Dear perfect stay-at-home-mom,
I see you everywhere. You are in the grocery store buying organic fruits and veggies to make your own baby food. You are putting together themed meals for your toddlers (who honestly can give two shits by the way). Your house is immaculate and perfectly decorated for each and every season (see Rebecca’s post on her love/hate for holiday decorating here). You show up to every school event and meeting with gluten free snacks that you “just whipped up”. You carry a 2” planner around to jot down every little thing about Sarah’s life. You are always in workout gear fresh from your morning exercise (probably drinking some nasty ass green protein shake) and are so proud to discuss your clean eating regime and which exercise will knock off the last bit of baby weight. And if you’re not in workout gear, you’re wearing monogrammed shit or you’re clad from head to toe in Lularoe, and probably have your daughter in a matching outfit that’s equally stylish. We all know someone like this, I like to call them “The Pinterest Moms”.
I wish I could have even a speck of my life together. But I don’t. I work part time evening hours in the busy emergency room that usually keeps me up late to wind down from after a shift. I am in nursing school which drains the life out of me with every class and study session I make it through. On top of those, I have two boys that have two different schedules of their own between First Grade and Preschool. A co-op preschool that requires a parent to volunteer in the classroom twice a month. And lest I forgot my husband who likes to have a hot meal when he gets home from his 12 hour long day (with a hectic commute from DC).
I want you to know that I do not hate moms like you. It’s not your fault you are perfect at everything you do…it’s just that I’m so IMPERFECT that I end up measuring myself against you! We are both just trying to do the best we can for our family, but why do I suck at it lately? You get picked for every field trip at school (and why not when all of the kids, moms and teachers love you!) while I am stuck missing out because I have to go take a test and can’t miss class. I don’t understand how you moms do this! How do you keep it all in check? And how do you make it look so effortless!? Are you a robot? When do you sleep? When do you Netflix? When do you have adult time with your friends? Maybe you don’t.
I’m concerned you are eventually going to run out of batteries. I was sitting at an important meeting at somebody’s school (can’t remember which child it was for…maybe I showed up to the wrong school lol) and I realized that it’s okay to not have it all together all the time. It’s okay to grab store bought snacks instead of having to make homemade cookies. It’s okay for my toddler to watch a few back to back cartoons so that I can squeeze in studying. It’s okay that there is a mess in the background of a perfectly timed picture. Because one day, when the chaos dies down, I’m going to look back at that picture and realize that while I didn’t have the house perfectly in order, or even a little bit in order…I was present in that moment and enjoying that little tiny window of time I had with my boy. That is what matters. Not the pile of shoes in the background by the front door.
I have to remind myself of this in the future when I feel myself turning into the green envious monster-mom. It’s okay that I don’t have it together right now. In reality you are probably feeling the same way about another mom, and might be trying to “keep up with (the Kardashians? Errr, I mean…) the Jones’” too. You don’t have to. We are all in this parenting thing together and it isn’t a competition. I feel very relieved realizing this now lol. It’s okay to not have it all together all of the time. Solidarity sister!