Skip to main content

A Feminist Housewife's Take on Moms' Night Out

Anyone who knows me knows I am an anomaly. I'm a feminist housewife entrepreneur. I can see that you are perplexed. Let me further confuse you by adding another wrinkle: I'm a conservative (read: committed Christian) feminist housewife entrepreneur. How about them apples?

When I heard that Moms' Night Out was a delightful comedy depicting stay-at-home moms in their messy real-life truth, I was eager to see it. And I was not disappointed. So, I rushed home to do what I usually do after seeing a movie I love: I Googled it. That's right. I wanted to see what the rest of the world was saying about this fantastic movie. Surely they were as ecstatic as I was. Not necessarily. While those who could identify with the film (read: any mother on the planet without a nanny and a cook), most "critics" slammed the film. Here are a few of the comments I took particular offense to:

“depressingly regressive and borderline dangerous,” adding that it “peddles archaic notions of gender roles." - Roger Ebert 

  “why doesn’t she just hire a nanny, find a job and get out of the house.” - Kate Taylor, The Globe and The Mail 

“lack of a profession consigns the character into Eisenhower-esque irrelevance.” - Inkoo Kang of The Writer

I could go on. But, let's just start with these. I won't stoop so low as to disparage people I don't know (although I could probably accurately guess their lifestyle and type), I will address the five things Moms' Night Out gets right. 

1. Proper Use of a Apostrophe 

Thank you, Lord! There's someone outside the world of academia who knows how to use an apostrophe. Unlike the infamous multi-million dollar Sandra Bullock blockbuster Six Weeks Notice (which conveniently left out the the punctuation because they didn't know whether to place it before or after the "s"), at least this lower-budget film could manage to hire someone who knows a little something about grammar. For this journalist, and most any wordsmith, that's major. For a little lesson on proper apostrophe usage, please visit Your welcome, Hollywood. 

2. The Messy-ness of Life 

I don't know about you, but my life was a lot neater and compartmentalized BEFORE I became a stay-at-home mom. I'm not saying one is easier than the other, but from my experience, life's just a lot messier now. I don't have the convenience of an office or cubicle to run off to for 10 hours of the day like before. And I certainly don't have the disposable income (after feeding two boys) to hire a maid, cook or nanny.

Life is happening in my face, all the time, peanut butter smudges and all. And I like it like that. For those who find my choice somehow flying in the face of feminism, I'm sorry that is threatening to you. But that's a personal problem. 

3. We All Need a Break 

After you begin staying home with your children, it seems that people expect mothers to look zen-esque, never complaining. Some have the vision of a stay-at-home mom lounging on the sofa popping bonbons like popcorn gorging on Netflix reruns. Not so. I can tell you that is simply not the case. 

I work ten times harder ten times longer than I ever did at the office. To workout, I must rise at 5 am or it simply doesn't happen because the rest of my life is committed to serving other people. It was a choice, I know, but that doesn't make it any less exhausting. So, thanks, Moms' Night Out for shedding light on this forgotten piece of truth. Being a mother is hard, messy, stressful, delightful, joyous and depleting. We all need time to breath. 

4. Christians are Flawed 

Yep. I said it. And most Christians would agree with me. I know that most of those outside our faith look at us as hypocritical judgers, and they have a point. Some of us are. But so are some of them. That's because we are all human, and, therefore, subject to our own prejudices. 

The difference is that most committed Christians are striving to be better, tackling their own failings through biblical guidance. That doesn't make us better; it makes us human. Searching Bible Gateway you can see Jesus referencing judgment over and over. My favorite is Luke 7: 1-5, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plan in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." 

In essence, Jesus knew we would size each other up, and He warned us against it. When we start pointing fingers at each other, we are guilty of the same sin. 

5. We Are Enough 
We live in an air-brushed world. Heaven help you if you walk into a glass door or show cellulite at the beach. With everyone having a cell phone, taking pictures and posting them in a public forum, it's hard for any of us to grasp the fact that we can be just who we are and that's okay. 

We all have things we can do better, but it's not something to tear yourself up over. God loves us all, just as He made us. This is the over-arching point of the film, a reminder that we might not be perfect, but we might not be so bad after all. So, try to be okay with that. Use that as the framework for future "self improvement" instead of fighting against yourself or hating who you are today. Relax. Life's just too short. 

So for those critics of the film, who can't understand a conservative, messy, flawed life, I feel bad for you. The messes of my life are what give it texture and meaning. Without them, I'd be just one more pretender so-called Real Housewife wannabe aiming for perfection. For me, my life is perfection, even if it does come in dented packaging. 


Popular posts from this blog

Open Palms: Learning to Hold On Loosely

I can't even tell you how long it's been since I've written in my blog. Months? Years? Probably years. But daily I have messages fly in and through my mind that I think, "I've got to share this with people!" but I never do because I'm usually driving a kid or chasing a kid or yelling at a kid or nagging a kid to pick up something off the floor. You get the picture. 
Yet, I'm compelled to get off my rump and finally put this down because, Lord help me, I've been through a lot lately. Not kidding. Full disclosure, we haven't been through as much as some, and I'm not claiming to understand other people's real pain or suffering ... like cancer or the loss of a child. So, please understand I'm living in reality here when I tell you these recent life challenges are probably child's play compared to some people's daily mountains.

But for those struggling with climbing over the steep hill called trust in times of change, this one&#…

To the toddler mom who commented on my teenager ...

It's been a while since I've posted. I can only say that this has been quite a year of life lessons ... many of which I will share very soon. For now, I feel compelled to write about an encounter I had just last night.

She was standing there after what I can only assume had already been a harrowing day, a baby strapped to her chest, another crawling on the nearby carpet and a toddler, tired from his gymnastics class, weeping from exhaustion. It was summer, after all, a time of going and doing, hot summer days and not-early-enough nights.

That's when she noticed me, standing with my almost-13-year-old son, who had recently shot past me in height. His self possession and maturity must have struck her, as I could see a quick glint of jealousy streak across her face. I recognized that look. I'd had it not so long ago when I was the mom of little tots, which elevated my joy to the heavens while sapping my strength. I remember coveting the phase of life other moms were in: chi…

Confessions of a Horrible Summertime Mother

Most people wouldn't classify me as a terrible summertime mom. I mean, I've already shared with my readers the color-coded calendar I hold in such high esteem. I'm very good at finding activities for my children to participate in during the hot summer months. It's the downtime I have trouble with. 

That, my friends, is what makes me a terrible summertime mom. 

I work. Which means that my time with my kids is relegated to anytime during the week after 1 and before 8 or 9 p.m. (preferably 8). That's usually when my kids want to go to wet places like the pool or the splash pad or the lake. 

Now, I do love summer. Really. I grew up frolicking lakeside with my cousins, skiing, wake boarding and living in my swimsuit. It never bothered me that my diet consisted mainly of Rainbow white bread and bologna. In fact, at 10 years old, I liked it that way. I don't remember a lot of adults hovering around. Heck, I don't think I ever wore floaties or a life jacket. My family…