My kids love to watch videos on the computer. My oldest daughter is particularly obsessed with videos made by super moms. The ones that paint their lives perfect on their fresh internet canvas.
At first I didn’t mind her watching them. They were innocent enough. There were no swear words. There was no nudity. There was no yelling. There was no violence. Until I realized, there was no reality to any of it.
This started to really bother me. She thinks she’s growing up in this dysfunctional house and that every other house is the complete opposite of ours. She thinks that we’re the only parents that yell. The only parents that have rules. The only parents that get drunk and pass out on lawn chairs in the backyard in the middle of the day.
I had to set her straight. I was driving her and a friend home one day from another friend’s house. They were talking in the back saying how the friend’s mom never yells and their house is always so clean. I hit the brakes.
I took this opportunity to explain that the grass isn’t always greener and no ones’s life is perfect. I even went as far as to say, I’m sure there are people who have been to our house who think it’s always clean and that I never yell. This is when my daughter bowed her head in shame and her friend burst out laughing. I muttered screw you as I threw the car in drive and took off. As I gave them the finger in the rear view mirror.
One day my daughter came up to me with her laptop. Mom you should really try this. She’s always coming up to me, mom you should try this, mom you should try that. So I indulge her and watch the video.
It’s a perky little mother (effer) making a “stress ball.” I pause the video right there and explain how I don’t like handling squishy balls. Ever. And I reiterated how I hope she doesn’t either. At least not in high school. I’m met with an eye roll.
I resume the video. After watching it in its entirety, I slam the laptop shut. I have had enough.
That’s not how I handle stress. That’s not how normal people handle stress. I then explain what a lying Pinterest-y whore is.
I go on in detail to explain that when I get stressed out I yell. I slam doors. I scream. I throw things. I drink. I smoke. I take pills. Like a real person.
I can feel the judgement in my daughters eyes burning a hole in my soul. Why would I want to put corn starch in a balloon and squeeze it when I have your pretty little neck right here that I can wring?
Real women are not perfect and perfect women are not real. For real.
I can be a very creative person. Sometimes on the kids’ birthdays I make a full on scavenger hunt for them to find their present. Sometimes I don’t even wrap it and just give it to them in the Target bag it came in.
I can be a very organized person. Sometimes I have everything written on the calendar and get everyone where they’re supposed to be. Sometimes I have my head right up my own ass for weeks at a time. And I get emails from coaches, teachers, doctors, and other parents asking what the hell is going on over here.
I can be a very clean person. Sometimes my house shines like the top of the Chrysler building. Sometimes there are ants on my counters and dirty underwear on the dining room floor.
I don’t spend my days on DIY projects. I don’t spend my time being a sneaky devil trying to find ways to get veggies into my kids hot dogs. I don’t do art projects. Some days I don’t make the beds. Some days I don’t even get out of bed.
It’s life. Life isn’t always pretty. Everyday isn’t a picnic of crisp linens and silver flatware. I don’t have the time or energy to be a supermom. I’m totally fine with just being mom.
I’ve decided to let my daughter continue to watch her fantasy videos. Because I’ve come to the conclusion that she watches them to escape her reality. Just like I drink my wine. She’s handling her stress in a normal fashion. And I couldn’t be prouder.
The important thing is that she gets to see first hand what a real mom is like. And some day she’ll be a mom just like me. I get emotional just thinking of the day when I get to see her lose her sh!t on her own kids as I quietly crush a Xanax and slip it into her coffee.
There is no such thing as being perfect. You heard it here first.
***I let my daughter read this before posting and she wanted to add that I never make the beds and that now she’s never going to drink coffee. She gets it.