May 15, 2023

Moms' "night" "out"

Lots of quotations up there. 

With yesterday being Mother's Day, this all kind of popped into my head. 

Also, I watched a movie the other night called Moms' Night Out. It wasn't a bad movie. It's from 2014 so prepare yourself for some fashion if you check it out (think: bubble necklaces, chambray, and aztec print).

It was also one of those Pureflix productions so...prepare yourself for that too. 

The main character mom was completely and totally overwhelmed. She was hiding in a closet to "hide" from the house because it was a mess after the kids were in bed. She confessed to her often-away husband that she had everything she ever wanted and she couldn't understand why she was so unhappy. From what I gathered on her character, she was also a fixer, a people-pleaser, and never said no to someone who wanted or needed a favor. 

By the end of the movie, she was receiving advice from a jailbird tattoo artist (played by Trace Adkins) who told her that God made her the mother of her children because she was the best mother for them; it wasn't a mistake because God didn't make mistakes, no matter how little faith she had in herself. 

Then, she awoke the next morning (after a night of Adventures in Babysitting-like hijinks) to a quiet and clean house at sunrise with a cup of coffee and a computer ready for her to write her next blog post on motherhood. (Where were the kids?)

This was also a good reminder that Very Nice houses in 2014 weren't stark white with only mid-century modern furniture. The family definitely lived in a Very Nice house.

But that doesn't mean that this mom was doing okay. 

In fact, I really didn't like the message of the movie. This message is exactly why I never sought out Christian counseling when I felt the effects of PPD/PPA. I didn't want to be told to pray it away. I didn't want to be told to have faith. I wanted someone to validate my feelings and help me come up with a solution, and I didn't know if I'd find that by going the Christian counseling route. 

All I kept thinking while watching was This mom needs a counselor! This mom needs a solution! She doesn't need a night out! She probably needs an SSRI! It was actually really uncomfortable to watch at parts because I could feel exactly what she was probably feeling. 

But the solution to this problem of absolute SAHM overwhelm was to give her a fancy night out with her two friends, leaving all the children in the not-quite-so-capable hands of the husbands. 

I really wanted to throw some of these opinions out there but, alas, I was watching it at a friend's house for, ironically, a moms' night out. Meaning games, food, etc, plus this movie playing in the background. 

While I don't mind leaving our kids with Scott, I still made dinner for everyone before I left because it seemed like the considerate thing to do. It's not that he can't handle taking care of the kids; his time is just better spent on things only he can do, like re-siding the outside of the house or installing the new windows. 

My point: this classic narrative of moms just needing a night out isn't super helpful. We need to create a lifestyle where moms feel more supported and not like they have to cling to sanity while eating chocolate inside a closet in the dark. 

Anyway, Happy Mother's Day! :)

Mother's Day dinner. There's like 18 things going wrong behind the scenes of this picture, like how I had to chug my pineapple cider in order for us to get a melting-down one-year-old out the restaurant door before her brother spilled another glass of water all over Scott. 

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