In 2014, a movie called Mom’s Night Out was released. This movie is cool, for a couple of reasons.
1. The filmmaker, Jon Erwin, was homeschooled by his mother.
2. The movie is about moms who homeschool. This is not necessarily overwhelmingly obvious when you watch the movie, but it is a cool little fact to know if it’s a new favorite (it is for me).
I wanted to go see it when came to theaters, but you know how it is – money, childcare and the things you want to do never come together all at the same time. So it went on my Christmas list and my parents (or maybe it was my grandparents, I’m not sure at this point) got it for me. I finally got the chance to sit down and watch it (there’s that theme again) and I have to say that I would recommend it as a great movie for any mom to watch – single or not.
It’s a hilarious movie about three moms who just want to go out for one night – one night without husbands, kids, cleaning, cooking or any of the other responsibilities that come with motherhood. It’s a desire that most of us can relate to – we love being mothers, we love our children, but sometimes we just want one night that we can call our own and do what we want to do, without trying to make a deal for a little mouth to try just two bites of green beans or begging a kid to go back to bed and just go to sleep already because they’ve been there for three hours already.
I think they did an amazing job of capturing the feelings that we mothers feel when we’re caught in that desire – the guilt over wanting it, the guilt over taking that time when we do get to do it, the worry that there’s something wrong with us because we want to go, the worry that we’re messed up because when we get that time that we wanted we suddenly feel weird about taking it, mixing with the relief, the excitement, the get-out-of-jail-free feeling, the urge to rush out of the house before someone wakes up and realizes what we’re doing and stops us.
But I also love the humor they put into it. The fathers of the children are portrayed as pretty inept, which most fathers are not, of course, but it still adds some great comedic moments.
From the English cabbie to Trace Adkins as a tattoo artist who has the sensitivity to know he shouldn’t smoke around a baby, the characters are all well-developed, hilarious, unique and yet relatable (well, okay, so I don’t have a British accent, and I’m not a giant tattoo artist, but you get my point). Even the characters that might drive us batty in real life (the unreliable ex, for example?) are handled in a way that leaves you laughing in the end, even if your first thought is, “Oh, hell no!”
This movie was at the top of my list of “must see” movies last year, and it was at the top of my Christmas list, too. It definitely lived up to my expectations. But it did something else for me, too.
It reminded me that I’m a mom, but I’m not perfect, and no one expects me to be. It was a much needed reminder when things had been getting pretty frustrating for me. My kids had been at each other’s throats for weeks, and it felt like every little thing they did was getting on my nerves, and I was finding myself standing in the shower, crying, more days than not. It reminded me that no matter what image we present to the world, every family has their own issues they’re dealing with, and I’m not the only one crying in the shower sometimes. It made me laugh, almost nonstop, through the whole movie, and when it was over, I felt lighter.
It also reminded me that we all need a break sometimes. Whether you want to go to a fancy restaurant that requires a reservation (that they might lose), or you’d rather go bowling, or even just sit in a small restaurant with a cup of coffee or tea with a few close friends and chat, that time away from the kids – time spent being just you, not someone’s mom, girlfriend, employee, or whatever – is important. It’s a chance to breathe, a chance to find yourself again, and come home feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to face whatever challenges might be coming your way tomorrow (or even later tonight).
If you haven’t watched the movie yet, I can’t recommend it enough. The best part is that it’s a family friendly movie, so you can even watch it with the kids! My whole family loved it. Pick up a copy and settle in with some popcorn and enjoy. It’s worth the time you’ll spend watching it – over and over again.