We all know them. Their kids have never eaten birthday cake. Their laundry has never sat in the dryer for two days before they folded it. They haven’t missed a 5 mile run at 4:30 in the morning since they were 15. They have elaborate parenting techniques for everything from discipline to chore assignments, and they love nothing more than to tell you about all of it.
I used to hate these moms. Their roots never needing to be done, they haven’t gained a pound since college, their perfectly behaved children somehow never get dirty? Then I realized something. Those moms hate me too. But not for the reasons I thought.
I can understand how those women might look at imperfect moms like me and shake their heads at how we don’t seem to have our act together, but the closer I look, the more I’m realizing that those moms don’t hate me because I can’t pull together a clever Thanksgiving turkey craft, or keep piles of magazines and books off of my coffee table. They hate me because they wish they could let go, but they can’t.
I know this because I struggle to let go, too. Just in different areas. I certainly don’t spend too much time being miserable about my out of shape body (anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that working out isn’t exactly taxing my schedule), or that I don’t have really, really white teeth (I’m admittedly exchanging pretty white teeth for red wine and coffee), or that my child doesn’t wear adorable clothes to school (I’m just so happy they’re almost always clean). The areas that I struggle to let go of aren’t immediately detectable, but I have a lot of them: I try to control how people will react or feel, I worry about everything you could imagine – diseases, the government, the environment, war, freedom, whether or not one of the Kardashian’s will ever have a successful marriage. I also have weird quirks that I can’t seem to shake; I have the same routines that I go through virtually every day of my life, and if I don’t do them, I’ll feel “off” all day. Yeah, I’m waving my freak flag right now.
After all of these years that I’ve been allowing myself to feel like “less” because of the gorgeous women who press their sheets and don’t eat gluten, I’ve finally started to realize that I’m just like them, and they’re just like me. They have knots in their stomach about someone finding out they haven’t washed their windows in months, and though I haven’t washed mine for even longer (nor am I worried about it), I have knots in mine because I’m worried about the skin cancer I might have in 30 years, and whether or not the government is withholding the cure for cancer they’ve probably already discovered (try walking around in this brain sometime!).
And it’s all lovely, and we’re all lovely, and we’re all perfectly not at all perfect.