Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Domestic Enemies of a Reformed Perfect Mommy

When this guest post arrived - we were intrigued.  A reformed perfect mommy? And we thought, we really need to see what all this is about. Her experience is fascinating. Like a sociology experiment. 

Reading this honestly made us feel a couple of different things:
  • Relief, that even Gwyneths feel the pressure to be perfect and think it sucks.
  • Happy, that our message of "we suck, but we're working on it!" had made someone feel better on a bad day.
  • Concerned, are we responsible for this woman's downfall from Gwyneth to Boobstain?
Read for yourself and you be the judge...


So, I'm no one famous or even halfway cool. Just a mom of five kids, three under the age of four (because my husband only had one winter hobby ). My confession is this: I used to be a Gwyneth. Yup. Cloth diapering, breastfeeding until college, organic, gluten/dairy/candy free, no TV, baby signing, gentle parenting, homeschooling, judging every other mom out there as "not as perfect as I am"- mom.

I was a Momster.

I am glad I reformed. I still lapse into "Organic Panic" when my kids overdose on oreos or when my husband points out that my formerly-non-tv-watching kids can quote Spongebob episodes, or when my kids say things like, "Mom says she's gonna knock me into next week" to their preschool teacher - but for the most part, I have dropped so many standards and lowered the bar so far that maybe even Plankton could achieve my new standards of motherhood.

What I did NOT expect was that downgrading from Gwyneth brings a whole slew of Domestic Enemies Unexpected.

My Own Kids
Start with the fact that my 16 year old routinely says things like, "Aw, man! How come I never got to eat candy/ watch cartoons/ wear disposable diapers? You are SO unfair!".  Then the 14 year old chimes in with things like, "I could have been playing video games instead of playing outside? Gah!"

I offered them both a Big People Huggies.

Or how about when your preschooler says random things to random shoppers in the grocery like, "Hey, Lady! Our mom lets us eat junk food now!" And your super verbal toddler (from all that baby sign language, vocabulary building crap you use to do when you were a Gwyneth) says, "Yeah, she doesn't care about our well being any more. She's burned out."

The People Who Told You So
This is the group of friends who used to smirk at you when you brought the cloth diapers to playgroup. You know, the ones you felt the need to argue with when they said things like, "When you have three kids under three, you'll embrace the dark side and buy some pull-ups." The same ones that smile blankly when you wouldn't dare let your kids eat their offering of Goldfish crackers or fruit roll ups.

Yup. You used to roll your eyes at them and chalk it up to the fact that they just aren't as motivated or organized or freaking perfect as you are. Or maybe that they didn't even love their kids enough to try harder. Now, you find yourself drunk dialing these gals at bedtime when your kids won't for-the-love-of-a-Tbox go to sleep so you can watch LA Ink in peace, to apologize for being such a douche-y douche.


The Friends Of The Gwyneth Days
Possibly the worst Domestic Enemy to have. If you think the Gwyneths are judgemental to the NORMAL moms, imagine how they tear into one of their own. It's like "Mean Girls" on crack. You are not safe ANYWHERE. One of these moms sees you at the grocery store in sweats buying GoGurt, and the gig is up. You will initially recieve sympathy- but only because they are trying to discover how deep you have fallen into Real Life. Shortly after, you will receive unsolicited "help" getting back on the bandwagon. Offers to babysit so you can go to Zumba. Homecooked organic meals to your freezer. Offers to adopt your children since you "no longer have their best interest in mind."

When you decline these offers, your former friends will continue to call you like a Southern Preacher, bent on saving your soul. When they have tried everything their little minds can think of, they will guilt you to death.

The Wannabees
The problem with having been a Serious Gwyneth is, well, a lot of Gwyneth Wannabees really looked up to me.  I don't mean to brag or nuthin', but I was the mom Gwyneth took lessons from. I had a private entourage of moms that watched me shop, asked for advice and recipes, and coveted my ability to vacuum in heels and pearls while simultaneously co-chairing MOPS and volunteering for charities that help feed starving orphans.

I have had to dissapoint many a sweet, struggling mom by confessing, "Honestly, it was all a facade. I was never that great," as I hork down Oreos, yell across the store at my kids for pulling down an entire display, shop for the ingredients for Kraft Mac and Cheese, and dust Oreo crumbs off the front of my three day old sweatshirt.

The Truth
For those wanna be moms, I was the jerk telling them the truth about The Tooth Fairy. There's no easy way to dissapoint these gals but I gave up being a Gwyneth for one very simple reason: I. Completely. Lost. My. Schmidt.

Because in trying to be "perfect", I made myself perfectly insane.

At a playgroup I went to recently (only because if I stayed home I was gonna be one of those moms on the six o'clock news), I talked to one of those "Told You So" friends who is kind enough to NOT say "I told you so"...

"How do you do it? How can you be so NORMAL and still have great kids and a happy life?" I cried, in a very rare, non-Gwyneth moment.  That dear friend handed me a Starbucks and said, "Have you ever heard of this blog Rants From MommyLand?"

I leave all of you hispter, perfect mommies with one small piece of advice: Use extreme caution when wearing some hip, cool, tres chic scarf while cleaning the toddler potty.

You're welcome.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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