You know the scene. I’m talking about the morning parking lot scene where we moms hurriedly thrust backpacks, lunches and kisses onto our precocious bundles of joy and then watch them meander like confused lemmings across 100 feet of school grounds while we holler out “Go to school!” Then, finally, we belatedly inhale the caffeinated nectar that we carefully poured into our RTIC mugs a half hour ago.

There are always three of us moms in this parking lot scene. And on this particular day, the other two were laughing about how the movie “Bad Moms” could be our lives. I had to watch it, twice.

Twice because from the first scene at the dinner table, where the mom is trying to engage the kids about their day and dad is sitting there studying his phone, I completely connected with this movie. Yes it stereotypes us, but stereotypes are there for a reason.

With my older kids, I was the young mom, juggling my mom duties, working, volunteering and whatever else came my way. By my late twenties, I was too young to have kids that age and too old to put up with everyone’s nonsense. Exhausted, I quit the volunteering to focus on us.

Thanks to a rapid PCS schedule, I spent some time as the isolated mom with no friends. I was even the weird party mom for a short time. That got old fast. At our last school, I was the PTO mom. Unlike the movie, PTO has no power, forcing it to beg and trick others to come to our well-under-two-hour meetings. If PTO had power, I bet it’d be easier to put together a board.

These days, I’m the base volunteer mom, pasting on my smile and laughing every time someone asks, “Do you know who that is?”

(Honey, I’m new here. I don’t know who anyone is.)

Back to my point, it’s like the movie studied us, standing in the parking lot after drop off, getting our adult convo in before a day of taking on the world or that pile of dirty laundry that’s been growing by the washer or feeling guilty and rewarded all at once for having a rare lunch out. And, that scene where the moms are talking about how weird their kids are at one table and the kids are just being kids at another table — it should have been filmed in Chick-fil-A, just saying. 

Looking past all of the over-the-top for comedy sake plot, the message is what truly resonates.

Taking time out to laugh with the kids helps me focus later on.

Moms just do.

We do the best we can with what we have, not knowing if it’s good enough or too much. Sure, we read the parenting blogs, ask our friends, and study the trends. But, that’s because kids don’t come with instructions, and if they did, they’d be wrong. Parenting, even with the easy kids, is hard and what works with one kid won’t work with the next.

Even a degree in kids doesn’t leave you out of this club. I have one. All it does it help me roll with the punches a little bit faster. 

The point is, it is impossible to know everything — to always do just enough, not too much or too little. It is impossible to always say the right thing at the right time, and always give just the right amount of attention. If you somehow manage to fake it long enough, it’ll make you a little crazy. But, it’s a lot less stressful with a couple of friends to laugh with you when you want to cry. That’s why there are always three. One to be crazy, one to be sane, and one to bring the wine. I love my bad mom friends!