Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Mom?

Photo: Veer / The Bump

You know those moms who always seem to have it together? The ones who never get flustered or stressed? Who are usually dressed nicely and have no visible spit-up on them? Whose kids are quiet and well-behaved? Whose houses don’t look like they’ve been ransacked by raccoons on a typical Saturday afternoon? I do. I’m even friends with a few of these moms.

I dropped by one such friend’s house one afternoon to say hi and see her kids. Normally I do not endorse drop-by visits, especially if you’re dropping in unexpectedly on someone with small kids. It’s just mean. The worst thing someone can do to me is stop by unannounced and ask to use the bathroom. I have two little boys, one of them only recently potty trained. Do you know what kind of horror show our bathroom can be?

Anyway, I vowed not to use her bathroom or ask for anything to drink. I really just wanted to visit for a few minutes. And as I said, she’s not like me. She probably wouldn’t make me wait at the door for five minutes while she frantically scrambled around stuffing the unfolded laundry into closets and kicking used sippy cups under the couch.

It’s very eye-opening to observe someone in their natural habitat with their own children. That afternoon, my friend was home alone with her kids while her husband was away for a few days. I had always envied her perfectly tidy, stylish house. But on that day, it was not so perfect. There were kids’ toys everywhere, just like at my house.

Her kids had always seemed so much less demanding than mine. But come to think of it, at least one of them had always been asleep before when I visited. Now they were both up and the little one had just started walking. Our conversation was interrupted frequently as my friend broke up squabbles over toys and dove for her coffee cup before a toddler knocked it over. Just like at my house.

As our visit went on, I started feeling better and better. I know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to other people, but come on. Do you know anyone who doesn’t? And besides, it can serve a useful purpose. That day, I realized that maybe these supposedly “perfect” moms were simply figments of my own insecure imagination. Turns out, they may be just like the rest of us. Only calmer and better dressed.

Do you know someone who seems like a “perfect mom”?