By on February 18, 2010

The first rule of Bad Moms Club is, you can totally talk about Bad Moms Club.

The second rule of Bad Moms Club is, you can totally talk about Bad Moms Club. You can totally talk about Bad Moms Club, because Bad Moms Club exists everywhere and always and the more we talk about it the more we can reclaim all that nonsense about there being such a thing as a universalizable Good Mom. And laugh about it. HARD.

Also, we don’t hit anybody. Ever. Because, you know, it is always better to use your words.

Mischief. Mayhem. Binkies.

We’re not nihilists. And we’re not revolutionaries, really. We’re just looking for a new standard for what it means to be a good parent – one that doesn’t have anything to do with owning the right stroller or losing the baby weight or getting our kids into the right Montessori preschool or knowing how to blend the perfect organic baby food or knowing whether ’tis nobler to be an attachment parenting parent or a free range parent or a helicopter parent or whatever kind of parent – yes, even a cooler-than-thou ‘bad parent’ – parent magazines are currently hyping. A standard that looks only to whether one’s kids are healthy and happy, within the bounds of what a parent can control. A standard that embraces laughter and good times, with or without liquor.

So, yeah. The celebration of bad is not a celebration of neglect. It’s a celebration of independence from the tyranny of ‘Good’-with-a-capital-G. It’s a rejection of the idea that there are – beyond the basic precepts of loving your kids and keeping them well in mind, body and spirit – right ways and wrong ways to parent. And if we have to be a bit mischievous and mayhemmy to get that point across, well, so be it. At least we’re not making soap out of your ass fat.

Enlightened Slacking

If we do have a philosophy, it’s this: do parenting the easy way, and embrace everything that’s funny about it. Parenting is hard enough already; why make it harder? Take shortcuts! Slack! Do whatever it takes to take the edge off. Because, look: a frazzled parent is often an unhappy parent, and an unhappy parent is, well, an unhappy parent. You want happy kids, you need happy parents – they’ll probably even settle for happy-ish – and happy parents are happiest when they cut themselves some slack.

So, yeah. We say, slack, but slack well. Which means, basically, slack – cut corners, take shortcuts, skip the bullshit – in a way that serves you and your children. Slack in a way that’s mindful of the why and the how of slacking. Cut back on activities, but replace those activities with quality hanging out time. Let your kids watch TV, but watch it with them, and talk about it. Have banana splits for dinner, but make sure they’re heavy on the banana, light on the split. Teach music appreciation by watching Beyonce videos on YouTube. Teach humor appreciation by watching Beyonce spoof videos on YouTube. Let your kids dress themselves, because creativity is good. Don’t sweat the mismatched socks, so long as they’re clean, or sort of clean, mostly. Recycle by turning everything into a craft. Teach independence by letting your kids do those crafts themselves. Unless it’s a fun craft, then knock yourself out.

Cultivate the art of just hanging out. Cultivate the art of just hanging out while your kids do something productive. Remember that they learn by doing, and that you rest by not doing. Teach them that naps are really, really awesome, like, super awesome, as is laying in bed and reading and laying in bed and talking and laying in bed and plotting world domination and laying in bed and sleeping. Let your baby sleep with you if that’s easier; put them in a crib if it’s not; give them  a pacifier, or don’t, encourage a lovey-attachment, or don’t, swaddle them or don’t, rock them or don’t, set up a CD player with Amy Winehouse on repeat to sing them to sleep. Or don’t. Whatever helps you sleep at night, literally or figuratively.

Have fun. Get rest. Be happy. LAUGH (that’s what we’re here for.) Find like-minded parent-friends (we’ll try to give you that, too.) Don’t worry about being a good parent, because if you’re happy and rested and having fun, you already are.

And if some people want to call that bad – and they will – that’s their problem. If you’re like us, you know that bad is the new good.