Why ‘Bad Moms’ made me feel good

Nicole Arsiwala

Nicole Arsiwala

Nicole is a freelance writer/blogger and a former journalist. After becoming a mum, she quit her job but couldn’t quite quit writing. So her blog Tales from Mamaville was born, where she chronicles her experiences and unarticulated thoughts about motherhood, toddlerhood and everything in between. Above all, her blog is about the adventures (and misadventures), insanity and ultimate contentment of being a mother. Nicole is also a contributing writer for pregnancy and motherhood website Momtricks (www.momtricks.com).
Nicole Arsiwala

Bad Moms – the chick-mom flick starring Mila Kunis as an over-tired, over-worked, over-stressed mom – was on my ‘must watch’ movie list since I first saw the trailer. Of course, movies in theatres post Little Man are as frequent as leap years, but being a mom and hearing so much about this one, I made a date with myself and went to see it.

I’m glad I did. OK, so it wasn’t an Oscar-winning, heart-stopping, historically significant film; but yes, it touched a chord somewhere. Heck everywhere! Because it said what it had to say, no holds barred. It didn’t make motherhood out to be this oh-so-amazing thing (of course it is) but it is also EXHAUSTING, MIND-NUMBING and BLOODY TOUGH! That’s the reality of parenting (babies/toddlers/pre-schoolers/tweens/teens) and that’s what Kunis and her fellow moms represented.

It made me, as a Mom, not feel so guilty/ pathetic/ horrible/ hopeless. Emotions ALL mums go through, as Kunis said, at least once a day. I call it Momguilt. It made me realise that it’s not always about getting your shit together as a mum, but allowing the shit to fall apart sometimes, and not taking you down with it.

In the first half, when Kunis was (trying to be) the ‘perfect’ mom, she failed. She was always late, always stressed, always tired. Her kids were just an extension of her. But when she couldn’t take it anymore and decided to ‘quit’, and just be a human mom who will do her best and do anything for her kids, but also accept that she is not superwoman – that’s when things began to fall into place. There were smiles all around, her kids became their own individuals (more independent, yet more chilled out) and life wasn’t about meeting deadlines or being places all the time, but about enjoying the moments in between.

Indeed, school and education and growing up shouldn’t be all about homework, test scores and extra-curricular activities; it should also be about learning to be kind and helpful and a good human being. Childhood should be about being a kid, not an adult!

A line that summed it all up was ‘Being a good mom today is impossible’. There are far too many expectations, demands, rules. Too many (conflicting) points of view. Too much emphasis on perfection. Too much judgement. It’s just never enough. You could take your kids to one more class, make them from-scratch meals everyday, be the mum who is everywhere, all the time.

Or, you could be the not-so-perfect mum who feels its okay to give your kids a happy meal sometimes, or let them stay up late and watch a movie with you, or not attend every bake sale and every game and every school event, because you need some ‘me-time’ too sometimes and just want to lounge at home. Alone. Heck, you need a time-out!

So, yes, Bad Moms is not a bible for the over-achieving mom, or the stuck-to-a-routine mom, or the mom who wants to be superhuman. But I’d say it’s a definite thumbs-up for the real mom, who sees imperfections with rose-tinted glasses. Cheers!