I think we all have “Her”….the mom that seems to have it all together, whose kids are always well-behaved and well-adjusted, whose hair always looks great, who always seems to have the time/energy/childcare to have a fabulous girls’ night or date with her husband. She’s your Mom-Idol. You sort of want to hate her, but she’s so nice. She wouldn’t be your Mom-Idol if she was bitchy.
Strictly speaking, it doesn’t need to be a Mom-Idol. You could have any sort of role model. I actually have several…a working mom idol, a newswoman idol, a hippy mom idol, a writer mom idol, a writer non-mom idol (I could go on and on. I respect and admire a lot of different women for a lot of different reasons). I actually once had a friend tell me that I was her mom-idol, which was quite an honor (although I felt incredibly self-conscious around her after that).
I have one mom idol, I wish I could call her a friend but she’s more of an aquaintance, who always seems to be living the life I wish I was living. She has an amazing house (I’m not a stalker), she writes for a living, she goes to fabulous parties and events and posts pictures on Facebook (seriously, I’m not a stalker), she seems to have a huge social circle that frequently plans multi-family trips to the beach or the mountains. And when I see her out in the world, which I do periodically, she always looks fabulous and put together. She just always seems so…cool.
I saw this women at Kroger a few weeks ago and we stopped to chat. As usual, she was cool and breezy and I was trying hard to sound clever and relaxed while I was talking. It’s not that talking to her makes me nervous, it’s just that I’m regularly a spaz and stumble over my words….especially when I’m trying to sound relaxed. So we talked about things while I surreptitiously looked over the contents of her basket (wine, fancy cheese, organic produce…figures). Her kids were fantastically well-behaved while her husband kept passing by saying things like “Honey, I’ll get the olives for the dinner party”. Meanwhile, I was wondering if I could get home in time to grab a shower before my husband and kids woke up from their afternoon nap or if it was even worth it since we weren’t leaving the house again for the rest of the weekend. Eventually, we said our good-byes and did that “We totally need to get together” thing that never actually seems to happen.
I went straight to the check-out line. After waiting for a few minutes, I noticed that Mom-Idol & family were a few people behind me. I didn’t want to seem too clingy or desperate, so I was trying hard to look engaged while flipping through a magazine. And that’s when I noticed it….
…..Mom-Idol was losing her cool.
It wasn’t just a momentary slip. She was losing her freakin’ mind. She was bickering with her husband about the kind of olives he’d picked while her son was begging for candy and her daughter was trying to run away. She was hissing through clenched teeth at one child while giving the eye to the other. She was completely exasperated while digging through her purse looking for her wallet and repeating “I thought I had a coupon…I don’t want to get it without the coupon.” She was acting…..human.
Now, I’m under no false impression that this woman is in any way super-human. I know that we all have our days. Everybody has problems. But I sometimes feel like other people just deal with it better. They don’t let their cracks show. Maybe their lives are just a little bit easier.
But maybe they aren’t. Perhaps her cracks are closer to the surface than I’d thought. Is it possible that her coolness & self-assurance cover a bit of insecurity? Maybe she can’t figure out how to control her kids. Maybe she’s afraid that people won’t think that she’s smart enough or funny enough. Maybe she’s as nervous talking to me as I am talking to her.
All I know is that my Mom-Idol is a normal person. And, for that, I like her even more.