This I Believe

Stacie - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Entered on January 25, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I am many things but, try as I might, I cannot reach the pinnacle of perfection. I will never be the Uber Mom – you know who I’m talking about. The one whose children never act up, who are always coiffed and dressed to the nines, with a carefully made-up face that you know took hours to achieve but looks oh-so-fresh and sleep-fulfilled. She speeds from job to school to activity to supermarket faster than a speeding bullet in her immaculate automobile. Her children eat healthy meals three times a day; vegetables are their friend. The idea of McDonald’s is horrifying to them: “What? Eat French fries cooked in

trans fat? Play with a mass-produced useless piece of plastic that was probably put together by some poor child who earns 3 cents a day? Never, Mother! We so appreciate the steamed beans and chicken you make us every night.” I speed from place to place as well, but my car is full of permission slips, mismatched mittens, and the occasional French fry. I fail miserably in the delicious healthy meals department as well. I serve a fruit and vegetable with every meal but the fruit is usually packed in light syrup and the vegetables are fresh. Fresh frozen, that is.

Her house is immaculate, so much so that you can eat off the floor. You can eat off my floor, too. Heck, you might even get full. She never raises her voice. The only thing she raises is a well tanned, manicured hand as she drinks her Starbucks latte. No fat. Sugar free. Of course. I can not compete with this superstar. My nails are not manicured. They are chipped and broken and the ones that are semi long have dried play dough and paint underneath from art projects. I am lucky to brush my teeth in the morning, much less run one through my hair. Make-up? Tinted moisturizer, Chap Stick, and, if I’m lucky, mascara. Sometimes I remember to put the mascara on both eyes. I’ve learned it tends to look better that way.

Yes, I am a failure. My hands are covered in sunspots from sitting outside for swimming lessons, t-ball or just playing in the dirt with my kids. Fat-free and sugar-free latte? Open my veins and pour that coffee in straight up. I am not a super mom, just a regular mom trying to raise my kids to know right from wrong; to be decent, productive members of society. I get tired, I raise my voice and I feel guilty.

I want them to know they are loved and hope that I am instilling a strong sense of self in them, as well as faith. I may never be Uber Mom and that’s OK. Just being a mom is enough.