So, tomorrow, bug will be heading off to his first day of 3K. Yesterday, we had an orientation, and it triggered a couple of my compulsions, namely, comparing myself to others and what my therapist refers to as “trying to be a perfect mom.”
I had been doing well with those compulsions, mainly because I am a stay-at-home mom and can go days at a time without really running into anyone. We do our own thing and that really seems to suit me.
Bug starting school, however, puts us around other families, and me around other parents. Being around them, I felt as awkward and inadequate as I did in my terrible middle school years.
I got the start time wrong. Thankfully, I was early, not late, but apparently I did not get whatever memo they sent.
The other memo I didn’t get was that I needed to look put together for drop off. I wasn’t rolling in in my pajamas. I thought I was going to be fine. I mean, I put on jeans and had minimal makeup on, my hair was clean and I’d had coffee. I did not, however, wear a dress, have a full face of makeup on, put on wedges (I’ll be honest, I don’t even own a pair), tease my hair into an updo, and coordinate my jewelry. This mom looked fabulous. She looked better on this random Wednesday morning than I do for a date night.
And I know. I know she didn’t do it to make me feel bad, but I did.
I came home and googled hair and makeup how-tos.
Then I realized.
The work I need to do on myself is not cosmetic. I am who I am. I’m not particularly good at things like hair and makeup, and that’s okay. The thing I need to work on is not comparing myself to people who happen to excel in different areas than I do.
I also need to work on how to strike up a conversation with these other parents, but that’s a battle for another day.