I've been watching you for years now. I quietly wait on the sidelines as you shuffle your perfect children together into a perfect line. I see the beautiful family photos you are able to take because you are all the picture of beauty and your kids never have snot caked on their sleeve. I've long admired your dedication to working out, making healthy delicious dinners, and allowing your children only 30 minutes of "screen time" a day. I've read your Facebook status updates about how much you look forward to spending the day with your tiny people, and I've read the blog posts detailed with pictures about the perfect birthday party you put together for your toddler that will never remember it.
I've been watching you.
And envying you.
And waiting you out.
I want you to know that I think you're great. I thought you were great before you were a mom and you were oversleeping and missing class. I bet your kids would have thought you were great even then. I bet you would be great even if you didn't make the most amazing goodie bags that even I want to steal from my child when he brings them home. I would even think you're great if your child's birthday party invitations didn't rival those of the Presidential Ball. I'll still think you're great when you miss your child's doctor's appointment for the 2nd time. Because that's what I do.
I know that if I asked you why you do it, you would probably say that you really enjoy it. At least I hope that's what you'd say. I hope that you wouldn't tell me it's because you want to make all of the other moms jealous, or that you think we could all be a little humbled by your sheer creativity and awesomeness.
I would like to invite you to be unapologetically honest with me. I promise I won't judge you for the extra movie you let your kids watch yesterday, or for the gummy bears they had for breakfast. Save your excuses for someone who might need them. I, on the otherhand, understand.
I think we should all admit that we're all just mediocre at this parenting stuff - that perfection is overrated and underpaid. I want you to have a bad hair day, and to forget snack money every once in awhile. I want you to at least act like it's okay if I do.
I just want you to know that you can talk to me about your insecurities, and that you can admit when you feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated. Please, tell me about the time you almost burnt your house down making scrambled eggs, and I'll tell you about mine. I want to hear about the tears you cry because your children know the exact buttons to push that send you over the edge.
Please, I'm begging you to be honest with me.
I'll put the kettle on.
I'll pour you a cup of tea.
We'll be honest for just one afternoon.
And I bet we'll laugh about it.
Maybe we'll need red wine and chocolate.
Yeah, that's a better idea.
And I would tell you that You Are Enough.
And I think I'll be able to convince you to come over to the dark side with me. You know the side. The one with unkept hair, mascara smudges, and snot dried on your clothing. The one where you read the parent letter wrong and don't send a lunch. The one where you let your kids watch more than 30 minutes of t.v. so that you can have a moment to yourself. The one where you pretend to go to the bathroom so that you can lock the door behind you and sit in quiet solitude.
It's also the side where you can leave your house in the height of uncleanliness to go out for coffee with a friend, and where you will invite someone in while giving them a hard-hat and absolutely no apology or explanation as to why it looks like a construction zone.
It's the side with second-hand clothing, and a car that's too small for your family.
It's the side where you blow-off naps for an afternoon at the beach. Where you let your kids strip down to their undies just to run into the ocean, only to realize you didn't pack any towels or extra clothes.
It's a beautiful side. And you're invited. Because I can already tell that I like you.