The other day, I took C to her Kindergarten Screening. This was enough of a mindf*ck -- that she is old enough to start "real" school -- but I was also running late, looked a mess, and knew how nervous she was. Not the way I wanted to start this day, let alone her day. And of course when I walked in, there were a ton of other mothers there looking tres chic, hair done, great outfits, cute shoes (and all on a rainy day!). Cue to me feeling even "lesser than."
Once I settled in and gave myself a pep talk (you can do it! next time you'll have coordinating shoes, makeup, and a blowout! you CAN be like these other supermama's!) I was going to sneak a rare moment to read or catch up on emails. But I noticed a friend seated nearby, and we scooted over to sit near each other and catch up. She's a recent acquaintance, someone I know -- but not that well. Her daughter will be starting Kindergarten this fall as well. We started chatting, and as I took in some of the details of her life -- mom of three, including a new baby, a husband who travels a ton, works part-time, volunteers, etc. -- I asked her the question we all dread but can't seem to escape asking or being asked:
"HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!?!"
Her answer was awesome -- she looked me in the eye and with a wry smile simply said, "Not well!"
Now, I may not have known her for a long time, but I know her enough to know that she DOES do it well, and that she's a great mom, wife, friend, daughter, etc. But it was SO refreshing that she didn't put the facade up -- it was great that she was being honest, and that she felt she could be honest, about how she is (or isn't) doing.
Women, we are our own worst enemy sometimes. I realize that it was kind of brave of her to be frank with me. Usually women spend a lot of time trying to convince ourselves and our counterparts that we've got it all figured out, or even worse, we are looking to (even subconsciously) judge the other women in our life in order to make ourselves feel better.
After we parted ways, I thought a lot about our chat, and over the past days have turned it over in my head numerous times. I'm so grateful for such a simple statement -- the admission that not everything is easy, that not everything is perfect, and the tacit understanding that we all try our best and let the chips fall where they may. It was -- and is -- so freeing.
So, I am going to borrow some of the honesty and confidence of my friend, and be a little more open about how I do -- or don't -- do "it". Some days are full of awesome, I am on my game, and I should get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and whatever plaque or certificate that comes with it. And other days, it is tough not to count the hours until the tiny humans are packed off to bed. And most days are somewhere in-between. And that is just fine.