Last weekend, my husband and I watched the movie Bad Moms. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this movie, it is about 3 overworked and under-appreciated moms who are pushed beyond their limits and ditched their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence. You can read more about it here.
I liked the movie because the story is very close to my heart, not because I am overworked and under-appreciated. Simply because I am a mom, I understand all the challenges that comes with it, and most days I feel like I’m being a bad one. I found myself sobbing on some scenes because I can relate to their struggles.
It got me thinking… Would I really consider myself a bad mom?
A month ago, my husband took my son for his 1-year well check-up. That day, my husband was running late and asked me to call the doctor’s office to let them know; I was told about the grace period policy – if they arrive within that grace period, we are assured that the doctor will still see them; but if not, the decision is up to the doctor. My husband and son arrived a few minutes before the grace period lapsed; but unfortunately, someone was in front of the line checking in and when it was their turn to check in, the grace period has passed.
The office manager talked to the provider but the provider decided she didn’t want to see them. I tried to talk to the office manager because it was me who talked to the office personnel earlier that day and asked about the grace period policy. The office manager wanted my husband to come back later that day or on another day which was really frustrating because he had to go and get our car fixed later that day and he already worked from home to make sure he’s able to go to both appointments.
I tried to reason how unfair it is when we’d arrive on time for our appointments, we’d still have to wait for 30 – 60 minutes just to get seen, and this happens all the time. That day, they arrived within the grace period but the doctor didn’t want to make an exception. The office manager said he couldn’t do anything about it which really frustrated me so I said something that got us kicked out from that practice. (But later on we found that the practice has so much patients that they kick patients out as soon as they see an opportunity to).
Of course, I felt bad at first, because it felt like I disappointed my family. But the more I think about it, the more I felt good with what happened. See, what I did was stood up for my family because they are being treated unfairly. And that is something that I will never ever regret. And I will do that again if I can assure that anyone from my family will get the fair treatment they deserve.
My parents would always tell me to send my kids to the Philippines and have them take care of them; it’s going to be so much easier for us and so much cheaper (because we’ve been sending them to daycare). But I hated that idea; I hate being away from my kids, let alone be thousands of miles away from them. I couldn’t do that; I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I would always tell them I want to be there for my kids every step of the way, I don’t want to miss any milestones, and I want to form a really good bond with them as they grow up because I think that is essential to their growth.
I understand very well that it’s going to be very hard for us financially to send two kids to daycare on top of our monthly expenses but I would always think about those families back in the Philippines who don’t have anything (even decent job), and somehow they manage to take care of their family. If they can do it, we should be able to manage as well. I know it’s going to be hard and challenging taking care of two kids since I have a full-time job and also need to do household chores but we’ll figure it out, we’ll get through it, and we’ll make it work because there’s nothing better than going home to your kids after a long day at work and finding peace in that. For me, it is a gift to have a family that’s together and that should be cherished every single day.
Most of the time, I don’t know even know what I’m doing and I just try to wing it as I go, and to my surprise, somehow it always works out in the end. Some days I want to quit because of exhaustion and frustration but as soon as I see those adorable smiles or hear those sweet giggles or feel those warm hugs and wet kisses, it makes me realize again why I wanted to have kids in the first place.
I don’t have it all figured out; heck I am not a perfect mom – I yell, I get frustrated, need a break from time to time, and I worry. I worry a lot even about the tiniest things; did I spend enough time with my kids today; did my daughter drink enough water; are we putting vaseline on my son’s skin as often as we should; are the kids eating too much carbs; am I teaching them enough things, and so much more.
We all strive to be the perfect mom that we want to be for our kids. We do our best to make sure all their needs are met, we always make an effort to make sure they have the best of everything, and we end up taking our own needs for granted in the process. And sometimes, even with those, it still feels like it’s not enough; it feels like there’s so much more we could do.
In all honesty, if we just take a step back, and just be present in all those moments that we need to be, and we guide them to be the best person that they can be, no matter how much we think we are not good enough or there’s still so much more we can do, it’s all going to be okay. At the end of the day, what matters is what we showed our kids, what we have imparted to them, and what we made them feel.
Moms, just like everyone, make mistakes too, a lot of them; and that’s okay. What’s important is that we acknowledge our mistakes and we plan to make up for it. We are just humans; we commit mistakes. That’s how we learn, that’s how we grow, and that’s what makes us strive to be the best person that we can be.
Yes, I am flawed; some days I stumble and fall, but I will continue to rise and come out of it a better person every time I do. Just like most of you, I am someone with a heart filled with an overflowing love for my kids who only wants nothing but the best for them. Bad mom or not, I don’t really care; what matters is that I am good enough for my kids.