Preschool Pick Up and Drop Off Hell: Are you a Shiny Mom?

Do I care what that other mom thinks?  You know, the one whose freakishly adorable daughter trollops on into the preschool classroom with a  cute (new one owner only, low miles)outfit with matching hair bow or 'do dads' in a (not only brushed but styled too!) hair do?  

What does that painfully pretty, well made up, nicely attired and smiling mama think of me and my girls as we stumble into the building barely on time. (But dressed, which may be lucky, yes?)  Did she hear the f bomb I dropped as I also dropped my keys?  Again?  Did she recognize that whatever my girls are wearing was worn by someone else? (A few times!)  Does she feel obligated to take up a collection to buy me a hairbrush, since I have yet to manage my older daughter's wonderfully energetic hair?    (The other day at the breakfast table she had a ponytail in and I started to compliment my husband for 'doing' her hair...he clarified she slept in that was left over from the day before.  Oh.  Well...)

When our preschool bucket has stickers hot glued to it because the awesome glitter spray paint I started with kept them from adhering....but other moms have painted themes, beribboned bucket handles, wonderful creativity...

And don't even get me started about the time I was late to pick Portia up.

I'm a wildcard.  I like myself.  I do not let my kids disrespect me, they are usually well behaved and dressed nicely half the time.  I get my shower and coffee and me time.  I like how I mother and think I am doing just fine.

But I wonder what the other moms think.  I do. 

I care.  Even as confident as I am in who I have become in my life...I worry about what other people think of me, my life and my two girls.  I wonder if I come across as arrogant or a VOA (Voice. Of. Authority.) when it comes to parenting.  I always offer unrequested is just the way I am and I only mean to help.  I worry it makes people not want to be around me.

I worry that at school Portia may be infamous for her unbrushed hair.  I know I have judged other children with crummy hair.  Now look at that karma...and it comes with cowlicks!  

I like looking at the 'shiny moms' as a gal pal of mine calls them.  I would rather look at them than at me, and sometimes I am pretty darling myself...but often.....oh...

Even as I work out my own motherhood and feel confident in my choices....I still wonder what the other mom thinks.  I worry that in reality I do not stack up and I should be trying to hide that fact better.  But I don't.  I let my good and bad hang out.  I am honest about my days and real with other people about my challenges.  I would like to be prettier and calmer and a perfect mama, wife and woman.  I worry about what that other mom thinks and I decide to be ok with that.

What about you?  Confident?  Cowering?  Both?  I'd like to hear your tales of preschool pick up and drop off....but lemme put on some lipstick first ok?  Can I borrow yours?

(This post originally ran in 2012 on Mumbling Mommy Blog)

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