Revelations of a Bad Mom…Apparently, I Had It All Wrong

It was a short 4 days that I had both of my children “in the nest” before departing for their new and exciting young adult adventures. On one of those nights, I actually had some quiet time with them – no opening presents, no extended family. So what did we do? We watched “Bad Moms.” Now I have already seen it a couple of times and have found it absolutely hilarious. But somehow, as I watched it with my kids, it felt very different.

We laughed a LOT, talked about who certain characters reminded them of and at the end, as those of you who know me well can imagine, I asked that burning question: “So, which one of those characters am I?”

Yes, I seriously asked that one and held my breath for their response.

Oddly enough, neither of them even hesitated to say “Amy” (Mila Kunis’ role).


Was it the fact that she was a young Mom in a troubled marriage headed for single-mom hood? Was it because she was the Mom who worked outside the home and was not the queen of the bake sales? Or was it because she was such an absolute MESS of a Mom?

So, of course, I asked them, “Why?”

Their responses, paraphrased, were along the lines of “she was the cool one” and “she wasn’t always trying to be perfect” and even, “she was the normal one.”

Really? Were we just watching the same movie?

So I persisted (annoying, aren’t I?). I even gave them examples of what I perceived as some of my “bad mom” moments. The certain ways I felt I had failed my children by not being the perfect, got it all together mom. They didn’t see it the way I did.

Not at all.

The revelation? That MY perception that I was a bad mom, especially given some of our crazy circumstances was exactly that…MY perception. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The ones that mattered most – the ones I was sure I had failed – did not feel slighted or failed at all. In fact, “Bad Mom” was really synonymous with “normal mom.”

Yes, I had juggled and not always successfully. Yes, I had failed to teach them how to change a tire or cook an omelet. But in the end, they actually saw me, my role as mom and even their childhood as “normal.” Wow.

The lesson in all of this is quite simple. SHE friends, we sometimes perceive we are not enough. We perceive we have not done enough, said enough. We watch other people’s lives via social media and our perceived failures seem magnified.

The lesson is that we, especially as women, are often our own worst enemy and harshest “judger of all things.”

The lesson is this: I was all my children needed. I was a normal mom. I was present and loved them like no other. It wasn’t about the size of our house, the size of my bank account, the amount of money I spent on private lessons, the lunches I packed or the dinners I prepared (in my case, warmed up!) I, in all my imperfections, was their perfectly normal mom.

Oddly enough, that revelation is what I am taking into 2018. My resolutions?

To be PRESENT and be generous with my LOVE. Not perfect, not brilliant, not better than…

Just ME and fully PRESENT.

Happy New Year! I can’t WAIT to see what adventure 2018 brings 🙂

Note from the SHE Files:

Presence is the greatest present!





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Joyce schaer
Joyce schaer
5 years ago

Happy New Year Darlene- you always find the perfect words at the perfect time.