Sunday, May 13, 2012

So Over Trying to be the "Perfect Mommy"

Back when I was a young mother (and I am not talking about my age, I am talking about how long I had been a mother), I was "that mother."  I was one of those who cared what people thought.  I wanted people to think that everything was always perfect in motherhood, that nothing ever went wrong.  That my kids actually played outside in their smocked dresses and never got them dirty.  That I had everything figured out, and there was not one question about being a mommy to which I did not know the answer.  I was that irritating mother that you want to strangle because you know that her life is not really like that, and if it is like that you still want to slap her because yours isn't and you do not know why (I wish I could reach back in time and slap myself).  Here's a secret: no one's is, no matter what people try to get you to think.

I am obviously not "that mother" anymore.  I think being pooped on, peed on, and puked on enough times changes you.  Or at least it changed me, nothing feels perfect when you are covered in poop, pee, or vomit.  I got tired of my kids ruining their expensive clothes playing in the sandbox (or mud hole), so I stopped insisting they look like they stepped off of the pages of a magazine.  Guess what?  They did not care what clothes they were wearing (if they had it their way they probably would have been naked).  I also realized that birthday parties did not have to be so elaborate. While it is nice to "repin" all of those fabulous birthday party ideas on Pinterest, do you really think your kids care how intricate the details are as long as there are friends and cake at their party?  Also, I cannot tell you anything about any party my kids have been to.  If it was elaborate, I did not retain that information for more than two days before my mind was thinking about something else.  Scrapbooking is another thing that I have long since given up on.  There was a point in time where I would not put a picture in a scrapbook unless I had some elaborate page designed to hold the three pictures that would fit on the page.  As a result, I never put anything in the scrapbook, and I had boxes of pictures dating back nine years because I did not have a "perfect" page on which to place them.  Last summer I bought a bunch of cheap photo albums, and I stuck the pictures in there.  Now my kids can actually look at pictures from their childhood.  Oh, and guess what?  They do not care that they are not on an elaborately designed scrapbook page.

It was tiring being "that mommy."   It  is exhausting enough doing everything that is actually necessary to raise children, not to mention putting up a front in order for the world to think that my life was "perfect."  What was the point?  Nobody buys that line anyway because they know what life is like with kids: wonderful, but definitely not "perfect."  


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