Monday, February 22, 2010

Stepford Moms

You know the ones I mean here.  They stand in the corner with their other mom friends, all wearing some perfectly coordinated outfit, usually designer jeans or yoga wear, with nary a hair out of place.  They always look relaxed and well-rested.  They totally had time to shower before coming to, well, where ever we are.  And you can also be reasonably certain that they remembered to put on deodarent before they left the house.  And make-up, of course.  And their kids are happily playing together in perfectly matched outfits, probably Baby Gap or Mexx or something reasonably posh.   Their children's hair is combed and slicked and barretted and be-ribboned.  And when it's snack-time, they will pull out their very expensive snack-time bento boxes, filled with  carefully prepared organic fruits and vegetables, which their children will somehow munch on without complaint (and none of it will get on their faces or clothes).  Their children do not look like the wild children from Borneo that I arrived with, now shrieking gleefully and running amok in their not-so-artfully mismatched second hand outfits, bedhead sticking up in so many directions it almost looks like starbursts.  Their children do not look like they are still wearing their breakfast on their face, or on their clothes.   (How these feats of together-ness is achieved, I do not know - but I will guess that lots of money, some nannies, and some housekeepers might assist in this process).

What I do know is that sooner or later, I will get "the look": that pitious glance or eyebrow raise or whispered snicker that says something along the lines of:  "that one really needs to get her shit together," or "another mom who let herself go," or "she must have given her nanny the day off" or something equally dismissive.

And equally inevitably, I will have run out of the house that morning, at break-neck speed, arms so full I could get a job as a professional juggler, determined not to be late (AGAIN!).  I will be wearing my uniform (jeans and a hoodie), and I will not have noticed that my son gifted me with peanut-butter and jam handprints on my ass or that Lucy spit up on my shoulder or that breastmilk is starting to pool in my bra and leak through my shirt, or something equally undignified.  I will not have had time to put on make-up, because Oliver wanted "just one more story" before we left, and even though I read it, he will have had a melt-down on the way to the car, because transitions are hard when you're 3.  I will not have had time to prepare a delicious and nutritious snack in a bento-box that I can't afford anyways, so I will have grabbed a granola bar or some goldfish and juice box on the way out the door.   It will probably be full of trans fats or some form of processed sugar, even though I have the best of intentions to avoid such things.  Half of the snack will end up on them, and on me.   And I will have forgotten to bring wipes to clean any of us up sufficiently, so I will now have to add juice stain to the breastmilk stained shirt, and to the steadily growing list of my egregious crimes to fashion and mom-manity. 

I'm that mom, and I'm generally okay with that.  I don't wear ballet flats and a pencil skirt to the park just because Clinton and Stacey say I should.  (Moreover, I really think someone ought to force Clinton and Stacey to take children to the park wearing ballet flats and pencil skirts, so they can see the error of their ways).  I own three pairs of jeans because we have to be broke if I want to stay at home with the kids.  And I am pretty happy, though admittedly harried, with my jam-stained, dishevelled life.  I don't have a designer nanny or a designer house-cleaner or designer clothes or designer lunch-boxes.  I don't live a designer life.  I live a messy, messy life, in a messy, messy house, with my messy, messy family.    I'm never gonna make the cover of "Yummy Mummy."  This down-to-earth, get-messy-on-the-floor-with-her-bed-head-sporting-kids really doesn't give a rat's ass.  I've got all the matters - happy kids, a roof over our heads, good times, and a partner that thinks I'm smokin', even with peanut-butter and jam handprints on my ass.  So, piss off Stepford Moms.  Flash your tastefully medium-sized bling somewhere else, and save your pity for someone who needs it.

Oh - and one other thing:

Maybe you don't want to be best friends with that fashion-challenged, messy, stained mama in the corner with toddler-sized peanut butter and jam handprints on her ass.  S'alright - if you haven't already guessed, I don't really want to be your friend, either.  But if only by virtue of either had our children via one of four general ways (having pushing their comparatively huge bodies out of one's vagina/having it sliced from one's stomach during major surgery/having endured agonizingly invasive adoption proceedings - or like my partner, living with a cranky pregnant woman and getting your hands nearly squeezed off during two different labours);  we mamas really ought to give each other the time of day, at the very least, and try to save the judging for when the other is safely out of eye and ear shot, alrighty?


  1. Great blog!! Very interesting indeed and all so true.

  2. I am one of those moms too.. the one with the jelly all over (last time it was fruit snacks that spilled onto my lap and melted to my pants) I took my 4 year old to a birthday party yesterday and felt like I had just stepped into Stepford. Its nice to know I am not alone.

  3. i think you're alluding to something really important here.
    while all those "perfect" mums spend infinite time in front of the mirror or shopping for new outfits or doing yoga or going to the salon, YOU'RE spending that time with your kids.
    of course, some self care is necessary, but not at the cost of quality time with one's kidlets.
    because really, your kids don't care if you're wearing make-up or if their hair is all purdy, they just want to spend time with their mama :)