Someone’s gotta GO FIRST. It might as well be me.
I have a confession to make: I watched the move “Bad Moms”. Yep. I was eating dinner while watching TV (another confession…sorry mom!) and it was on some chick-channel and I got sucked in. I am not necessary encouraging you to watch it (it was on cable and there were a lot of dubbed in “fudge” and “friggin” words, for those of you with sensitive cursing nerves 😉), but for the purpose of this post, I wanna share with you a profoundly spiritual lesson I gleaned from it, so hold on tight!
Before we get too far into it, let me gently encourage you boys who are reading to hang in there. I promise it is not just for moms! You are not off the hook.
You might argue with me, but I think this movie came to my attention because God wanted me to have some good material to back up what I have been pondering for a couple of weeks now. I recently brought it up to my husband and told him I was considering starting a movement called: “You go first!”
Ya see, I write regularly because I am willing to go first, to confess my ugly, embarrassing, faithless, doubting, desperate thoughts and fears, so that YOU know you are not alone in your own struggles with the same. Once I put my failures and flaws out there, my prayer is that you will feel the teensiest bit more comfortable about sharing your own.
In the Bad Moms movie, they start out rebelling against the expectations placed on moms to be perfect and create perfect children who always look good, bring healthy lunches to school and can speak 3 different languages and play the violin by 1st grade. The pressure caused them to snap! But, after they went cra-cra for a bit and even their children were questioning their parenting, they came back to the middle and realized that there has to be a balance.
The final scene is what impacted me enough to enlighten you with this movie review. One of women was running against a domineering/bossy/judgy/intimidating woman to be the president of the PTA. In her speech she confessed that she is a “bad mom”. And then an interesting thing happened as she hung her head in shame: other moms randomly stood and confessed their own “bad mom” moments.
They did this because someone went first.
When we try to present ourselves as perfect and always “together”, we may have a good reputation and others may revere us, but we do not develop authentic, vulnerable relationships.
I know this because I used to be this way. Ask some of my friends if you want confirmation. I am so different now, after the cancer, that I occasionally worry that they will run for their lives for all my honest sharing about how I am a hot mess!
I have a distinct memory of a conversation between me and my husband several years ago. I had been with some friends and it became clear to me that they all knew some inside information about each other that I was not privy to. It hurt my feelings. When I shared it with my husband he asked me if I had ever shared some of my brokenness in a vulnerable way with them. Areas I had failed or struggled in. I had not. Then he said something very wise and annoying: “You are going to have to choose between looking good to your friends or having true and honest friendships.”
I am mortified to admit that I actually had to consider my answer. Did I really want them to see me as an average messed up girl? My ego said “no” at that time. I continued to hide and share just enough to stay connected but not as intimately as they were with each other.
But, as a friend of mine always says, “I don’t have to live that way any more.”
Today, not only do I share in the messy with my friends, I share it with thousands of other people in books and blogs. Because someone has to go first if we are going to cut through the façade of perfection and posturing.
Hasn’t it been lonely for you long enough?
Maybe today is the day that YOU choose to GO FIRST.