Bad Moms are this generation’s “woo girls.” Fight me.
And I’m not talking about the movie franchise – that’s just fun weeknight rental entertainment. But I’m sick of the side-wink nudge-nudge Mommy Wine culture that tries to cover up it’s own discomfort with WOO, WINE! AMIRITE? And before you paint me as a high horse teetotaller—do I find appreciation and joy in a glass at the end of a long day (or even smack in the middle of a blearingly normal day)? Hell, yes. But do I need a comically oversized acrylic cup emblazoned with, “MOMMY’S TIME OUT” in pink glitter script for it to be acceptable? Please, get that monstrosity away from me so I can pull out my varietal-specific Reidel and be a forking adult about it.
The booming industry of viral memes, shirts, cups, and wall hangings all continue to make a juvenile spectacle of something that is basically normal human behavior: having an adult beverage as an adult—sometimes to lubricate awkward conversation, sometimes to simply dull anxiety. But we’re moms so partaking must make us Bad Moms™ (*giggle*), and to make it OK, we need condescending excuses and a comedic cultural identity mask, complete with cheap merchandise.
Bad Mom™ isn’t authentic or refreshing, she’s us and she’s tired of the patronizing wine jokes.
Aspects of motherhood are hard, but not for funny reasons. We don’t get adequate maternity leave, we cannot find affordable childcare, staying at home doesn’t pay the bills, our support village is seven states away, and many of us have partners that suck at basic household tasks. So a huge chunk of the physical and emotional burden falls to us. But instead of taking a break to have real conversations or affect any actual cultural change, we’ve been pigeonholed into making it all about, “keep calm and have some wine, lolz.”
Not to say there isn’t humor in this parenting ride. We’ve all seen at least one of the many viral videos where a messy-bunned, birkenstock-and-yoga-pants wearing mom drops some motherhood truth bombs from the front seat of her minivan, ends with a wine joke, and refuses to use a filter on her makeup-free face. Ripping off the cultivated social media façade has been a great trend of the last year or two, and I am ALL IN FOR IT. Who doesn’t love empathetic realness, undereye bags, and a virtual cheers! after an exhausting decade of hashtag-blessed glowy moms nestled amongst glowing white sheets, glowily smiling down on glowy babies?
But Bad Mom™ hasn’t embraced this – the persona has become a crutch, an excuse, a distraction not to talk about the real stuff. Instead, we make self-deprecating jokes on how naughty we’re being by actually voicing our woes – be them as deep as long-held insecurities to as flippant as complaining about carpool over a conversation-starting glass of wine. That isn’t edgy or LOL-worthy, that’s just life. And we shouldn’t feel the need to sparkle it up into a meme just to make motherhood palatable for social consumption.