See that perfect mom over there? The one with the perfect kids? And the perfect hair? Yeah, you know who I’m talking about. The one who never seems to have any yogurt smears on her designer yoga pants or *gasp* wears a skirt. The one who volunteers for all of the committees. The one who feeds her kids perfectly balanced organic meals and never raises her voice.
SHE’S NOT PERFECT.
And I can bet you her kids aren’t either.
I bet her kids throw tantrums and make messes and refuse to brush their teeth just like yours and mine do.
I bet her kids jump on the sofa and hit their siblings and spill Goldfish crackers all over the car.
I bet her kids refuse to eat broccoli.
I bet her kids fight bedtime.
And I bet she loses her temper, just like you and I do.
I bet she hides in the bathroom.
I bet she sneaks chocolate.
I bet she fights with her spouse.
I bet she messes up.
I bet she yells.
I bet she cries.
I bet she feels like she can’t keep up more often than not.
I bet she second-guesses herself and worries if she’s doing a good enough job at this crazy thing called motherhood, just like you and I do.
It’s so easy to take one glance at someone and assume that she has it all together. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to another and assume that just because her hair isn’t in a messy bun and her kid isn’t currently screaming, that she’s a better mom. With better kids. And better hair (OK, maybe she wins on the hair front).
But I can almost promise you she’s not. Motherhood is hard. And the pressure to be perfect is pervasive. In the media. In society. In our peer groups. So we hide. We pretend. We put up a facade. We don’t let on that raising our children—as miraculous and wonderful as it is—makes us want to scream sometimes.
We pretend to be perfect. On the outside. When inside we’re screaming.
So next time you see that mom—the one with the perfect kids and perfect hair—just remember, she’s not perfect. She’s a mom. She’s trying. She’s doing her best. She’s perfectly imperfect. Just like you and me.