Since being a stay-at-home mom for the last 2 years, I've met a lot of other moms in my situation. A few of them stand out in my mind...
There is a woman I see only briefly 3 times a week when we are both dropping off our kids at preschool. But I can't get her off my mind.
In those short 2 minutes of contact (mostly just visual) I marvel at her perfect makeup and beautifully styled shoulder-length hair. She always looks good. Always. Her outfits are casual but very cute and complete with tasteful accessories, of course. And she definitely works out cuz that mama's bod is CUTE. Oh yeah, and she's always genuinely, truly, happy and cheerful.
I know nothing about her except (a) she always looks good and seems energetically happy and (b) she has 4 kids, with the youngest still under age 2.
Those two facts baffle me to no end such that I find myself thinking about her at odd times during the day, randomly. Like my brain is now working overtime, scrambling to resolve this seemingly unbridgeable cognitive dissonance.
My latest theory, she has a full-time housekeeper and cook.
I know a mom who is always feeding her kid junk food for lunch. At first I thought it might be a once-in-a-while McDonald's treat, but nope. Every week her kid is chugging orange soda and munching on some kind of fast food. Somewhere Michael Pollan is weeping.
But instead of feeling superior and judgmental about this, I find myself secretly cheering her on.
You go Junkfood Mom! While the rest of us are begging and pleading our kids to eat some veggies and diluting our organic juices with water, you are feeding your kid crap. In front of all of us. Without any hint of shame.
While I'm a little concerned about this child's future health, I have to tip my hat to that kind of brazen boldness. I admire her chutzpah.
Ok, so this mom isn't a SAHM, but I still admire the heck out of her. She works full-time outside of the home and once had a brutal 10-day work stretch.
When she finally had a day off after that long period, she didn't rush to lavish time on her child (like the guilty mom in me would have done), but she spent the day with me, getting lunch and a pedi while her daughter remained in daycare all day, yet again.
Some may question her priorities, but I envy her ability to feel so secure in her relationship with her child. She told me her spouse complains that she doesn't spend enough time with her kid.
I told her, dude, you're like my hero.