“Haters don’t really hate you. They hate themselves, because you’re a reflection of what they wish to be.” – Paulo Coelho
I’m pretty sure we all know some version of this mom.
She has everything so…together.
I first met my version of this mom when her son and mine were on the same t-ball team. Her son was the star player on the team. Of course he was.
Then my son and hers ended up in the same class at school. Turns out she is one of the class moms. Of course she is. She worked it into conversation with me that she is also class mom for her older child. Impressive.
When my son joined the soccer team, her son was also on the same team and again the star player. Do I even need to tell you who served as the team mom? Okay, I get it, lady. Your middle name is joiner.
It doesn’t help this mom’s cause that she is gorgeous. Her hair is always blown out to perfection and she is a foot and a half taller than me without heels. And she sometimes wears heels to drop off and pick up her kids from school…by choice, for fashion purposes alone.
When her nanny (and the italics are meant to give a snooty ring to that word) isn’t available to pick up her son, she walks by me in her impeccably accessorized outfit and gives a wave and smile that is straight out of a beauty pageant. She always picks up her son on a day I happened to have not showered. I usually muster a smile and a wave through clenched teeth and run my hand through my sad ponytail.
Even when she dresses down, she is the type who matches the gold swoosh symbol on her brand-new Nikes to her Lululemon workout gear tied together with an effortless bun that inspires envy.
On top of it all, she’s nice. I hate that.
At least I thought she was nice before she got aggressive with me this week.
It was my son’s birthday, and if it isn’t enough work to throw a party outside of school as I shared in last week’s post, many parents bring a little something for each child in the classroom to celebrate birthdays at school. We aren’t allowed to bring food of any kind, so most parents bring small items like pencils, toy cars, or something along those lines.
With 24 kids in the classroom, you better believe I hit up the 99 Cents store, because purchasing 24 of anything can quickly add up. I was satisfied with my purchase of sidewalk chalk for each child. It even came in a holder for control-freak moms like myself who get triggered by colored chalk on white clothing.
Wellllll, it turns out that it was also her son’s birthday this week.
At pick-up that day, her beauty pageant wave felt deliberate.
My son came bounding out of the classroom, excited to show me something in his backpack.
When we got home, he pulled out a large goody bag that held a stuffed animal (and a nice one, at that), a magnet puzzle, stickers, games, and a pencil. You’ve got to be kidding me. I knew which child’s birthday it was before my son even confirmed it.
I swear I could envision the collective eye roll of every other parent of the kids in the class. She had to have spent at least $250.00 on the favors.
I think back to her wave from earlier in the day and it feels passive-aggressive.
Could she be any more annoying and perfect?
Don’t be this mom.
I’m not actually referring to her. I’m referring to me.
I’m not going to give a lecture about the perils of comparing ourselves to others because as human beings it’s something that we naturally do. Thanks to our egos, we notice differences, we categorize ourselves in relation to others, and we are aware when we don’t measure up.
The trouble begins when we equate less with not enough.
Do any of the following truths make me less of a person?
I would never feel comfortable wearing heels to school unless I was going to work. The best I will ever give to the elementary school grounds is a pair of flat boots. Take them or leave them.
I’m a stay-at-home mom and I don’t volunteer at my son’s school. I don’t have a nanny who can watch my younger one.
I don’t always make fashion a priority. Sometimes comfort wins out. Most times comfort wins out.
Technically I do less volunteering, less shopping for clothes, and less primping. The party favors I chose also cost much less than the other moms. But I’m not going to believe the lie that my ego whispers in my ear that this makes me less of a person.
There will always be someone who has more, does more, or represents more in every aspect of the word.
Comparison most certainly is the thief of joy, but only if we give it the power to make us feel we aren’t enough.
To the other mom, bless you, and thank you for this reminder (I write with a forced smile).
Just watching you is exhausting.
I say Uncle.