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Monday, May 30, 2011

Perception of a Mommy

We're all guilty of it!

We all look at other mommies and have our "judgement" of them. Not necessarily that we judge them, but that we have our opinion of them or our "label" for them.

There are the moms that just can't seem to get it together, the grumpy ones, the ones that yell too much, the one that always looks like they need a coffee, the ones you want to hug and say "it's gets better" to.

And then there are "those" moms. The ones that have it too together. The "princess" that can still afford designer clothes and expensive haircuts. The Moms that have the "perfect" children to go along with their "perfect" lives.
There are the ALWAYS Fun Moms and Happy Moms and the moms that we wish we could be even just a little more like.

You know whats crazy about that? I think if I look at the "list" that I just wrote, I probably fit into each one of those categories in someone's eyes.
Some people see me at the worst of times. Others see me only at my best.

I guess really, it's all perception, isn't it??

I've often wondered (usually while labeling another mommy) how I appear to other women. What label do I have stuck to me?? Wouldn't it be so nice to be able to step back and watch as someone else for a day? To see how we appear to the world, and not to ourselves? (I'm getting deep, eh?)

Last week when I dropped Gracie off at school. (you all know how my Thursday mornings go, if you don't, read here) I won't lie, I was feeling completely overwhelmed and frazzled. On my way out, one of the other mommies stopped me and said:
"I don't know how you do it!"...
Me: "Ummm Pardon?"
Her: "I don't know how you manage to be so put together this early in the morning. You, your girls, you're always so put together".
Me: (fighting hysterical laughter) Little chuckle and then "Thank you! but honestly,, this (hands motioning up and down body) is all a facade!! Trust me, we're the farthest thing from put together! but Thank you!"

I could have just said "thanks" and moved on, but that goes against everything I'm trying to achieve. I want mommies to know that we all struggle, that we all have tough days. I don't want people to think that I'm perfect. (although its kind of nice to think)
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to be a mom that makes others beat up on themselves. I don't want to be "that" mom to someone. That mom that makes them wish they were something more than they are.
I would rather be honest and say:

"Look! Yes I have my hair and makeup done. My kids are wearing cute clothes and have really cute hair. All of this and it's only 9am.. But give it to me because it's all I've got!" "Right now the only thing I can think about is coffee. When I get home, I'll be faced with the cleanup from what might have been a tornado, I've got 5 loads of laundry and no food in my fridge. I'll also have a struggle to put this very whiny one year old down for her nap so that I can have 5 minutes to myself. Having my hair and makeup done just makes me feel a little better!"

So my friends, that's it. I just wanted to put it out there, to remind you, that everyone views us differently. It could be very different than we have ourselves viewed. Maybe it's better, maybe it's worse.
I'm sure if you asked another mommy at the school that day, she would have noticed that Gracie had mismatched socks and that I forgot her school bag. She might have called me a "scatterbrain".

I realized that day in Nursery School that all of my "labels" that I have for other mommies are just that.. It's just my view, my opinion and I'm probably WAY off, just like that nice mommy was with me!!!

Perception ladies, It's all perception!!!! As long as you like what you see and who you are,(at least most of the time) nothing else matters!

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TerinAleah said...

I love this!! :) It's SO true! And like you said, I probably fit into ALL of those categories as well! lol! I guess we're just diverse? lol

GJT said...

Great post. I think I probably mostly fit in to the Frazzled mom category. And I tend to envy those that look like they always have their act together. But it's helpful to remember that sometimes, it is just that, an act. Fake it till ya make it sometimes, right?
Visiting from voiceBoks!

Anonymous said...

ah Sarah I love you and again think we were friends seperated at birth cuss I watched some mom's at the park yesterday and was totally Labeling or Judging and then I stopped and thought at least they are at the park with their kids.. ha ha I am so the frazzled, yells to much and maybe a bit of fun added in :)
All about what day you catch me on.. and how many beers I have had :)

OneMommy said...

So true. Your own perception is the most important. I know I have been the mommy that has yelled at her kids in public a few times, and probably got on someone's "bad mommy list" and I've also been told how put together we looked - if they only knew! LOL.
Thank you for this post - found it on bloggy moms!

Steph said...

Oh Sarah, this post is so true!!! I have a friend who thinks the world of me because she thinks I'm "so perfect." Well, you know what, I have my bad days but I don't like to talk about it! lol! I tell her that everyday is a struggle and we chug along because we need to do it. I don't like to dwell on the negatives of the day so we keep moving forward... and at the end of the day i just collapse! but i look at my children at the end of the day and they will not remember that i yelled at them for not getting in the car fast enough, eating all their breakfast, brushing their har/teeth, grabbing their jackets on the way out the door, or walking faster so we are not late to get in their class lines... They will remember that we sang at the top of our lungs on the way home, ate popcorn while doing doing homework, and slurping down a smoothie from our frozen strawberries that we couldn't finish the week before. SO I may not be a perfect mom...but I don't want to be. :) I may look disheveled to others, i may yell too much, but hey, my children are nice children on the playground (relatively speaking) and they love me! lol

Kristina said...

I think the very last sentence of your post is the most important - we have to like who we are as a mum, and not worry about someone else's label. It's not easy though... I have friends whose houses are always perfectly clean, whose patience in unlimited, whose ability to juggle everything is amazing... and I try to learn as much as I can from them... But most of all, I try to focus on the things that I can do well (as a mum)... because thinking of the things we can't always do means we're never at that last sentence.

Thanks for sharing:). Found you through Bloggy Moms.


Sarah said...

Thanks for all of your great comments ladies! I'm glad that this meant something to all of you.
I think it's so easy to focus on all of the other mommies out there. Of course we only ever see the good in them.. Or... we see the really bad some of the others.. I always find it scary to see a little of myself in those "moms" that I'm labeling as "bad".... maybe that is something I should take a harder look out.. What we sometimes don't like in another is something that reminds us of ourself.
Thanks again everyone for popping in!!

Becky Jane said...

That picture says it all...thanks for such an inspiring post!

Just stopping by to say: Thanks for being a voiceBoks friend!
Becky Jane

jbplbarbara said...

It's amazing how we just label each other without thinking about it. I do agree with you that sometimes it's all about perception. Love your pic of the cat & lion, awesome :) Visiting from vB. Hope you can come on over by my blog and be part of the Spanish journey.
Many blessings,

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