It’s OK To Be The Bad Mom!
- February 14, 2017
- Theresa Bertuzzi
I was collecting the kids’ laundry this weekend and noticed that my son only had one outfit in the wash. I immediately went into mom mode. “OMG where are your dirty clothes?” “What do you mean you only wore one outfit all week???” “How did I not notice this?” “What is everyone going to think?” “Aghhh you are going to be known as the smelly kid and I am going to be the smelly kid’s mom!!!” “I am going to have to start monitoring your outfits, I don’t have time for this!!!!” I then turned to my husband and pointed out to him “Do you see this, he wore only one outfit all week!!!!” to which my husband replied “Great, less to wash!” You know what? He was right!!!! Over the years through my teaching and running my daycare franchise I have had the opportunity to see a lot of dads in action and they do some things very right that moms get very wrong; they don’t judge each other and they don’t sweat the small stuff.
When we first opened our play centre, I taught Saturday morning play classes and the first class of the morning was a class filled with Daddies and their little ones. It was not planned that way and moms were welcome to attend but this class only ended up having dads as they were all giving their wives a break. Needless to say this play class was my very favorite play class because it was all dads. No one was talking about the newest parenting trends or debating what brand of sunscreen was best. No one was bragging about how they make their own baby food or were debating the merits of using cloth diapers instead of disposable in fact we were lucky if they even brought the diaper bag with them to change their children’s bottoms. There was many a play class when a horrible, stinky, foul smell would fill the play class and the dads would all just ignore it. I assume they either didn’t have a diaper to change their child or they figured that if they ignored it they could put off the horrible task of changing the poopy diaper until they got home from the class and their wife would step in and take care of it. They were there simply to have fun and play with their children and man did they have fun!!! I mean it was completely crazy too, but fun. Children were flying down slides, dads were launching balls at each other and everyone was having a really great, if not necessarily safe, time. As a mom they would sometimes scare the pants off of me when they launched their kids in the air a little too high or weren’t exactly there to catch their children at the bottom of a slide but not once did anyone get hurt. We had this massive beach ball that the moms in our play class would gently bounce their babies on. The dad’s would also bounce their children on this ball but when they did it they would send the kids flying into the air and the children would explode into fits of laughter. I remember one dad who bounced his toddler so hard that the poor kid flew up in into the air and went flying into the padded mats. The dad just picked the kid up, brushed him off, laughed and kept playing. He did turn to me to say “please don’t tell my wife that happened!” He didn’t bother telling all of the other dads in the room not to tell his wife because Dad’s don’t tell on each other. The only person he was worried about telling on him was me because I was the judgmental mom in the room. None of the other dads seemed to even notice, although I almost dropped dead from a heart attack. It makes me wonder what would have happened if a mom had launched their child off of a ball in a play class. I know exactly what would have happened. She would have been judged and shamed by the other moms in the room. She most likely would have also been the topic of gossip for the next few days, if not weeks and quite possibly would have been reported and shamed on social media with an accompanying video. The sad part is that it wouldn’t have been the dads who would have been shaming the mom, it is other moms who would have done so. I am not saying that all moms are like this but a lot are and the pressure we place on each other and ourselves is making us all miserable. I feel like if we could all think and act a little more like Dads then not only would our children be happier but so would we.
The thing is that Moms really do want to be more like Dads. We watch them moving through the world without being judged or worrying about the smallest of details and we are horribly jealous. Why else would a movie like “Bad Moms” or books like “Shitty Mom” be such massive hits??? It’s because we all really want to give it up and become “Bad Moms!” We watch these movies where moms finally stand up to the judging eyes of other moms and take a stand and say “screw it!” I am going to put that chocolate chip cookie in my kids’ lunch and when I get the note home from the teacher telling me it was not a healthy choice I am going to pass that note to my husband and let him deal with it. Or better yet, I am going to send that note back the next day taped to a second chocolate chip cookie!
Every year my company hosts a Father/Daughter ball to raise money for charity. We have so much fun with the men and their daughters, granddaughters, nieces etc… This event would be very different if the moms were present. I am sure I am being judged right now by shocked or insulted moms who think that they would have as much fun with their children as the dads and I am telling you that you wouldn’t because you would feel the pressure to make your child behave and follow the social niceties that we expect from people when they are at a fancy social gathering. The dads’ have zero concern for these social expectations and rules. If their child wants to dance in the middle of the meal being served, they get up and dance. If their child wants to fill their candy bag up to the brim and eat till they get sick, so be it. If their child is whining about having to wear dress shoes and panty hose, no problem, just throw those suckers underneath the table and forget about them. If their child wants to only eat their sundae and none of their vegetables, not a problem, in fact the less they eat the better because it means that the dads get to eat both meals. The only real stress that the dads have are making sure that they send enough pictures home to their wives so that they don’t get into trouble because, let’s be honest, this is another one of those things that moms fuss over and dads don’t. My husband once took my boys to Lego Land while he was away at a hockey tournament. I asked him to make sure he took pictures of the boys while they were there. He sent me a picture of the two boys in the back of the car on the way home from Lego Land because he only remembered on the way home to snap a picture. Sighhh!!! But how many special moments have I not participated in because I was standing behind a camera trying to capture the moment? He didn’t waste a single moment standing behind the camera or standing in line to make sure that the boys were fed properly with a healthy snack, he just enjoyed being with the boys and had a fun day.
So my question to you is “what would happen if we all tried to be a little more like bad moms or even just more like dads?” What if we made our child do their own homework project and sent back the piece of junk that they produced with absolutely no intervention, advice or touch ups? What if we sent in the store bought cookies for the bake sale and watched our favorite TV show instead of baking all evening? What if we just sat down when our kids dragged their feet getting ready and let them deal with the angry coach on their own when they are a half an hour late for practice? What if we take a night off and let our husbands feed the kids hotdogs or fast food so we can go to the gym? Certainly it would not be the end of the world and if we did it a lot more often we would be a lot happier and lord knows the children would probably be better off for it. Now I’m not saying we let it all go or the world really may fall apart. I mean, please change that smelly bottom before that poor child gets a horrible diaper rash but there are many areas where we could surely back off so that we could have more time to enjoy ourselves and spend time with our families. We also need to stop judging each other and putting pressure on one another. How much better would the world be if we all just admitted that behind closed doors most of us are shitty moms. Yes my kid said a swear word and Dammit they probably heard it from me. Yes I hid in the bathroom yesterday so I could write my blog and no I didn’t even have to go to the bathroom it just was the only place I could be alone. I know I’m not the only one here because a friend told me the other day that she reads my blog while in the bathroom because it is the only place where she can take the time to read it. LOL And yes I threw my kids dirty, smelly soccer uniform in the dryer with a dryer sheet to try and mask the horrible smell because I forgot to wash it. Perhaps instead of worrying about what others think about our parenting fails, we proudly accept, announce and even celebrate our own suckiness! I know I normally can get away with quite a bit of goof ups simply by telling my kids “sorry guys but you got the crappy mom!” This always makes them laugh and normally will distract them from whatever thing I have messed up. Kids appreciate the failures and it is good for them to see us fail because sucking at things is a huge part of life and trying to make everything perfect all of the time is not setting them up for the crap storm that they will have to face when they get out in the world. Every year I make my children’s Birthday cakes and it is not the nice ones that they remember fondly but the one cake that I really messed up. This cake was horrible and they fondly named it the “Turd Cake!” It is one of my children’s fondest memories of me and my oldest son even has a picture of the “Turd Cake” as his screen saver on his IPhone! LOL So let’s all embrace our mistakes, stop judging others and admit that deep down we all really want to be the bad mom!