I want to be that cool person who gets all the jokes and appreciates main stream humor. But I’m not. This movie that is supposed to make me laugh made me so mad. It might have been the parade of moms in the lobby that started me burning. One was pumping, as in breast pumping. I guess it’s no different from nursing in public, but somehow it made me angry. The fact that you and your women friends are literally screaming over the whir of the battery pack; that I got stuck in the wind tunnel of your shrill voices laughing – a night on the town with the girls, gone wildly giddy over the suck-express- suck-express rhythm of your political, social, maternal statement. I boiled.
I nursed my baby for more time than even most attachment parenting books encourage one to do so – so it is not an objection to nursing or nursing in public. It is more an objection to how you seem to pump life full of something that is the opposite of generosity; this obliviousness to what is surrounding you.
The personal exposed – as if by doing so we personify freedom, as if we reverse some past oppression. Um. Except that in truly oppressive times a breast pump would never have been invented. What would be the point? Women would be at home where the babies are…not out expressing their milk in a movie theater lobby waiting to laugh at a story of moms behaving in self-destructive ways, acting dishonestly, using each other’s children to fight petty competitions. Never mind what this movie says about fathers – absent, selfish and stupid. Except if they’ve been widowed. Then they are hot and caring and only have eyes for our Robin Hood heroine.
So Bad Moms are really Good Moms, because they own that they are lost as to how to parent, having never done it before (as any honest parent is); that they are late all the time (as any working parent can attest); and that they overextend and over compensate to protect their children (as anyone who has ever been hurt considers doing just to avoid the obvious).
BadGoodMoms have husbands who cheat on them. Or they are married to chauvinistic men who don’t help out, or they are single and sleep around. It could be that I am too prude or too tired or too ?? to see the humor of this movie. I wanted to like it, but instead now I just want to kill it, and all who made it, for making my life look like a bad joke that I don’t totally get, even though I force a laugh so as not to feel left out.
I am that woman, the bad mom, trying too hard, in a rat race world where I stick up for my kid so he will not get run over. I am that working mom surrounded by millennials who don’t know the first thing about being rejected and having it hurt for a long time. I am that mother alone in the woods of car pool and snack packs and highway driving to avoid the potholes. I am that woman who loses her way…
Bad Moms is about nothing I care to acknowledge as the way forward. It is a step backwards. Is Hillary a bad mom or a good one? Does it matter on the night she has to decide to detonate or not? Likely not. As long as she is aware of her surroundings; as long as the weight of in-the-moment decisions based on imperfect information that will forever cascade consequences is around her neck, and she is conscious to it. She will do the best she can. It’s a mom thing.
© Gabriella Strecker, 2016