Dear Perfect Mum,
If you're reading this, I'm confident that you're doing so while sipping on a hot cup of green tea after having accomplished all of the things on your to-do list . . and in a timely manner. Laundry probably has been washed, folded, and put away; Pinterest-worthy lunches and snacks have been assembled for the week; appointments have been made and kept in your meticulously organized planner; and you're in the midst of putting together one of the most spectacular birthday parties that a child has ever seen. This is, of course, after having worked all day or perfecting your side hustle.
Unlike myself, you really seem to have this parenting thing down. I'm lucky if I get enough laundry done before the dirty basket fills up to the top again. Snacks mostly consist of whatever my child will eat (and are sometimes used as bribery), and I'll be dammed if I'm going to take the time to put a bow made out of cheese on it to make it look more appealing. For my son's last birthday, I almost forgot to order the cake, and if it hadn't been for my husband, I would have. Don't even get me started on the lack of decorations, since a 2-year-old's birthday party is more about the adults anyway, right?
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by you. Part of me — mostly the jealous part — is frustrated and skeptical by all of your hard work, as if it has anything to do with me at all. If you're the hallmark of an amazing parent, what does that say about me and my occasional failures? Your kid probably didn't go to the library today in his pyjamas.
However, instead of belittling your accomplishments, I'm instead going to say thank you. Parenting is hard, especially when you have more than one kid and especially when they're young. We're all just trying to do our best, and for each parent, that looks different. Thank you for showing me a different way to parent and that with planning and effort, chores can get done. Snacks don't have to be haphazardly strewn together, and parties can actually be thematic.
You're amazing, you inspire me, and I salute you.
Logically, chances are that even in the midst of your perfection, there are places where you want to improve. I'm also willing to bet that you allow yourself to have a few mum breakdowns behind closed doors (and definitely not on Instagram). I'm here for you because, like I said earlier, motherhood is rough. I learn things from you, and I bet you also learn a lot from me. I hope I teach you that life doesn't always have to look perfect. Messes happen, appointments are sometimes missed, and it's perfectly OK to surrender in a battle with your kids if it means they'll get to school on time.
The last thing any of us needs is to be made to feel insufficient. In trying to create an empowered group of women, I'm glad we have you on our team. After all, we need your keen planning abilities.
With love and admiration,
A Different Kind of Mum