I have a confession to make.
So, naturally, I planned a personal “Mom’s Night Out” with a doctor.
I rented a Rug Doctor machine to clean my carpets…and when you rent a rug doctor machine, it reminds you of when you used to have time to rent movies. You might be inclined to stop at Casey’s on the way home from renting the rug doctor machine and look at their movie rentals. A movie called “Moms Night Out,” will catch your eye. You’ll drive home to clean your carpets. When you arrive, you begin to feel like a loser as you survey the disastrous mess inside your home. You become overwhelmed and are suddenly reminded of The Fly Lady’s advice to jump in anywhere. You decide to begin by sweeping your hardwood and laminate floors with a plan to then move upstairs to the carpeted areas. Your broom will remind you of the young girl who used to get excited about going to bars and singing karaoke. You might sing a little.
Then, you become curious about the movie you rented – do the moms in the Moms Night Out movie go out singing? This makes you remember that every now and then, its ok to take a break. So you sit down to watch a little bit of the movie with a glass of Mountain Dew to revive your drained body – drained because you’ve spent the last week shuffling kids and working extra followed by attempting to catch up on laundry and clean toilets until the wee hours of the night.
You hit play on the movie. Within minutes you are crying. Tearing are weeping from your eyes as your body laughs uncontrollably. You begin to analyze the characters. There are mothers who are going over and beyond, projecting a perfect persona of motherhood. You know the mothers. The ones who always look effortlessly put together. The ones you spend hours trying to figure out while looking at the ceiling in the middle of the night. Just how do they do it. What am I doing wrong? Why do they look at me like I’m a lunatic? Why do they look at me like what they’ve achieved is so easy, something must be wrong with me because I can’t even halfway measure up. I can almost hear their thoughts,
“She should certainly be hung by her toes and have her wrists slit because she is so inadequate. She should never be allowed to volunteer for anything. Ever.”
Or, read their lips when whispering to other moms at the football game,
“Oh, there SHE is. Can you believe her house? She will never be allowed in our “perfection mom club,” which requires pristine floors, with furnishings straight out of a Country Living issue and a casserole worthy of a Pinterest board sitting on the dining room table.”
Or, I can even imagine what the perfect Facebook moms are saying in private messages,
“She can’t even complete one task to the ten million I can complete. You know, if she didn’t have three kids, boys no less, she wouldn’t be such a mess. And, what is she thinking working full-time? When was the last time she actually wore make up and wasn’t dressed in pajamas?”
A child goes missing in the movie and your thoughts are brought back to reality. You are transfixed as the occurrences in the movie mirror your own life. As fast as you began crying from laughter, you being sobbing from empathy. Sobbing from realization. Sobbing because you’ve allowed yourself to compare your life to women who have a completely different set of circumstances. Women who likely have plenty of their own struggles. And, you’ve compared your life to childhood expectations of the perfect life.
This will remind you that your house is a disaster. A wonderful disaster.
You’ll be compelled to write a blog post and it will end something like this…
to moms everywhere,
Life isn’t about making ourselves look happy or perfect. Perfection is fantasy. We need to realize that we. are. enough. Our lives do not need to change. We need to change the way we look at our lives. Its about finding the meaning with the chaos.
You are loved. You are loved for being you. Just be you.
The mom who is always a mess…a beautiful, hilarious mess.