Who are you calling Bad Moms?

Every third Thursday of the month is Movie Club Night. A friend of mine created a group on Facebook and invited a whole bunch of women, and each month at least a handful of us gather to have dinner, drink a few adult beverages, and head over to the cinema to laugh ourselves silly watching a movie our spouses and/or children would hate. You could say a couple of us get “liquored up” (but I would never say that), and in light of last month’s film, Bad Moms, the phrase would be remarkably appropriate.

The movie itself was ridiculous, profane, over-the-top and pretty unbelievable, really, with characters who embody the stereotypes of women we come across in our own lives (or perhaps we are, ourselves?). The main characters are the Neglectful Hussy Mom (Carla), the Young Isolated Stay-at-Home Mom (Kiki), the Young Overachiever Working  Mom (Amy), the “Mean Girl” PTA President from Hell (Gwendolyn) and her Bitchy Sidekicks (Stacy & Vicky).  I think we could all recognize bits of ourselves in each of them.

The main thrust of the film was that we are ALL, in our own ways, “bad moms”. It seems, in this generation of online “friendships” and the sharing of all good things on sites like Instagram and Facebook, that it is harder and harder to find true honesty out there. And therefore, even more important for it to be thick as white pepper gravy on a biscuit in our real-life relationships. It’s even more important to build ourselves a tribe.

Now, this film is not a bio-pic or even very close to anything I have ever known to happen in real life, but the relationship between Amy, Kiki and Carla really hit home with me. Throughout the film, Amy, Kiki and Carla are brutally honest with each other, and they all benefited from each others’ counsel, support, fashion advice… tips on how to get laid. (I said it was profane!)

There were scenes in the film when one of the three leads would speak to each other using what some might characterize as “mean” words. But I believe that honesty, when it comes from a place of love and respect, is not mean. That kind of honesty is necessary if we, as humans, are going to mature and evolve and become our best selves; who else but your tribe can you trust with your tender soul? Who better to help mold your future self than the women in your life who know you best and love you most?

Okay, that got super-deep all of a sudden, and I’m not sure reviewers would agree that Bad Moms is worthy of such a discussion… but my point is, Women, when they come together with no pretense and with the desire to support each other no matter what, are a force to be reckoned with. I have several tribes I can turn to in my life, but only a couple that I would go to when I need a special kind of naked truth spoken. And sometimes, the naked truth is that we are all flawed and it’s okay. Bad Moms said that. It also said that Millennials who run coffee companies are idiots and even cheating-bastard husbands deserve forgiveness… sentiments which I may not agree with… but you get the idea.

 

Laurie  Marshall is the Content Designer and Story Collector for Tribe of Women. She believes in the power of women supporting other women. (Also, good coffee and giant tubs of buttered popcorn. But not at the same time.)

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TEDx Videos are Up!

While the idea for Tribe of Women had been part of my life, and I had written about it for NPR’s “This I Believe”, the seed truly started growing as I prepared to speak at TEDx Fayetteville in 2014.

After the presentation, there seemed to be a buzz in the air about the importance of having a “tribe”, the pervasive culture of “mean girl”, and the role that society and feminism play in how we feel about ourselves and each other. The tribe that one finds or seeks out for oneself often looks different from person to person, but the message is the same. Non-judgemental acceptance and connection, which blossoms into leadership if you’re led in that direction.

To see how it all began, view the TEDx, “I believe in tribes of women” here. To tell your own story and share your beliefs in tribes of women, click here. To help shift the culture of women in our lives, our companies, and our world, join THE tribe here.

We hope you hear us saying We see you! We hear you! We feel you! and join us to help strengthen the bonds of womanhood in a world that seems to need a little bit more of what we have to offer.

 

 

What doesn’t suck?

I am guilty of inflicting the, “That sucks” bug into my family. Apparently, for the last few years, when my kids would tell me a story about something that didn’t go their way, or another childhood problem, my response has been, “That sucks.” It has been my “go to” mom phrase. You know the one. We all have at least one. Yours may be: “That’s fine.” “Oh my!” “Uh-hugh.” “Sure.” “Oh Wow!” “No good.” “That’s too bad.” Or any other version you have said a gazillion times to the kids in your life.

Mine bit me in the butt a couple of weeks ago. It seemed like everything out of my children’s mouths was, “You know what sucks?” “You know what I think sucks?” “It sucks that…” “It sucks when…”

I thought I was going to crawl away from home and never return. It felt like a Dyson vacuum was sucking the will to live from my bone marrow. I couldn’t take it anymore. Where did this terrible frame of mind come from? What do my kids speak out loud about everything that sucks?

Then, my daughter came home and told me about how she couldn’t find her favorite pencil and I said, “That sucks.” I wanted to slap the words back into my mouth. So THAT’S where they have gotten it from! It’s all my fault! Holy fresh hell, how many times had they heard, “That sucks” in their very short lives?

Family council followed. I started the meeting with the question, “What doesn’t suck?” I am so tired of hearing about all of the things that suck, all of the crummy, unfortunate, sad, terrible, stories that make me want to stick my head underwater for 30 seconds just to drown out the sounds of all the sucky stories. I told my kids how that saying made me feel and asked them to start to think about the opposite of what sucks. I went so far as to write in chalk in our kitchen, “What doesn’t suck?” My kids’ friends have thought it is funny. They come over and read it out loud with a puzzled tone of voice. I make them tell me what doesn’t suck in their life. It has been like a reset button for a frame of mind I have unconsciously raised my children by the last few years.

So Tribe of Women…tell me please, if you will, What Doesn’t Suck?

 

 

As we hope you know, Tribe of Women wants to share the stories of women. Women of all ages and stages, from all walks… stories with happy endings and stories with endings that are difficult to share and accept. Even stories whose endings have not yet been realized. We are sharing this story from our friend Juliet, and we would love to share yours in this space as well!