Monday, September 19, 2011

Who's got their shit together?

I never feel like I do. Ever.

Well, that's not entirely true, some days the stars align just so and if you squint a little it looks like its juuuuuust right. Kind of like how if the lights are dim, I turn my torso just so and I'm not wearing contacts it looks like I have a six pack!

Anyway, as I bumble around I look at these other mom's who really seem to look like they have it all going their way. Their hair is fixed and make up just so, kids neatly groomed and walking holding her hand. Meanwhile, I haven't showered, Heidi has yogurt sculpting her eyebrows, Colin's wearing mismatched, non-weather appropriate clothes and Raph is picking his nose. We will loudly make our way through the grocery store and someone comments on just how many children I have. Huh? I only have 3, that's not really very many and they are widely spaced at that.

So it really confounds me when someone asks me how I do it because I always seem to have my shit together.

::picks jaw up off the floor::

Whaaa? I wonder why that is. I mean my kids are generally clean, healthy and CPS hasn't taken them away from me so I'm not terrible but I don't think I'm something to look up to in the slightest. Yet people ask me for advice. I just have no idea what to make of that sentiment.

I spoke to some other mom friends once and we've all decided that you see your worst and everyone else sees your best. It only seems effortless from the outsider because they aren't doing at that moment. What they don't see is that you have cramps that make you want to cry, your 4 year old has spent the last 15 minutes screaming in the car, you have a mess of a house, your 2 year old hasn't slept in 3 days and your 7 year old failed a spelling quiz because you didn't help him with his homework, you are late for a doctor's appointment and your car has a funny smell that you just can't locate. What they see is a woman walking into school with her three kids who bounce around behind her. What they don't know is that the screaming stopped because a cookie was promised and the other two are dejected or exhausted so there's no fight left in them. Then you walk around the grocery store trying to piece together a quasi-healthy dinner that no one is allergic to and most everyone will eat. Its either that or throw in the towel, go to McDonald's and fix a large vodka tonic at home.

There's always more to everyone's story. I think some people project it more than others and I seem to keep up a pretty good facade whilst in public. So my advice to you, since you asked, was to help out the lady in the store with a screaming kid. If she dropped something pick it up, smile and say, "I've been there too." Don't feel superior that your toddler is currently happy looking at stuff from inside the shopping cart because as soon as you round the corner she will start screaming she wants OUT and will promptly knock over a display.

And the mom who always looks perfect? Maybe that's the one thing she does for herself that day. For all you know the dog threw up on her yoga pants and she cried while putting on trousers because all she wanted to do was wear yoga pants and a tshirt. And the mom with the charming, cheery children who are so polite and outgoing? Yeah turns out that kid won't eat food. There is a constant daily struggle to have a complete meal without a fight or gagging or hysterics and a fight with her husband.

Everyone has their burden, you just may not be able to see it at first glance. Ask her, though, and you will find out that everything is a wreck just like you. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, a world with parents who can't get their shit together, but I do think to a certain degree that is true. Everyone has their moments where life seems to glide by without a hitch and then there are those days where all you want to do is get a hotel room for 1 so you can sleep uninterrupted for at whole 5 hrs!


Sarah said...

My vote is for the vodka tonic! :)

Marcella said...

Sometimes Red Bull and Vodka is better b/c you need the energy :)

The Happy Mother said...

Thanks, Marcella. This is so great. I am going to bookmark this post and re-read it when I'm having a cruddy day.