There’s a movie coming out soon called Bad Moms. The trailer for it is pretty wonderful (if you haven’t yet seen it: https://youtu.be/P0FNjPsANGk) and the concept of the flick is essentially a group of overworked, overtired and generally DONE WITH EVERYTHING moms that finally give themselves a break from their demanding lives and it’s endlessly selfless responsibilities. Upon doing so, they are then confronted and called out by their local group of perfect, sanctimommies for not living up to their standards. From what I assume, as I do not know how the ending goes, lessons and truths are eventually learned by all.
This hot mess mom movement (which is legitimately a thing and has been for years, though called different names) is fascinating to me. In truth, I see a lot of myself in its workings, but at just six months in, many may just equate that to me being a first time mom and the confusion of trying to figure everything out in the only way I know how. However, in a year or so’s time, when I ideally will have a bit more of a grasp on what I’m doing, I still see myself identifying with the moms in that movie who felt like they needed to *temporarily* give zero fucks. Not because I can see the future, but because I believe in what it represents.
While still pretty new to this game of motherhood, already I feel the pressures from just about EVERYWHERE to do better and be better. Without abandon, the growing standard of what a mom should be, could be and needs to be is sky rocketing to the height of impossible ideals. Ideals which so often fail to take into account context, culture and environment, mind you, but are batshit rampant nonetheless. These ideals are SUPER pervasive and, intricately laced within them, are attempts to subjugate what our children should be, could be and needs to be into the expectations of overachieving, over-succeeding, perfect spawns of creation (but more on that point at a later time).
Inadvertently, I’ve gotten these pressures from some of the closest people in my life. Suffocatingly real and somehow always there, they are with the best intentions or not. They have come from well meaning people, and people who have simply had an opinion or were probably just trying to help, but it is a game I’ve already realized I do not wish to play. I do not feel I need to justify my parenting to anyone but my son or my husband, and nor will I ever again. I will not give anyone that power, for in doing so lies a dangerously, slippery slope. One thing prompts another, another and another, and before long I’m madly juggling to hold on not to what I deem important, but what society and its sticky fingers believe should be the standard of how I do motherhood. Yeah, I’ll pass.
At the heart of all this hot mess/bad mom reality, I don’t see laziness. I don’t see neglect. I don’t see a mom who shouldn’t have had kids. Some may say this is too optimistic and too kind of me, but I see a woman who isn’t willing to forget her needs on the journey that is motherhood. This is not me saying that all the ‘perfect’ mommas out there have forever put themselves last, rather, for any mom who has chosen at a time to put herself first? You have committed no crime.
There is no me if I don’t have the time *for* me. If that means during naps the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned or the laundry doesn’t get done for awhile, so be it. If that means we don’t leave the house for a few days ’cause the dumbness of people hurts my brain, so be it. If that means I have to put O down for nap earlier than normal for a few times ’cause I just can’t deal right now, so be it. None of these things are choices made without thought. Behind them lies purpose and intentionality. Behind them lies a recognition that I need time to focus on me right now so that I can be the mom I want to be, and sometimes I might need that for days at a time. Shit might not get done as a result. And you know what? THAT’S OKAY. I’ll still love and care for my child so much that it hurts (as I do right now and always), just not within the confines of how society or anyone else thinks I should. To hell with that.
A raw beauty is in a hot mess mom, and that beauty doesn’t make you or me a “bad” mom. It doesn’t mean we aren’t cut out for this. It makes us real, it makes us honest, and it makes us alive. So, carry on, brave soldier. I’ve got your back.