I have a new favorite movie. It’s not just a favorite; it is THE favorite. The other night I was in a pretty foul mood. Not that anything bad had happened, I was just tired and perhaps a bit hungry. Either way, I was in a bad mood which is a pretty good sign I need to take some time to relax. So, I put in movie that my wife bought a while back. My wife and I don’t always share the same taste in movies, so by the look of the cover, I thought this was just another dumb comedy, but I was so wrong.
The movie, “Mom’s Night Out, ” is definitely a comedy. My foul mood was quickly turned to laughter and happiness. Unlike many comedies, this wasn’t crude and offensive like most being produced these days. Instead, it was incredibly funny with a very realistic and meaningful message. It fact, it was thought provoking.
This is a story about moms. All types of moms. There are the young Christian moms who are are struggling with everything they have to raise up really young children in a completely chaotic world. There is the preacher’s wife, who has to maintain the perfect public image while struggling with a teenage daughter who wants to do her own things and hang out with boys (Boy, do I relate to this one). And there is the young single mom who doesn’t have the luxury of staying home with her child, or even a reliable may to help her out, but she loves her child just as much as any of the others. This mom has to work several jobs just to make ends meet, which means she has to try and find a reliable caregiver to watch her child was she goes to work.
I, of course, have never been a mom, but I am a parent (and there is definitely a difference). The pressures of motherhood are unique to women, and even though husbands get a front row seat, and can sympathize, there is a vast difference between being a mother, and being a father. Many of the pressures parents face together, but I don’t think there is much doubt, women get the bulk of the load.
I am currently in the empty nest phase of life which means now I can reflect back on these troublesome times with appreciation and laughter. Children are one of the greatest gifts in life, but accompanying this great gift comes great responsibility. I remember being a new parent. We took classes, read books, sought advice from every angle we could think of. We really wanted to good parents. I think those who are Christians trying to bring their children up in the faith face even more pressures.
There is, after-all, no shortage of opinions on how you should be raising your children. Mothers are under constant scrutiny. It’s like they are wearing a sign, “Please tell me what you think of my parenting skills.” Everybody seems to be able to raise your children better than you can. I can’t even count the amount of times I heard, “What you should have done was . . .” Wow! Do I get anything right? This really becomes intimidating when your on staff of a local church.
Perhaps, I had forgotten what raising young children was like. I think we like to glamorize the past phases of life as the glory days. I know in raising teenagers, I found I was a little envious of the younger parents. I’d even go up to the young parents and say (like the lyrics of Trace Adkins song), “Your going to miss this.” I do miss it. But I’ve forgotten too. The glory days, weren’t so glorious.
I forgot how hard it is to get everyone dressed and ready. You know why? Because I didn’t do it. Mom did that. I had to be at the church building, while she was getting everyone dressed, putting on make-up, changing diapers, dressing kids, getting toys to try and keep them quiet. She literally came to the church assembly looking like a pack mule. I do remember my wife bellowing a couple times, “I don’t know why I even come. I spend all my time in the cry room and running around after them.” Yep. Of course, you can’t watch them all the time, and you better. Because if you don’t, they will be coloring on the walls with crayons, playing with poisonous cleaners in the mop room, eating gum off the bottom of their shoe, or perhaps peeing on the front steps of the church building as visitors are coming in.
I was so proud of my daughter who learned to write at a very young age. That was until she decided to carve her name into the tailgate of a pickup truck with a set of keys we left lying around. They move fast. Too fast. You turn your back for a second, they’ll be pulling the little red fire alarm on the store wall and setting of all the buzzers and alerting the fire department. Oh, and pity the parents who don’t wake up before their children. They’ll be lucky to have a house to wake up to.
Those were the good ole days. The high stress, the sleepless nights caring for sick children with projectile vomiting and diarrhea that no diaper on earth can contain. But the greatest pressures for mom’s is the incessant thought, “Am I a good mother?” That’s what every mom wants to be. It’s not just what she does; it’s her identity. A mom’s love is incredible, and the desire to do a good job is relentless. I think that is what “Mom’s Night Out” is all about.
There are no perfect moms, and a woman can drive herself crazy trying to be. Sometimes mom’s need a night out: a chance to recuperate. She also needs to remember that God work well with imperfections. In the midst of all the imperfections a mother’s love shines through and is a treasure to everybody who witnesses it. This is my new favorite movie because it gets me to appreciate mom’s and what they go through. There is not a more important job on earth than being a mother, and we all need to appreciate them for it.