Perfect Mommy - Part II

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You know - I have to thank all of you for your responses to my post about caring what others think. I know we're all in the same boat sometimes and it's so nice to be validated - to know that I'm not the only one that thinks this way. You try to tell yourself that it doesn't matter, that you have more important things to worry about...but honestly, in the end, you sometimes still feel like that awkward teenager in high school - worrying that you'll have friends or that you'll fit in.

I had a perfect mommy moment the other day.....and I was not the perfect mommy -- or was I?

The other morning, we were running late to preschool. I didn't have time to shower, let alone get dressed. My hair was pulled up into a twist, I had the bare minimum of makeup on, and I think there was cereal on my yoga pants. I always tell myself -- I may look like hell when I leave the house sometimes, but I ALWAYS make sure my kids look like a million bucks.

So, there I am - schlepping my 13-month old, my 4-yr. old year, her backpack & lunch box (because she felt the need to give all this to me so she could pick some weeds (er, dandelions) for her teacher) - when I run into Perfect Mommy. You know the one - hair washed & blown out, jeans that fit perfectly, cute little top that doesn't accentuate saggy boobs, perfect makeup, and cute little sunglasses used as a headband. She smiles at me with that smile that says, I acknowledge your presence, but please don't talk to me.

I schlepp (um, walk) past her and softly say "Good Morning" hoping she doesn't hear me when she says good morning back and THEN.....THEN has the nerve to say -- "Running a little late this morning?" while giving me that up & down once over look. (OK, so we were -- but gee, do you have to throw it in my face?) I wanted to die. I wanted to run home, shower, and start the morning all over again. But then Nani came up to me with a handful of dandelions and said, here mommy, these are for you. I took them with a big smile. Perfect Mommy's little girl tried to pick some flowers too and Perfect Mommy screeched out - don't touch those! They're covered in chemicals and pesticides and probably have bugs on them! I watched her little girl's face fall, and my heart broke for her. I then watched Nudgie shove one into her mouth.

I laughed. I laughed so hard that I had to drop everything (except Nudgie of course). I held Nudgie tighter and watched as she examined that dandelion as if it was gold. At that moment, Nani came up to me with her hands full of baby pine cones. I looked over at Perfect Mommy - who's child was standing there looking like a clothing store could see the longing in her eyes, that she wanted to play too - but was told no because she would dirty her outfit, that pine cones were dirty, and dandelions were full of pesticides.

Here mommy, I found more treasure for you. Yes Nani - you did find some treasure for me. But they weren't tangible treasures. Your treasure showed me that I may not be perfect - I may not look all put together - but I allow you to play, explore and express yourself. The treasure I discovered is Nudgie's wonder at a dandelion and Nani's pride at being able to make her mommy smile with just a handful of pine cones.

I'll take Schleppy Mommy over Perfect Mommy every time....


Andrea September 15, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

Love it, great perspective!!

Helene September 15, 2009 at 9:59 AM  

Jen, this was such an awesome post!! And I love that you could see more to this than the tangible treasure. I've met more than my fair share of mothers who are like this and I feel badly for their kids.

A few months ago I had my kids at the park and there was a mom there with her child. She kept telling the child to stay away from the sand area so he didn't get dirty. I was like, "Who brings their kid to a park and expects them to stay clean?" I felt so bad for that boy who stood there watching all 4 of my kids getting dirty....I wanted so badly to tell his mom to lighten up. It's almost cruel to bring a kid to a playground and have the expectation of them staying clean.

I ditto what you said...I'll take Schleppy Mommy over Perfect Mommy ever time!!

You should seriously consider writing a book with all these goodies in it. I love your thoughts!!

Meghan September 15, 2009 at 11:06 AM  

Beautiful post! I will take schleppy Mommy, too!

I am reading 5 conversations You Msut Have With Your Daughter right now, and the book is based on this principle:

God is looking for imperfect mothers raising imperfect daughters in an imperfect world who are desperately dependent on a perfect God for the results.

I LOVE this book. I think you will too.

LucieP September 15, 2009 at 12:54 PM  

you know what's really important!

Too Many Hats September 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM  

YAY - that sounds like the perfect morning :)

Nichay September 15, 2009 at 6:22 PM  

so nice to know I am not the only one that feels like the "running late, put my kids lunch together last minute, oh heavens He got jelly on his shirt...Oh well" Kind of mom.

melaniet42 September 15, 2009 at 7:38 PM  

Wonderful post! I am SO not "perfect mommy". I let my daughter get dirty, play with rocks, and even *gasp* eat a mouthful of sand (that totally happened today...). But it's fun and I let my daughter explore and learn about the things around her. And I always have food on my clothes somewhere. Even if I just put on clean ones moments before!

Erin @ Closing Time September 15, 2009 at 7:58 PM  

I loved this post! I am the schleppy mommy too...but the rewards are priceless!

Christina September 16, 2009 at 12:18 AM  

That was wonderful!! I feel that way every day I take my son to school-he wears a uniform so he always looks great! But me? I roll out of bed and put on clothes, get everyone ready and walk out the door. I look heinous, usually (right now I need a haircut...imagine a woman with Jeff Daniels' hair in Dumb and Dumber, but's bad). And all the other moms are wearing pretty exercise clothes, makeup, hair already done...or have on some really cute outfit. (I will say that they are nice to me...but I definitely don't fit the mold) I just don't have it in me to look good early in the morning! But the miracle is that my kids love me anyway. It's amazing. I just wrote a post on that the day before yesterday, actually. Anyway, thanks for sharing your sorry to hear about that little girl. I have to confess, I fall into the category of "Don't play with that it is gross!" Reading your post makes me sad about my own kids. Maybe I can try to be a little more relaxed about that...

Susan September 16, 2009 at 9:29 AM  

I'm with the schleppy mom.

Great post.

Too Many Hats September 16, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

I wanted to let you know the book I won came yesterday. I am so excited and plan on starting it tonight. Thanks!!!

Alexx September 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM  

I live in yoga pants! They are so comfortable, and not to mention they're extremely flattering for the bottom and legs. My Favorite brand is with out a doubt Tea Party from Their styles and colors are endless! Shipping is quick and world wide!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments September 16, 2009 at 9:29 PM  

love this post! I would definitely want the flowers :o)

Blessings & aloha!

Jennifer Haas September 17, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

Super cute story. My boys are usually the crazy guys off in the field catching bugs, collecting rocks, and looking for frogs. I am just waiting for the day that they come inside with a lizard in their pocket.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog September 17, 2009 at 8:05 PM  

Amen!!! What a great post. I'm so glad you shared this!

amanda September 18, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

made me want to cry. glad your the schleppy mommy...cuz i totally am as well!

Miranda September 22, 2009 at 9:25 PM  

Wow, such a great post. I feel really sad of Schleppy Mommy's child, poor thing.
You are awesome, i so relate to making sure your kids look great but you being only half thrown together, that's me too!

Robin October 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

Schleppy Mommies of the world unite!!! Great post - thanks for making me feel 'normal'!!! =)

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