I'm a member of a club. It doesn't have a name. There is no official membership, yet all those who are part of the club realize they're members. We don't have a secret handshake, we don't have the time or spare hand for that. There are no dues levied, but trust me, we've paid our dues.
I am a member of the "Late Mothers Club". We meet, or rather pass, every school day as we escort our young children to school in the nick of time, or perhaps a few moments after the bell rings. As we pass we offer a knowing smile or grimace. We understand each other's situations because we are also living it. Sometimes, particularly after the children are in the school and on their way to class, we might take a moment to actually talk for a moment or two. Before the drop off, there's no time for such pleasantries.
One day last week another "late mother" was looking at me and smiling during the rather lengthy walk from the parking lot to the school. (Okay, it's not that long, but when your Kindergartner is on the verge of being late and you're carrying a two-year-old, it's a long walk.) When we got closer together she said, "(Another late mother) and I were just talking about how when we are walking our kids to school we're all stressed out and you always waltz to school all happy and stress free."
What? Stress free?! That's not true at all. In fact, right before we left the house my daughter probably thought I was the devil incarnate, given the way I was yelling at her to do what her father told her and get out the door. I tell my fellow late mother those thoughts, save the devil-incarnate part because obviously I only share such intimate details with anyone who reads the column, not a member of my secret club. "Well then, you obviously hide the stress well," she replied with a smile.
We smiled, laughed, and went about our day.
But that exchange stuck with me. Me, stress free? Ha! Me, hiding my stress well? Ha! I always feel like I look like a big ball of stress with messy hair, simple kid-friendly clothes, and no-to-little make up when everyone else looks like they stepped out of a catalog.
The reality? Somewhere in the middle, I'm sure. You see, we all see ourselves through critical eyes and we all see others through those proverbial rose-colored glasses. Somewhere in the middle you'll find truth.
As we celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday, I have a particular burden for mothers knowing that they are doing just fine. Your house may not be perfectly clean - please tell me it's not perfectly clean to ease my own conscience! You may not make all of the adorable crafty ideas found on Pinterest. You may not make glorious snacks for your children as shown on Facebook.
In reality, you may spend a bit too much time on Pinterest and Facebook. But you know what? I think that's okay too. For many mothers that is their little way of escape and socializing in the midst of this crazy thing called motherhood.
We all have to find our own normal-our own level of life that keeps us sane. My new philosophy is, "It's life!" Just do the best you can, spend your time and energy on the things that are important, try to learn from your downfalls but move on, maybe even ignore some of those little hangups, and live life!
Happy Mother's Day to all of those fabulous mothers out there! Trust me, you're fabulous-even if you belong to the "Late Mothers Club" like me!