Don’t Judge a Mom by her Outfits

This post originally ran on CT Working Moms on 1/15/2012

I have  a crush on one of the mothers at preschool pick up. She’s always totally put together and has a smile on her face. She wears work out clothes most days but never looks frumpy. She manages to pull it off. Her hair looks great in a pony tail or a wool winter hat, she has different sunglasses based on what she’s wearing and I don’t think she wears any make up. She has three kids, two of which are under one year old and drives a HUGE SUV, because of course she wouldn’t drive a loser cruiser minivan. Her preschooler is just as put together as she is; always wearing khakis and fancy shoes. My kid on the other hand goes to preschool right from morning child care so most days he shows up with a milk mustache from lunch and marker all over his hands. Her whole family just looks so relaxed and fun. Most days I drive away wishing I could be just like her.

But then part of me remembers a conversation I had with someone over the summer. At a mutual friend’s birthday party, I ran into a therapist that used to run a playgroup I attended when Max was a baby. It was an Early Intervention/Birth to Three playgroup so it was the only place I felt comfortable at that time. It was the only place where all the other moms and all the other kids were just like mine. But once I left there, I was dying inside. I cried (ALOT) and was really, really lonely. I was really sad, and really confused and really wanted to be someone other than myself. But when I saw that woman this summer, she remembered me. She said she always remembered me because I was so put together. I seemed to have everything under control and was at peace with what was happening with Max. Secretly I felt proud that I had pulled it off. I guess to the outside world I looked pulled together.

Sound like someone else I’ve been talking about? So I guess the moral of the story is, just because someone looks put together and might resemble what I’d think Preschool Mom Barbie might be like, doesn’t mean she living in a dream house.