Remember when being a bad mom meant that you were actually, well, a bad mom? You had to really earn the title with some D-grade crap parenting for people to call you out as bad. Nowadays pretty much anything you do qualifies you for membership into the club of bad moms, whether that’s toting a bottle full of poison-powder baby formula or committing horrific neglect by letting your child take a bike ride down the street solo.
Well, your new favorite movie is coming out, complete with swears, raunch and store-bought doughnut holes with enough gluten in them to keep the PTA’s pearls permanently clutched. It’s called — duh — Bad Moms, and the hilarious trailer for it is most definitely not safe for work. Not that you should let that stop you. You’re a bad mom already, so be a bad employee too:
The movie, which has Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell acting out the universal fantasy of fed-up moms everywhere as the titular trio of bad moms, already looks miles better than any heartwarming mom-garbage you’re planning to see this summer. After Kunis’ character reaches her breaking point during an emergency PTA meeting that goes over bake sale dietary restrictions (no sugar, milk or wheat allowed, of course), she forms a squad with Hahn and Bell, and they decide to can the guilt and own their garbage parenting.
And we all should.
There really was a time when a bad mom was an actual bad mother — like Joan Crawford wire hangers bad, not perpetually late, perpetually in the McDonald’s drive-thru bad. Now we let anything that doesn’t meet the incredible high bar of unachievable perfection clear the ridiculously low bar that is bad mothering. Seriously, you can just step right over it. Give it a try by pouring your kid a glass of inorganic milk when they get home from school. Go for broke, and make them pour it themselves.
We’ve flirted with the idea of taking “bad mom” back; you can throw a rock on the internet and in real life, and it will hit someone nervously laughing about how bad they are at momming because they missed a Spirit Day at school or forgot someone’s lunchbox on the counter.
But that’s not what we’re talking about. It’s easy to embrace something when you’re tossing out self-deprecating jokes about what a monster you are for never having the time to volunteer at school. Actually, refusing to feel like a bad mom when you do is a much harder trick to pull off.
Being a bad mom is fun, especially if you do it the way Kunis and company do it in even the short little breath of fresh air that is that magical profanity-ridden trailer up there. But even if you aren’t getting blasted and twerking during your third trimester, you should give actual bad mothering a real shot.
The truth is, being a bad mom means being in the majority. It means doing all the things that used to be OK to admit to doing but somehow aren’t anymore. It means that you aren’t bad — you’re just an actual person and not a life-size June Cleaver doll. And hell, even ol’ June would be considered terrible by today’s standards. So go be real. Buy the store-bought doughnuts. Let your kids play by themselves (in the front yard even). Have them make their own food, bike to their own practices, and for God’s sake, go get yourself a drink sometime.
If we all do it, we’ll all be the better for it.