LMN Original Movie Review: "Sins of the Mother" Airing February 21 at 8pm et/pt
Motherhood is a complicated thing. If this is your first pregnancy, you’ll quickly learn this. If you’re already a mom, then I’m preaching to the choir. One little piece of advice: you’ll have a lot less drama in your pregnancy and journey in motherhood if you just learn to accept the things you can’t change. Easier said than done, I know. But this is what came to mind for me when I watched "Sins of the Mother," a new Lifetime Movie Network original movie featuring one of my favorites, actress and singer Jill Scott that will air on Sunday, February 21 at 8 pm et/pt.
Based on Carleen Brice’s novel, "Orange Mint and Honey," the film follows Scott as Nona, a reformed alcoholic who reconnects with her daughter Shay, played by Nicole Beharie. To put it blunt, Shay is angry. And given her life as a child of an alcoholic mom, she has every right to be. But when she is forced to return home, and finds her mother completely transformed and living a stable and peaceful life with a new daughter to boot, she doesn’t know what to do. Shay is stuck in the past, mad at the world and in a place where there is no forgiveness. The film shows her journey to reconciling her anger and learning the sacred art of forgiveness toward her mom. Jill Scott, on the other hand, is a mother who can’t control if and when Shay’s forgiveness will come, who can’t undo her past and desperately wants to be believed in and respected in the present. It’s a moving piece indeed, just right for Black History Month.
The other thing I learned watching "Sins of the Mother" is that, quite frankly, being angry takes a lot of energy! Who needs the stress? Shay carries all sorts of anger and stress with her everyday like a designer handbag. Anger and stress are natural experiences. But the way we deal with anger and stress can make all the difference between healthy and unhealthy levels. A lot of that has to do with how we perceive or interpret what’s happening to us. In pregnancy, stress has been known to cause harmful hormones to secrete in your body—the last thing your baby needs. In life, prolonged stress has been linked to digestive orders, high blood pressure and heart disease. You really don’t need that.
If this sounds easier said than done, find an outlet. Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, journaling quiet walks. In the movie, Jill Scott’s character finds a special place and a special way to deal with her fears and anxieties (let me know what you thought of it), and as I watched the film, I thought, I could definitely use one of those. As I watched the scenes of Nora going to her “place,” I thought about the many ways I’ve dealt with fears and anxieties in my life, and also the ways I could have handled them better. I thought about my own daughter. Though I try my best as a mother and thankfully have been blessed thus far to have not fallen into any addictions (does Big Love on HBO count?), I know that I will inevitably make mistakes as a parent. My prayer is that none of them will deeply scar my children (but I’ve started a therapy fund for them just in case) and that in the end they will forgive me. My mom often said of her own mother, “She did the best she could with what she had at the time.” I get that. That’s all any mom can do.