A random Thursday night and I’m surrounded by a handful of talented, educated, intelligent women at the nearest Mexican restaurant, and I pause. What did each of us go through to get here tonight?
Each of us rushed out of the house at 8:30 — after putting the kids down to bed, of course. Each of us rushed out in a frenzy, feeling overwhelmed by the constant to-do list running through our minds. Each of us made sure that the kids’ lunch, backpack, and outfit for the next day were prepped and ready before heading out. Each of us parked our cars and immediately touched up our makeup — because we just didn’t have a moment to stop and take care of it before leaving the house as were already running late. Each of us dashed into the restaurant and collapsed into the others’ arms with a sigh of relief thinking “I’m finally here!”
Motherhood is our bond — but the need for surrounding ourselves with support is the bigger quest. You see, more often than not, we assume the person sitting across from us has it so much better OR doesn’t know what our day has been like OR has no idea what we have gone through to get here. We just assume that no one knows what our frustrations feel like. You know what they say about people that assume, right?
We each have a story and may not always go around showcasing it for the world to see. We all have the same level of stresses and drama — but they come in different forms. Oftentimes I’m told that I carry my anxiety, frenzy, drama very well; truth is, I don’t feel like airing my dirty laundry when I’m trying to have a great time. I choose not to rain on my own magical parade of enjoying a night out. I choose not to think about the craziness and drama when I’m out.
Our stories stem from who we are and what we do; we tend to label ourselves. The stay-at-home-mom, the part-time working mom, the full-time working mom. Why can’t we just be a “mom”? Society has us labeled and these labels come with some pretty nasty stereotypes. I know first hand, that as much as I would like to stay away from these stereotypes, they’ve crept up on me from time to time. The nasty stereotypes we’ve all heard like “it must be fun sitting around eating bon-bons all day” OR “the nanny mothers my kids better than my wife” OR “the mom, otherwise known as the maid.”
So many times I hear “gee, it must be nice…” — and I cringe waiting for what is to come after. Maybe what is to come will most likely sound like a back-handed compliment. Why do we naturally assume the woman sitting across from us has it so much better? It’s a societal view…what you see is what you get, right? Truth is, if I showed up looking like how I really feel, I would be a “hot mess.” I would be disheveled, sobbing with mascara running down my face, and most likely in my yoga pants from the day before.
So here I am, surrounded by these amazing group of ladies, taking in the funny stories of what little “Johnny” did at school, the stupid husband anecdotes, recipe exchanges, and book reviews. Did it matter that I folded laundry while watching Gilmore Girls reruns at 1:00 in the afternoon while the woman across from me was in a tense board meeting?
Who cares how she got here? Who cares if my day was worse than hers? Does it matter if I worked harder than anyone? NO. Let’s just be and diminish the societal views and focus on the fact that we are here in this moment. Who knows what each of us will have to deal with once we leave this restaurant? All we can do is enjoy this moment and take it in, one sip at a time.
Cheers to that!
Your Brainy Chick,