I’m a ‘bad mom’ – but there aren’t really any ‘good’ ones


A lot of people tell me I’m a great mom, and I’m coming from where they’re from. I spend a lot of time with my child doing things other than homework. Plus, I’m fun: I let my daughter dye her hair rainbow colors and now I call her My Little Pony.

Plus I’m cool – so cool I know kids don’t say cool anymore. They say “niiice”. Oh, also, I’m nice! As in kind. Niiiiiice.

But above all, I am a Bad Mom ™. I swear – in front of my child, I laugh loudly in the company of other adults about ridiculous things. Sometimes I even leave my house at night!

I’m so bad, when Michael Jackson’s “Bad” plays, and he asks, “Who’s bad?” I know he’s talking about me. Pity.

Of course, I am not alone in my wickedness. The Bad Mom ™ movement that has been building over the past decade shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From the hit movie franchise “Bad Moms,” to the dozens of mom blogs that glorify the revolt by – gasp – drinking wine, to popular parenting podcasts like One Bad Mother, being a Bad Mom ™ is the new good.

Bad moms around the world compete to see which of us is the nastiest by comparing ratings, like, Once, I just didn’t cook lunch. Can you believe it In fact, I let my teenage son make his own sandwich. I am the worst.

Bad moms are the best.

It’s time to take out the laundry.Getty Images

If Bad Moms tends to brag too much about how awful we are, it’s because 55 years after “Leave It to Beaver” left the airwaves, we still struggle against June Cleaver’s expectation that mothers exist as completely selfless, sexless beings who live to clean and cook. (Until our partners want to have sex i.e. we have to be dirty little animals … who have to clean up this mess in the end as well.)

Websites like Pinterest are fueling that tradition, with photos of incredibly creative and immaculate homes, their kitchens featuring jars of homemade jam stacked in a pyramid of shaded berries, fading from black to blue, from grater to straw. Every woman understands, implicitly and explicitly, that this is the kind of Zen domestic sanctuary that she is supposed to magically manifest, but a Bad Mom ™ doesn’t care. A Bad Mom ™ leaves clean dishes on the counter overnight. Wow.

Allowing the mess to remain completely unresolved is Bad Mom ™ ‘s ultimate move, worse than pooping you until you have to do liquid poo at 3am in the middle of a Walmart parking lot. It’s worse than forgetting that your child spent half a day at school, forcing them to sit at the desk for an hour (with nothing but the 30 non-educational games you allowed them to do. download to their cell phone to keep them busy) while they wait for you to pick them up. It’s even worse than abortion.

Willingly ignoring the mess is such anathema to perfect motherhood that an entire industry has been created around organization alone. Did you know that if you leave a bunch of clutter in your house for over a year, the cast of “Law & Order: SUV” (Slovenian Unclean Vice) lock you in The Container Store overnight to think about what you didn’t? And do you know what a Bad Mom ™ does in The Container Store? It spoils the padded hangers so that they are not all rotated the same on the rack. Mean.

I’m such a Bad Mom ™, I actually left the dirty dishes in the sink for up to three days and let the laundry pile up for two whole weeks … before taking it to the laundromat, washing each piece strictly according to the directions on each label, and air-dry anything that might shrink before folding it like Marie Kondo-style sushi. Disgusting, I know.

Sometimes – God, I don’t know if I want to tell you this – sometimes I even let the mail pile up, only looking at the stack of bills once a month … and then I pay them all immediately. But I only pay the minimum amount. I owed Lane Bryant $ 167 last month, but only paid them $ 27. Suck that, good mom. I’m a Bad Mom ™ with bad credit, baby! You can’t beat that.

I’m so bad I let my kid stay awake until 11 o’clock on a school night. I told her she could sign my name on a math test (after asking if she could). The other night she told me she was only going to eat half the Brussels sprouts I gave her, and I said okay. Fine?! Only half a vegetal negotiation?

Do i need detox? Because being that bad is exhilarating.

Be careful, however, my Bad Moms comrades. Remember you want to be bad, but not so bad. There are limits. Yes, you can get away for the weekend and smoke weed with your girlfriends at a music festival, but you can’t serve your kids pizza for three days in a row unless you want it to be. ‘we take them from you.

Carolyn Castiglia is a writer and actress who has appeared on Comedy Central, VH1, MTV2, Lifetime, fyi, HLN and more. She lives with her 12 year old daughter in Brooklyn, NY. For more on being a bad mom, check out BADMomLife on Facebook.


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