As I pulled up to park my car to our spot for the Homecoming Parade at 9:30AM this morning, I unraveled the knot from the top of my head to readjust the ponytail clump I had wrapped up so messily atop my head. I took the glasses off my face and picked the mascara clump that was sitting so crustily in the corner of my eye. I pulled up the hood of my oversized sweatshirt and calmly ordered my kids, who were already storming out the car with their freezer-sized ziplock bags, to chill the eff out (but in kinder words, mind you) and stay by the car.
And then I saw her. The perfect mom. Her hair was curled in loose blond waves, her makeup and complexion perfectly fresh, her long-sleeved denim shirt hugged her body over her fleece-lined leggings and she wore boots that were mid-knee with heels 2-3 inches high. Her two little kids were holding hands, the boys’ hair perfectly spiked and the little girl’s hair was straightened with bows and she was also decked out in a fluffy tutu and in our school’s colors. They were smiling, carrying their matching recyclable totes for their candy. They were laughing and smiling up at their mommy with admiration, while I was trying to keep my little rug rats from going in and out of the car.
The thing is, I’ve seen this mom many times before and it’s not like she has an event to go to after the parade or any other activity she does for that matter. She is ALWAYS so nicely put together…is ALWAYS smiling…and is ALWAYS wearing heels. I wonder if she could feel all the other eyes of moms on her as she tossed her blond hair over her shoulder as she bent down to tie her son’s shoes. You could totally see the other women probably mentally beating themselves up like I was, “Man, she’s gorgeous. She looks perfect. I despise her. She must be unhappy at home. I’m glad my husband isn’t here because he’d need his jaw lifted off the ground. Ugh.”
The thing is, I used to be this mom. I used to take the time to get all dolled up every.single.day. And it was exhausting! The curling iron was hot an hour before I left the house. My clothes were fashionable and my makeup was about two to three layers thick, but I looked great and I felt great too! Heck, I even wore heels almost every day. Heels on boots. Heels on heels. Chunky, stiletto, platforms, you name it. I was styling, even if my feet hurt. But I felt like the hard work getting ready was something that warranted compliments.
Now, getting ready for the day is something I typically do a half hour before I need to go out the door for work everyday. That time INCLUDES making sure my other kids are dressed and put together as well. My makeup isn’t as precise, but I’m presentable. Now ten years later, I’m all about comfort. Immediately when I get home, I’m FREE! I’m taking my socks off. I’m whipping my bra off. I’m putting on my comfiest pair of yoga pants to lounge in. I’m taking out my contacts and wiping my makeup off. You know what else? Heels are not even in my shoe closet! Years of primping and strutting around in heels wreaked havoc on my feet causing bunions that I’m going to have to have sawed down in the next couple of years. But hey, it’s life!
So why is it when another woman gets all dolled up and is all flawless looking that we as women wince, get immediately jealous or beat ourselves up with the whole comparison process?
I am guilty of this on more than just this occasion, trust me. From here on out, instead of doing an eye roll or when I start thinking those negative thoughts, I’m going to stop myself in my negative tracks. BAM! I’m going to slap myself right upside the head and say, “Girl, she is woman. Hear her roar! Cheer this woman on! Give her kudos as she struts around carrying her carseat with a 12 pound infant in it, all while wearing 3 inch heels. THAT is an empowered woman!” Granted, I may not carry around bunion pads to give out to moms for foot protection against kitty wompus protrusion, but I will smile and give her the fellow seal of mom approval. We women need to stick together and support one another because at one point or another, we have all worn high heels and hurt deeply from them. We need to be supportive to the moms out there who do have that extra energy to spare on themselves!