Ms. Perfect

Do you ever build someone up in your mind? I managed to build this mom I know up to be the perfect mom. She is the one that comes to school in the morning with her hair perfectly done as opposed to my freshly slept on bedhead. She is always in style with the latest styles and looks like she walked out of Vogue without over doing it; where I tend to be a strictly jeans and solid T-shirt kind of mom. How does she make it look so easy to walk in heals? I only wear heals on special dates, weddings or funerals, much less on an ordinary day to pick up the kids. But once again Ms. Perfect manages to pull it off.

Then there are her kids. They are always cute as a button and so well behaved. She never seems frazzled or tired of their whining or a little bit happy to see them leaving for the day to school. Many times I feel wound so tight I could spin like a top after trying to get all of them dressed, fed, lunches made, packed, coat and mittened, buckled then unbuckled and into school. Each day I feel like I am Nascar driver zipping down the street hoping to get the checkered flag. We have yet to make the first bell but have also not been late either. I bet Ms. Perfect is never late. She is always waiting, perfectly on time, perfectly dressed, with every hair perfectly in place.

I imagined Ms. Perfect's house to be spotless and professionally decorated. If she looks like she just walked out of a magazine, I was sure her house had been featured in various design magazine. I was sure her kids never forgot to pick up their toys or that she got tired of constantly cleaning and once and a while just allowed the dishes to overwhelm the sink and the crumbs to stay on the floor. No, I pictured her happily tending to messes in her high heels and perfect hair. Never raising her voice or asking her children in a befuddled voice, "What is wrong with you?" I knew she never let four loads of laundry stack up just to do it and let it get all wrinkled as it sat for days waiting to be folded. No, I had Ms. Perfect right up there with June Cleaver.

Then one day I went to her house to drop Hailey off for a play date. I was dreading how inferior I would feel as I walked through her sparkling house as she smiled her perfect smile at me with her perfect hair and cute pumps. Of course her house looked perfect on the outside. Tons of curb appeal with great big oak trees framing her house, a nice wreath on the door, and a tasteful paint job. Just another notch for Ms. Perfect. I took a look at myself before getting out of the car and tried to scrape the dried baby food off my sleeve, quickly picked the little speck of pepper out of my teeth and attempted to straighten my shirt that had sat clean in the laundry basket for a few days before I pulled it on.

We rang the door and Ms. Perfect greeted us in sweats! Gasp! Her hair was in a pony tail and she didn't have any make-up on. What was wrong I wondered. Was she ill? She smiled her perfect smile and welcomed us in. I tried to keep up with our pleasantries as I internally let my jaw drop. The vacuum set out, still plugged into the wall waiting to start its job. The kitchen was an 80s model with dishes everywhere. Where were the sprawling granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances I just knew Ms. Perfect kept perfectly clean? Dishes! Lots of dishes and crumbs on the floor! Could this be? Maybe she was really sick.

She appeared happy and chipper and did not offer one apology or excuse for the state of the house. As I scanned the living room I noticed the mounds of laundry sitting on the sofa. I wasn't sure if it was waiting to be folded or waiting to be washed. I even noticed dog slobber and kid hand prints all over the slider! She is not perfect! Something about seeing dirt on the baseboards made me like her even more. She was real. She wasn't this perfect mom who had everything together. She is just a mom, just like any of us. Some just appear to make it look easy. I just adore this mom. I love it that she was not ashamed one bit to let me see her house in utter chaos. I have since been to her house a few more times and every time it is the same. Just like mine. There is something comforting knowing we are all imperfect.


Courtney said...

I think "Leave it To Beaver" ruined us all!
PS I have those four loads waiting to be folded too. They've been clean for days...;)
Perfectly Imperfect, right?

Melanie Haggerty said...

Funny, that's exactly how I always see you! Wonder Mom! It's comforting to kow that people DO that that stuff slide, I keep wodering how I'm going to manage it all with one!

Lacey said...

Ahhh...such a nice reminder that no one is perfect! where did these unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves come from? You inspired me to leave the house a complete disaster and not worry one bit about it! :) Hope you have a fun, one kid weekend! Love ya!