There are days when I find myself trying to measure up to the idea of the perfect mom.
You know the ones… they’re online – on Twitter and on Facebook – always talking about their perfect lives and their perfect families and their perfect days at home, working around the house.
They’re the ones that are all matchy-matchy, from their bows in their hair to their designer shoes. And while they talk about their problems, they actually don’t have any because their kids are actually perfect, as are their husbands, their dogs and their houses.
While there are days I wish I could live like them, the fact of the matter is I will never live like them.
In the first place, I have to work for a living. In the second place, I’m about as far from perfect as you can get. And in the third place, I just wasn’t brought up that way.
Don’t get me wrong; my mom brought me up right. If it weren’t for my mother, I would still be dressing in nothing but jeans and t-shirts… okay, I still do that on the weekends, but that doesn’t count. I mean, if it weren’t for my mother, I would not be making a conscious effort to have my underwear match my outfits… kinda like that clean underwear mama mantra on steroids.
It’s just that she also brought me up to be myself and to love who I was instead of always trying to live someone else’s life.
So, that kind of mom isn’t really my way of life.
They are the moms who drive their BMWs to the local organic farm to purchase local fresh produce for their gourmet meals, made possible by the fact that they have all the time in the world to drive to the organic farm and come home and cook a gourmet meal.
I am the mom who roars up to the farmers’ market in her Jeep, in a tie-dye t-shirt and matching sunglasses, with INXS blaring out the windows and grabs the closest box of strawberries to save a few minutes before roaring home to throw something together for dinner.
They are the moms who “salon” to have all manner of their body hair teased, tweezed, tweaked or otherwise tamed.
I am the mom who calls her kid from the back porch and asks them to bring her a razor, because she missed some hairs while she was in the shower.
True story. Just happened.
They’re the moms whose housekeeper takes care of all of the problems in the house while they “work” on their “mommy blog” next to the pool.
I am the mom who writes at night after my second glass of wine and sweeping the kitchen floor for the seventh time since I got home from work.
And while they are the moms whose children were in their perfectly spotless rooms before Mother’s Day making them gifts to celebrate their motherliness – like knitting them a coffeemaker to replace their broken one, or creating art out of tooth picks and dryer lint that would most certainly be hanging in the Louvre if it weren’t on her walls, I am the mom whose kids borrowed my credit card last weekend to buy my Mother’s Day present and argued for the better part of an hour over whose was better.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge those moms their perfect lives, and I’m sure they are happy.
There’s just always that niggling little voice in the back of my head that reminds me I am not one of them. And that for some reason, I should strive to be one of them.
But I can’t live like that.
I’m not home baking cookies; I’m at work. I’m not president of the PTA – I did that once. It wasn’t pretty. I’m don’t have dinner ready by the time they and their father get home from their important things. I slap together the occasional casserole when I have my own important things to do.
And more than that, I’m not perfect. I have curves. I haven’t had the same hair color six months in a row since I was 29. I have a wardrobe that consists primarily of jeans, stretch pants and business attire in red, black, white and tan. I’m a workaholic. I live in flip-flops and bare feet whenever I can from April until November. I can be a little crazy.
Stop rolling your eyes and saying “a little?”
I’m not the ideal mom to others, I suppose, but my kids and husband think I’m pretty okay, even when I dance in the grocery store aisle or sing off key.
I guess all that’s important is that I’m the ideal mom to them.
I can live with that.
(c) Liz Carey 2014