Parenthood in today’s world can often seem impossible. Expectations abound for everything from organic no-sugar gluten free snacks, to just the right number of organized sport programs to enroll in. The days of social media don’t help the comparison trap either. Pinterest and Facebook make it oh-so-easy to see everyone else’s highlight reel while you are facing your own failures.
What if you are not a PTA mom, soccer mom, or other "perfect" mom-type? Enter: the unicorn mom. What is a unicorn mom? Introduced in an age where box-office hits like, “Bad Moms” and “Moms Night Out” are hitting a familiar chord with stressed out, non-conforming mothers everywhere, a unicorn mom is a mother who is not perfect and is comfortable that way. She is not trying to “keep up with the Jones.” She makes mistakes and while she loves her kids to the moon and back, she is okay not trying to fit in with the seemingly perfect moms out there. She does not let her flaws slow her down or set her back. Urban Dictionary defines unicorn mom as "A mother who's not perfect, enjoys alcohol, has a sense of humor and couldn't care less what you think.” Although Urban Dictionary describes the “unicorn mom” as a mom who likes alcohol, moms who relate with the idea of the unicorn mom are not at all about drinking or swearing. It’s about being okay with yourself and not having to measure up to unrealistic expectations.
The movies, “Bad Moms” and “A Bad Moms Christmas” were R-rated comedies released in 2016 and 2017. They are plotted after a group of moms who fight to loosen the restrictions on their daily life and conventional responsibilities. Five years prior, “Mom’s Night Out,” another popular mom movie was released with a similar but cleaner story. It was about a group of moms needing a break from parenting duties. Both sets of movies target an audience of stressed out middle class moms—comedic medicine for the modern day mom blues. These movies were successful for a reason. Moms need an outlet. The platform for these types of films reflects the need for perfection release. Mothers can often desire a way to relax and not fit the mold.
Why does the world need unicorn moms? Conformity is societal pressure. Mothers in today’s culture have pressure to perform and succeed more than ever before. Being the classroom helper, best snack bringer, community organizer and volunteer is piled on top of having to tend to the kids, house, chores, driving, shopping, working and scheduling. Happy housewife ideals are commonly exposed in Stepford-wife fashion, but today it is often the subtle messages women get from Facebook newsfeeds, Pinterest boards and Instragram accounts. There is no safe place to be messy. Moms are taking back the freedom to make mistakes, to be themselves and fight back against an age of perfectionism.
Unicorn moms march to the beat of their own drums. They don’t need to fit in with the “cool mom cliques.” They have cut ties with the judgmental mama drama. They recognize what’s important -- loving your kids and not letting anyone else define what makes a mom a good mom. They make a point not to base their actions on what others think of them. They own their flaws and enjoy life. Perhaps the less stress a mom carries, via the pretense of perfection or the expectations of everyone around her, the better mother she can actually be.