So if you liked The Hangover, go check out Bad Moms. I was a bit sceptical at first. Would it be too cheesy for me? Nope. I’m warning you now, take your tissues as you’ll be in tears throughout (as you’ll be laughing so much). One of my favourite actresses is in Bad Moms, Mila Kunis (Amy) who is her usual hilarious self. I’ve always rated her since I saw her in Best Friends with gold old talented Justin Timberlake.
My mum friend and I were guests at one of our local Everyman Cinemas (thanks to the Everyman crew for looking after us so well). We could have been Bad Moms and treated ourselves to lots of cocktails or large glasses of wine. Instead, to keep my sweet tooth happy, we tried out their milkshakes. They were basically desserts in a glass jar, perfect for our me-treat night out as friends. The seating areas at Everyman Cinemas are legendary. So the two of us had a nice catch up before heading into the screen.
Without ruining the storyline, here’s 7 things I learned (or were reminded of) when watching Bad Moms…
- There are pressures to be a certain way in all stages of life. If we have kids, we worry about the pressures our kids will face when they’re at school or when they’re older. What about the pressures we may feel as grown-ups? Some parents feel there is only one right way (their way!) to bring up their kids. Sometimes the pressure they put on themselves to live some kind of perfect life can affect their own wellbeing. Motherhood and fatherhood is another part of life where others find it very easy to judge each other. We can all do it at some stage. It’s so easy to compare isn’t it? Mums in particular are always questioning if they’re doing the right thing when looking after their children. It doesn’t help when others make us question ourselves too.
- People will love you for the simplest things. Amy is just herself, she sticks to her own values, she doesn’t choose her friends. Her friends just happen her friends. A post recently popped up on Lucky Things called Why I now know it’s OK to not be OK. Your family and friends love you whoever you are. They know when something’s up. There’s zero judgement when you’re honest about your everyday struggles. Remember people will always appreciate the qualities that you may not see.
- Your friends can be from all walks of life and you don’t always have to have lots in common. Amy and her pals are the best combo. They’re three completely different characters. None of them are trying to be like each other, they’re proudly doing their own thing and being moms their way. Let’s be more open to different ways of doing things. Let’s respect differences in parenthood. I’ve realised I’ve focused too much energy on comparing ourselves to others. They have not lived our life just like we have not lived theirs. So there’s no room for judgment and peer pressure I’m afraid.
- Sometimes you need your friends to give you a little shake, pick you up and get you focused on what you were supposed to be doing when the self-doubt kicks in. I know my friends from different stages in my life have done this for me. From my sis-in-law G to my cousins S and K, to my school friends, uni pals, work pals and besties. The other day I was my indecisive-style self. I felt that I had chose the wrong outfit and looked overdressed. My cousin K proudly text me and said “Pull back your shoulders, walk with your head high and enjoy how you look”. I then realised I was the only one questioning my outfit, no one else was caring so much about it! My closest pals have all been there at awful times in my life but they’ve also given me a kick up the bum when I’ve needed it because they love me.
- Just when you’ve figured out your kids, things change! Sometimes we forget our kids are human beings. They aren’t supposed to behave like every chapter in the baby books. Their lives aren’t supposed to follow a textbook on how to be or act. Just like us, there are going through ever-changing phases in their life (note: phases can be days or weeks!). Our little ones are busy adapting and having to constantly learn about new stuff and ways of being. It ain’t easy for them or us grown-ups. Just when the kids have figured it out, things can then change for them too!
- Sometimes we all need a good cry. The lady next to me was in tears most of the film. I am a seriously soppy person and I was actually holding back my tears. I probably should have just cried like her but knew I didn’t any tissues in my handbag! There were so many moments where I felt for Amy. The characters may have been described as stereotypical by the critics but the film did describe lots of realistic feelings as a parent. All we want is for our kids to be ok and to be decent people when they grow up. At the same time we don’t want to stop them from being kids. Amy is a better mom than she thinks. At the end of the film, I had to say something to my fellow cinema-goer. Crikey after all, she’d been crying for me. I turned round and told her “It’s OK to cry, we all need a good cry, it’s dark in here so do what you want”. She then said in a half-jest half-serious tone “No wonder I’m crying so much, it’s probably because its the school holidays”. I glad she had a little me-treat going to the cinema with her mate.
- It’s OK to be a Bad Mom. By ‘bad’ we don’t mean putting our kids in danger or being horrible or uncaring parents! It’s about not doing everything on the list, not knowing what to do in every situation, not baking the perfect cakes (or even baking) for the school bake sale. I always remember the first time Big Munch had to make something and take it into her nursery for the Easter competition. Some of the Easter bonnet entries I’d seen during the week were masterpieces, as if they should have been displayed in the Tate Modern. We did ours last minute. It was a bit messy as I basically let Big Munch scribble all over the hat I managed to make out of paper plates found at the bottom of the sideboard. What else was she going to do as a 1.5 year old? Scribbling random things and making a mess were two of her toddler talents. We ended up winning a prize and I actually felt a bit chuffed but also embarrassed. Then I started to worry, oh sugar, am I going to turn into some Mum/Mummy who wants my kid to win all of the school competitions and prizes when they grow up? Fair enough if that’s your cup of tea, I’m not going to judge you but it’s not really me even though I can have a little competitive streak in me at times. Bad Moms was another reminder that it’s not about being a perfect mum (my view is that perfect mums don’t really exist but anyway that’s another blog post ;).
If you’re planning to see Bad Moms, stick around for the credits. That’s all I’m saying! You’ll need tissues for that bit too.
If you’ve seen Bad Moms, what did you think? What was the last film you saw that had you in stitches? What was the last film that made you cry? Any recommendations for funny films when you just need to let go of everyday stresses? Leave a comment and share the film love. In the words of Take That, “it only takes a minute”…
All of the above opinions are my own. A review of one of our local Everyman Cinemas will be appearing on Lucky Things blog soon…