, and dressing their baby brother in a skirt. I hope more moms will cherish their bad mom moments too.
Kristine Walton, RN, BSN
Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse
Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@Hotmail.com
Do you have any Bad Mom moments?