This month of September has not been an easy one for me. With the many mornings of fog that started the school year and new long routes to drive, I’ve looked forward to a sense of routine resuming. Just about as soon as a schedule normalized the next thing was this strange feeling of too much time. How in the world does anyone ever have too much time? It’s what we aspire for, we think. As if retirement will give us this magical dream of rest and ease though time doesn’t necessarily equate to ease. Relatively speaking, I’ve had some ease but then… there were those eclipses! Whoa!
It was sort of too much for me. Inside I had this impenetrable feeling when really I wanted the penetrable feeling. It seemed inwardly, that somehow, I could not break through this pent up force of energy. I won’t go into the details but I want to talk about some of the hardships I felt and how finally, things shifted.
Sort of ebbing and flowing near the surface of my being was this sense of rejection. It was the meaning that I made out of a situation where I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I was trying all these different avenues to change my outer reality and aware that as I sorted out my thoughts, I wove a story. I love stories but I know to be weary of a good story. Sometimes a good story can suck you in and you might get caught in a loop. As last Friday’s full moon came along with its eclipse, I wanted to break free and I just wasn’t sure how. I sulked and attempted to self sooth- with a book, time in the garden, exercise, cleaning. Whatever I could do.
With my children for company on Friday night, I decided to see what was playing at the three dollar theater. We ended up watching trailers. None of the movies we wanted to see were playing but wow for the trailer to Bad Moms! We laughed a riot and my nine year old cracked up raving enthusiastically, “I wanna see that!” (Disclaimer: Not appropriate for children. Really, not!)
Good news people. I got inspired! Thank God! That wonderful feeling where the world is in your hands and you can make of things what you will. The Bad Mom in me came out, which was really more of the unbound wild freed up by laughter. My son had asked several times in the past two days if he could make whipped cream. I told him Half and Half wouldn’t work so well. “Why don’t we just go to the store and buy whipped cream?” You wouldn’t believe his excitement.
“Are you serious?”
We got in the car and headed to the market. Yes, this is me being a “bad mom,” letting go of the carefully guarded reigns so as to say fuck the boring routine and yes, to being a little careless. That was until I stood in front of the dairy cooler, reviewing my choices- organic vs not organic; in the bad-for-the-earth can or homemade? Oh! It was so hard to choose. Yes, I did read the labels. I could hardly bear to pass the organic options but the fact that organic was twice as expensive and my bank account was down pretty low helped! We picked out ice cream too. (Thank goodness for the sale of Three Twins!) What’s more… I even bought the stupid “magic shell.” Oh my goodness.
“Ahh, mom, I just want to tell you, as long as you’re like this, I’m going to try to take advantage of you as much as possible.” My honest son told me this while driving. And so yea, in the store I was a bit of a softy. Until he started hitting me up for cheese puffs. Militant Mom came out with a flat NO. I wasn’t going to ruin our perfectly sweet Banana Split ‘dinner’with some other substitute for food!
This was me being a “bad mom”. And do you know, when I got home, she had to skedaddle with a quickness when I found my teen daughter in tears. I didn’t tell her I was taking our dog with us on the ride and she thought he’d gotten out and was maybe lost. Mama resumed sweet mama role as best as can be- still a little child-like only wanting to crack into the ice cream but cracking down on myself to realize, this girl must be hungry. I pulled some leftovers out of the fridge and heated them up. “Eat.”
It was really interesting to be at the intersection of where I just let loose a little and letting loose meant veering off the normally very dedicated to the health of my body and the earth way. And to then be fully in that mode of wanting to play into a sense of reckless abandon and to realize how quickly the calm and stability of your child requires you to not be reckless; where being a “bad mom” just won’t work because you’re relied upon.
This is exactly why the movie was so good. The sort of reckless behaviors of the moms that were over the top were Disney-like. Bad was so ridiculous. And that’s why I laughed my ass off and it was exactly what I needed. I posted on the completely unreliable stream of facebook news that I wanted to get a group together for Saturday night. Lots of thumbs up but damn, no takers! What? Do I have that many friends with small children? The answer is Yes. On Saturday, I was only feeling a little better than I was on Friday night but something was loosening up and you better believe it helped when a dad friend said he was opening his house up for a slumber party on Saturday. My children were IN! And finally, I got word from one single friend, she would go! Hallelujah! Just what this sister needed.
Movie followed by hot tub. Now, I really thought some freaky, shakin’ dat booty kind of dancing at the club was in order afterwards. But it turned out that a tub under the light of the moon and some good girlfriend time was really the remedy for me. Thank goodness! Bad mom vibes all tempered and within reason… I’m not trying to be like Nancy Botwin. But, I will tell you, while I liked the being naked in the hot tub in the middle of the night, I KNOW dancing would be the hit too. The best part about the Bad Mom thing was that I was able to see my life had become a bit boring. Truly, I’ve become old enough to appreciate boring, to recognize the peace and calm and reliability of boring, the restorative nature of boredom but I needed wild! And not in the nature, walking pensively, kind of wild.
That said, if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll be inspired. I am going to try harder this week and I’m going to do a repeat. Instead of just posting a note with tendrils of hope, I’m sending out invitations. I don’t get enough invitations and surely there are a few others out there like me. I’m putting it out there to Mama friends and friends alike.
Because really, we all need each other from time to time to shake it up; to get a good laugh!
We need help getting past the funk and freeing ourselves up enough to return to that feeling of brilliance and light- where new possibilities exist and opportunities abound and hearts are soothed.
Thank you friends. In the world where you’re running for PTA President, I am all for the platform that says, “Let’s not judge. Let’s do less and be more true to ourselves.” I’d vote for you. And if only money grew on trees, I’d be out to breakfast with you, loving the mimosas and living the dream.) Sending big love for support in YOU!