I lived next door to a mom, once, who had a couple little boys and a house that was always way too clean.
She was impeccably pulled together, a fabulous cook, and enviably well-organized. She was incredibly ambitious, and the consummate "Type-A" breed of mother.
I think in the two years I knew her, I could count the number of times I saw her kids smile, on one hand.
Perhaps some moms actually enjoy that kind of lifestyle. Maybe it really is what works best for them. Kudos to those moms. I couldn't possibly stomach it or achieve the requisite standards.
I like to cook for company. I prefer my house to look as though it's not an industrial crap factory. I take care of myself physically, and I try to set high standards for my kids. I refuse, however, to freak out because Noel flunked his swimming class last week, or Sophie peed in her princess trash can.
Last week we arrived at the grocery store, and I realized Jack had spaghetti sauce mashed into the back of his hair. I figured as long as it wasn't dripping off him, we were pretty much good.
Once, I went out in public and realized I had two different (completely unmatching) shoes on.
I didn't go home and change them. I just walked around that way. For a long time.
I took Noel to the supermarket and let him wear a full-body spiderman suit and mask. I only took issue with him when he tried to "web" other customers.
Sophie went through a phase in which she drew male genitalia on all of her pictures of people.
I have a very sweet picture somewhere, portraying me with a tremendously disproportionate "unit". It was scribbled with love, so I'll cherish it.
I don't want to know what is under Noel's bed, but it's stuffed so full that items are starting to peek out the sides. Most likely, I will insist that he at least clean up the junk around the periphery of the base. I think if there's no odor emanating from the pile of junk under there, it's probably best that I don't even look any further.
Being a mother is a "job," for certain, but it's much more than that. I can't imagine injecting our lives with the pseudo- corporate mindset that seems characteristic of the "Alpha Mom" role. I enjoy having a measure of spontaneity in our days, and being able to brush off the little aggravations, recognizing that they just don't really matter. It might be the antithesis of the Type-A motto, but I won't strive for perfection; I think it's a whole lot wiser to choose my battles.