Yesterday in a rare moment in my life, I was given a few hours to lie around and watch a movie. It wasn’t CARS or even The Bee Movie, I watched a real movie! It was so nice. I saw In Her Shoes on some random channel – mostly uninterrupted. I’m telling you, I’m living the good life.
So have you seen this movie? I’m not saying its worthy of an Oscar or anything, but it’s a pretty good movie with lots of different things to take from it. Here’s a brief synopsis from FoxStore.com:
Maggie and Rose are both sisters & best friends and polar opposites when it comes to values, goals and personal styles.
Maggie is a party girl who barely graduated from high school, recycles jobs as quickly as yesterday’s newspapers and believes her biggest asset is her attractiveness to the opposite sex. Rose is a Princeton educated attorney at a top law firm in Philadelphia. Her low self-esteem regarding her physical appearance has left her dating life non-existent. Rose’s one joy in life is shoes (because they always fit), but unfortunately she has few social opportunities to remove them from her closet. After a calamitous falling out, the two sisters travel a bumpy road toward true appreciation for one another–aided along the way by the discovery of the maternal grandmother they thought was dead. Through their re-connection with their grandmother, Ella, Maggie and Rose learn how to make peace with themselves and with each other.
Okay, so it touches on topics that I’m raw on at the moment – family, sisters, relationships with mothers, feeling all alone, the list goes on. It made me think and think. The sisters in the movie both lost their mother to a car accident when they were young. Turns out their mother had a mental illness of some sort and she didn’t take her medication.
The younger sister had this great vision of what her mother was. The oldest sister loved their mother the same but since she was older she knew that their mother’s behavior was inappropriate and risky at times. For example, the young sister remembers a trip to the city to sell the fudge their mother stayed up all night baking. It was a fun adventure and while Macy’s didn’t buy her fudge recipe and the fudge made a mess all over the store, at the end of the day their mother bought them a puppy. The older daughter remembers the day in a similar fashion but also remembers getting home to their father who had NO idea where his wife and two daughters were and the ensuing argument her parents had.
I’m realizing this post is becoming somewhat of a book so I’m going to try to condense here. The gist of the movie is both of these women grow up taking something very different from their mother. The younger sister had this bright, cheery, impulsive, fun and carefree mother. The older sister had a mother who is dramatic, erratic, unreliable, sometimes sad, and sometimes happy, absent on occasion mother.
I started to wonder (now I feel like Carrie Bradshaw)…what makes a woman a GOOD MOM?
How is that decided? By the behavior of her children? By what she does for her children? How her children impact society later in life? By how much psychiatric help your children need? The grades in school?
When is it decided? When they grow up? If so, how do you know to correct parenting mistakes along the way? When they go to Kindergarten, High School, College?
I know it’s easy to doubt ourselves as women – it is somehow embedded on our genetic makeup. Often I think I’m doing a good job parenting my 3 year old. When I see him be kind to a younger kid, when he tinkles in the potty, when he says please and thank you – I feel proud that I’m doing something right. When I take him to the park, zoo, museum, farm and he learns something new – I beam with pride. It makes ME feel good to take him to those places. After all, I’m a stay at home mom and as some would say it’s my job.
But does any of this make me a good mom?