I DON’T WANNA DO THE LAUNDRY!!!  stomp stomp stomp.

Now, Mommy, come on.  You have to get your chores done before fun time.

Can’t I just do it later?  I PROMISE I’ll do it later.

I’ve heard that before!  If you don’t do it now I know it’ll never get done.

Don’t you TRUST me?!

Don’t you try that stuff with me, young la…er..middle-aged lady!  This is our home and we all have to do our part.  It’s not all about playing, you know.

But I’m TIRED!

Tired shmired!  You had enough energy to go to Nordstrom’s Shoe Sale, right?

But look what I got!  I’ve NEEDED a new pair of shoes for a long time and I even saved $80!

(mock voice) I needed those!

I DID!  How did I know shopping was going to take all afternoon.  And I HAD to have Sarah with me to tell me if they looked any good!  And then we got hungry so we HAD to have lunch and The Cheesecake Factory was right there.  And then Sarah DRAGGED me to get our nails done.  It wasn’t MY fault…

“Ohhh, NOW I understand!  And what about the bills?  Did you get those taken care of?


Excuse me, I couldn’t hear you, what was that?

YES, mostly…

Mmmhmmm…and work, did you submit your article?


(eyebrows cocked)


And what about the grocery shopping?

(eyes narrowed) We can always go out.

Watch your tone!  You’re on thin ice here!  Look, it’s not that I’m trying to ruin your fun, but we all have responsibilities.  There’s always going to be cooking & cleaning & carpools & bills and making sure us kids get our homework done.  And of course your day is full with trying to earn a living on top of it.

(lip quivers)  I just STINK at all of it!

Oh, are we going to have a Pity Party now?

But, I DO!  You should see how efficient Mrs. Railsback is or how organized Ms. Corsica is.  Even Mrs. Weaver who has 4 kids under 8!  They all just seem to float through the day being the nanny, housekeeper, cook, careerwoman.  All I do is bumble through.  And I HATE house cleaning!

I know it’s hard work, Mommy.  But trust me, all your mommy-friends are thinking the same thing.

No they’re not.

Yes they are.  Look, we’re not asking you to keep a perfect house.  We already know you’re not the perfect mom...

Watch it…

I mean, you keep telling me & my sister “progress, not perfection.”  So, why do you keep setting yourself up for the impossible?  Come over here…

Why bother…

Come here!  Okay, now look in the mirror and tell me what you see.

A graying, wrinkly saggy boobed and bubble butted hag.

No, really!

I see a woman who feels like she’s always behind the clock and that she’s constantly letting someone down or neglecting something.  I see a woman who was 32 and I blinked and is now 48.

ARGH.  You can be so impossible!  You know what I see?  I see a woman who wakes up everyday asking herself how she can be better.  I see a woman whose first thought of the day is how she can light up the lives of me & my sister.  I see a woman who makes sure we have a good lunch and always ALWAYS tell us she loves us when she drops us off at school.  I see a woman who takes yoga seriously and who somehow manages to put up a Christmas tree all on her own every year.  I see a woman who, sure, gets really mad sometimes, especially when she gets a bad haircut.  I see this woman in the mirror and that’s MY mom.  And I don’t care how amazing all those other moms are, I want THIS mom because nobody knows me and nobody loves me the way she does.  Who CARES if our house isn’t perfectly neat & tidy.  And sometimes it IS okay to blow it all of and go to a Nordstrom’s shoe sale…I just wish you’d taken me with you!

Sniff.  Okay…

A few minutes later, while stirring spaghetti sauce over the stove, SpongeBob in the background, youngest child gets up off the couch and grabs me from behind and says “I was just thinking there’s no one like mama.”

And just like that, I realized how totally unnecessary and self-indulgent it was to keep beating myself up to a bloody pulp.

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