By now, you’ve probably heard the story of the “bad moms” who got kicked out of the movie Bad Moms for well, being moms. More specifically, being moms who either weren’t aware of the theater’s “no kids under the age of six in R-rated movies” rule or assumed that bringing babies who would snooze through the whole film was not the same as sneaking in a kindergartener.
The moms, Juliana Valverde and Brooklyn Cahill, of Fort Meyers, Florida, were two of 50 women who had planned to meet up at a screening of the movie. The other moms in the group encouraged them to bring their babies (who were still breastfeeding). But when Cahill arrived, she was told by theater employees that she was not allowed to bring her newborn into the theater — and Valverde was told the same soon after. It didn’t matter that the babies were likely to sleep through the movie. Or that if they woke up, the moms planned to sit close to the door to make a quick exit. Or that the majority of the audience was made up not only of fellow moms, but their friends. Or even that other children under the age of six were allowed in.
Ultimately, Valverde, Cahill, and 30 other moms walked out in solidarity — cheated of their one night out. When Valverde talked about the experience to Babble, she thought that the response would be similar to that night when the moms came together to support one another — outraged by how they were treated. But she was mistaken.
“Entitlement at its best! Why bring your infant child who should be at home in its crib getting some sleep to a crowed movie theater? Just stupid! Then you expect people to feel sorry for you, no ma’am that isn’t how it works. Your the one out of line here. No one wants to spend their $11.50 a ticket plus $50 bucks on movie food to hear your crying baby instead of the movie they paid for. Your rude and inconsiderate to think that it’s ok to interrupt someone else’s evening with your crying baby.”
“I think this little princess is so full of herself to pose on Facebook pics trying to get validation for her own selfishness. Theatres are too loud and too filled with germs for infants! Keep your ass home, be a mom, snuggle rock and read to your baby. You have years ahead of you to watch it on Netflix, dumbass.”
“You were beyond rude to bring an infant to a movie that it was known would be loud. You were rude because YOU felt that anyone else’s time was worth less than yours. I’m sorry, but I’m a Mom, and I don’t support this idea that you have a right to disturb a movie for everyone who has paid. That is beyond rude. It has nothing to do with ‘rights.'”
Apparently it’s rude to bring a sleeping baby to a movie theater but perfectly OK to publicly rake another mother over the coals.
Regardless of how you feel about the story or what you would have done in Juliana Valverde’s shoes or even how you think the situation should have been handled, it’s important that you realize exactly two things about her:
- She genuinely thought she was helping another mother.
- She was not prepared to face the wrath of the world because of it.
When Valverde saw another new mom being told to leave the theater because she had a baby, she stood with that mother. She volunteered to leave with her, since she also had a baby. She offered to speak to the manager because she felt they were being treated rather poorly. And no matter what happened after, she still doesn’t regret doing so.
“While the world tears me to pieces, judging and shaming me for standing up for that other mom, I know I made a difference in her life,” she explains. “She was a first-time mom facing struggles only she knows but as a mother myself I can relate to her. I did what I felt was right. Whatever happened to treat others how you would like to be treated? That is what I live by.”
The truly sad part about this whole situation is that we are talking about a group of mothers who specifically attended a movie meant to bring them together. Bad Moms is a comedy centered around the fact that mothers are notoriously pitted against each other — forced into stereotypical boxes of PTA Moms, Perfect Moms, Bake Sale Moms, Hot Mess Moms, Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding Moms, etc. These stereotypes, we insist, do not exist. They don’t define us! we say. They are created by people who don’t get it. We don’t judge each other!
Until, of course, something earth shattering happens that we don’t agree with. Then we judge — and we judge hard.
When I spoke to Valverde yesterday, what struck me most about the soft-spoken mother of three was how confused she was about all the attention she has received. After all, she didn’t do anything more extraordinary than any of us do all the time.
The comments and hatred and shaming and downright anger towards Valverde are honestly frightening. “People hate us,” she told me. “That’s not even the worst. People have threatened to kill us.”
Death threats. Over what? She didn’t abandon her child or hurt her child or neglect her child. She just tried to sit through a two-hour movie with her and some friends.
Valverde says she is saddened by the hostility and judgement that other mothers have shown her and she thinks it’s very telling to the many ways that we feel that mothers are somehow not “real” people who deserve to be treated with respect, as if we are a separate class of individuals who are immune to criticism and public harassment for even the smallest of decisions.
“I also highly believe in respect and we were not treated with that,” she notes. “ALL Moms deserve to get treated with respect! I was scared to stand up but I thought about my daughters, my nieces, my cousins. My heart sank as I thought, ‘what if one day it’s them?’
Quite frankly, it’s not easy. I am shy, and to be honest with you all this publicity makes me want to hide in a closet. I had a major panic attack right before my last news interview. I do NOT like this attention. All I want is to defend my rights and [the] rights of other nursing mothers. To stand together and be that change we need in this cold ugly world.”
To think, all this because some moms wanted to leave the house for a laugh.