The Huge Parenting Problem That Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis & Kathryn Hahn Of 'Bad Moms' Wants To Fix
Although the new film Bad Moms is most definitely a comedy (the scene I watch the cast film on their New Orleans set features them destroying a grocery store and chugging gallons of milk), it still discusses a good number of serious topics: namely, how hard it is to be a parent, and why the judgment and competition between parents, especially mothers, has got to go. When I talk to stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn, they're quick to share how much the movie's topics resonate with them as mothers — "I might not be perfect, but I feel perfect, and I think that’s all that matters," Bell quips — but it's clear that they take the film's message completely seriously.
"There’s this perfection — everything you think you’re supposed to feel, or do," says Hahn. "When it doesn’t match up with what everything in the culture is telling you to do, you feel like a failure."
And the sky-high expectations that come with being a parent is only one of the many issues facing mothers and fathers across the country, the cast says.
"The idea that you’re a single mom, you have to work full time and you have to pay this obscene amount of money for childcare is just not possible," says Kunis. "Either you leave your child early and put him in child care and hope that some stranger loves and cares for your child the way you would, or you’re broke."
"Right, or you can’t afford to have your child," adds Bell. "That’s not an appropriate decision — no mom in America should have to be making that decision. It’s an unacceptable decision for our country."
Because of the lack of built-in support, some parents find other ways to get help with childcare help — nannies, doulas, lactation nurses, etc. — but those options can be costly, and are not viable choices for every parent. According to The Boston Globe, childcare costs an average of $15,000 per year in New York, for instance, and overall, it the country's largest annual household expense.
"It still takes a village, y’all," says Bell.
Adds Kunis, "And I think now you just have to pay for that village."
It's clear that childcare and maternity leave are important issues to all three Bad Moms stars, who have a total of five kids between them. When asked which presidential candidate would be best in dealing with these topics, Bell, Hahn, and Kunis all hesitate to name a favorite — but Kunis, at least, has no problem implying which candidate would be the least ideal person to have in office when it comes to women's-centric issues.
"[Who's] utter garbage for women? Probably someone who doesn’t say nice things about ladies," Kunis says with a laugh. "He’s probably not on a priority list." Hear, hear.