It’s War!

I am declaring an all-out war on:

Looking Beautiful and Perfect When You Drop Your Kids at Preschool.

Why? Oh, I don’t know. Just to make my own disheveled self feel better, I suppose.

See, I’m forever plagued by living in limbo. Some days I live in the Land of I’m OK With Me and some days I live in the Land of I’d Really Like to Be Like You.

I leave the house for preschool in no makeup, hair in ponytail, Target tee shirt with stains and holes, feeling OK. Like, I know I look rough, but, hey—this is me. This is me in the morning. With 3 kids. And a dog. And 4 part-time jobs. This is me. Sweaty and hot. Most likely forgot (yes! I ACTUALLY forgot!) to brush my teeth. This is me. I’m not a morning person. And it was all I could do this morning to get kids out of the house.

(Is there something wrong with me???)

And then I arrive at preschool in the Land of the Beauty and Perfection at Nine in the Morning.

Helllll-ooooo! It’s preschool, people.

Yes. I’ve been assaulted with these comparisons to the other Munchkin Moms since Susanna began Mother’s Day Out at 18 months old. I thought it was the unwritten rule that we moms stick together with our sleep-deprived expressions, sweat pants, and stinky morning breath—because, you know, we forgot (yes! actually forgot!) to brush our teeth.

Lincoln Navigators aside (because I drool over any vehicle that features a driver-side back door), these moms—in my estimation—were pretty much close to perfect.

I remember Michelle. Long, sparkling blonde hair (yes, it really did sparkle) and the sweetest voice. Her disposition matched her hair. She was cute-pregnant. Not beached whale-pregnant but round basketball/glowing-pregnant. She was the toddler mom who wore a smile and impeccably placed mascara everyday, all day. She always smelled nice. And her clothes matched. And her nails were painted.

And then there was Erika. That’s Erika Page, former “One Life to Live” soap opera star who is married to country singer Bryan White. Only in Nashville do your kids take naps next to the country star’s kids. Erika’s little boy and my two boys were in the same class. Erika had had two babies, but she was a size 2—well, OK, maybe a size 4. Her beautiful, long black hair never seemed to get in her way or become drenched with sweat in the 90-degree heat. She, too, was beautiful. But not fussy-beautiful. Oh, and her lashes looked like perfectly placed spiders, but not the scary kind. Just the kind of spiders women hope their mascara produces.

This past year country singer and Cast Away star Lari White‘s daughter was in preschool with the boys. That was kind of fun, snapping pics side by side at the Christmas program with Lari White. I don’t remember bumping into her much in the parking lot or hallways. But I’ll go ahead and say she was impeccably dressed and beautifully made-up at 9 a.m., since I’m in my world of Perfect Moms and generalizing and all. (I really just wanted to ask her what Tom Hanks is really like.)

And now, I’m haunted by K (I won’t disclose her name here). She looks like she’s 18. Long blonde hair. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that her mascara, also, gorgeously enhances her lashes. Her waist is smaller than my six-year-old’s. Surely, the Barbie doll was modeled after her. When I see her, I really just can’t help but stare. I’m sure I kind of stand there with mouth agape, as I analyze the technique behind the beautifully-placed pink eye shadow.

Will I ever be free from my tendency to compare myself to others? Just when I think I’m making progress in this area, a Lincoln Navigator pulls up in the preschool parking lot and some movie star mom jumps out wearing size 6 jeans. She’s got two beautiful black spiders on her eyelids.

The only thing on my eyelids are beads of sweat.

God, help me.