After Months Of Pain, Busy Phillips Diagnoses Herself With A Severe Case Of 'Mom'

by Meredith Bland
Originally Published: 
Image via Instagram

After months of pain, Busy Philipps realizes the cause: Motherhood

Motherhood — it’s a blur of joy and pain, laughter and screaming, having a kid’s head smash against your nose and getting hit in the stomach with a light saber. There’s also a lot of angry-face-making-nonsense that comes with the territory when you’re a mom, and one of those is carrying everyone else’s stuff. We don’t want it to happen, we don’t mean for it to happen, it just kind of happens — moms’ bodies are magnets for anything that weighs at least 10 pounds and is awkwardly-shaped. And unfortunately, sometimes that has consequences.

In a recent Instagram post, actor Busy Philipps wrote that she had been having pain in her right shoulder for several months that was so bad she was scheduled to have an MRI on it to find out what was wrong. Philipps had no idea what she had done to injure it. Then, a few days ago, as she was walking into her house, she saw her reflection in a window and everything clicked like Legos against a heel bone: “I THINK I FIGURED IT OUT, GUYS. I’M A MOM.”

Philipps is the mother of two daughters, 8-year-old Birdie and 3-year-old Cricket, both of whom happen to be ages at which kids won’t carry anything. Other ages include 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. That means for all those years, moms are often weighted down with all the stuff. And that means at some point Mom is going to feel it.

We can actually provide a transcript of your typical mom obtaining this kind of injury. Picture it: she has just pulled up to her house after grocery shopping with her child. And — ACTION:

Mom: “Okay, honey, we’re home. Time to bring everything inside.”

(Unbuckles, gets out of car, picks up diaper bag)

Mom: “You did such a good job at the store. I was very proud that you didn’t lick anything.”

(Goes to back of car, grabs four bags of groceries)

Mom: “Maybe when we get inside we should have our lunch, huh?”

(Grabs bag of towels and swimsuits from earlier swim class)

Mom: “What do you think, should we…whew…have a bagel or maybe a…ugh…sandwich?”

(Reaches into trunk, grabs 12-pack of soda, pins it between her left side and left arm)

Mom: “A nice…peanut butter…sandwich…aw, crap…might hit the…godammit…spot.”

(Uses three fingers of right hand to open door to backseat and pinches child’s art project from school between ring finger and middle finger)

Mom: “So let’s… do… whew… ok… that. Sound good?”

Child: “Mommy will you carry this stick I found?”


It can be hard to understand how a young, healthy child becomes completely incapable of carrying their own backpack once they leave school. Or how someone who literally never stops moving is suddenly unable to summon the strength to lift a two-pack of paper towels. We get so used to carrying all of the things that we forget we might actually be hurting ourselves. Like with Philipps, sometimes it takes a part of our body saying, “To hell with this,” for us to notice that all of that heavy, awkward carrying isn’t exactly the best thing for us.

It is, however, a burden we must bear (see what we did, there?) Until we buy our mule (his name will be Benedonkey Cumberass), we are going to find ourselves schlepping stuff around for our kids. The good news is that kids get older and have to start having “responsibilities,” which means that at some point if they don’t grab the bag with the ice cream in it then it’s just going to melt all over the trunk and we’ll make them clean it up because a) responsibility, b) helping, c) values, and d) Mom sitting down in soft pants, no bra, and a nice bottle of ibuprofen.

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