I’m not normal. And that’s what makes me normal.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t compare myself to every other girl in the room.

As far back as I remember.

She’s prettier than me. 

Skinnier than me. 

Smarter than me.  

More popular than me. 

Has nicer clothes than me.

She’s just plain old better than me.

That shit is tiring!

So I’m working hard to make sure my girls don’t grow up with those same thoughts running through their awesome little heads.

Because I don’t want them to become moms with those thoughts running through their awesome heads.

I think a lot of us moms have those thoughts.

I think we compare ourselves to every other mom out there.

She’s a better mom than me.

We put way too much pressure on ourselves…

I mean, we all  have those friends.

The hot one.  With multiple kids.

And a six pack.

Bitch.

Or the one who has made a perfectly detailed baby book.

And scrap book.

And video montage.

Not just for her first child.  And second child.

But even for the third child.

There is the mom who is involved in every single activity known to mankind.

She’s a girl scout leader.  And president of the PTO.  And class mom.  And the team mom.  And an official at the swim meets.  A volunteer at the hospital.  And she delivers meals on wheels.  And runs marathons.

In addition to her full-time job.

There is the loaded mom.  With the hot husband.  And the beautiful kids.  And the huge, perfect house.  And the membership to the country club.

Then there is the stay at home mom who has taught her children to crochet their own Barbie clothes.  And bake bread from scratch.  They make their own playdough.  And lots of other annoying shit.

Out of paper mache.

I hope you are aware that all these people are hiding at least one secret.

And I have a theory.

The more seemingly perfect the mom, kids, and entire family are on the outside…

The more secrets they have to hide…

But nobody wants to let anyone know.

Because then you don’t seem…

Perfect.

Because we are always comparing ourselves to each other.

And feeling bad about ourselves.

Which is why I started this blog in the first place.

Because nobody is perfect.

Nobody.

But for some reason, we look at other moms, and we think they are.

I mean, look at Martha Stewart…

Who is more perfect than her?

Hmmm… I don’t know….

All of us moms who haven’t…

Um…

GONE TO JAIL???

And what about all of my Real Housewives?

They seem to have it all.

But they have all the same problems the rest of us do…

Cheating husbands, raging tempers, drug and alcohol addictions, eating disorders, post partum depression, kids in jail, a past as a stripper…

Like I said…

Nobody’s perfect.

So yesterday a reader, and friend, wrote this comment:

Susie
Thanks for writing everyday.  I am sure it is not easy and you certainly don’t need another thing on the to do list, but I appreciate it.  You’ve made me laugh, you’ve made me cry, and you’ve made me feel normal.  Thank you!

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I’ve been waiting for that comment!!!!

….you’ve made me feel normal.

Thank YOU!!!

When I first set out to write this blog, I had 2 goals:

First, to make people laugh.

And second, to help people, especially moms, realize that we all go through the same shit.

All of us.

But no one really wants to talk about it, because then you appear less than.

Incompetent.

A failure.

But let’s get one thing straight.

You are going to fuck up.

And your kids are going to fuck up.

Multiple times.

And it’s okay.

Because that’s normal.

Holding it in and hiding all those fuck ups does nothing.

Except for eat away at you.

And feeling ashamed or embarrassed and keeping that crap hidden can have some really awful consequences.

Really.  Awful.  Consequences.

I have lived my life as a fairly open book.

But, as evidenced by Sunday’s post, I still have a couple secrets.

So I’m going to start unloading the ones I have left.

Because after Sunday, I feel about 100 pounds lighter.

I don’t look it, but I feel it ;)

So feel free to join me.

Start unloading.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, leave a comment on the blog.

Get it off your chest.

You’ll be surprised by what happens.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! PLEASE!!!!

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Comments

  1. Vicky says

    you are so right – none of us have it all and I, too, am guilty of comparing myself to others. “I wish I was as organized as her”, “I wish my house looked like hers”, “I wish I had the time to make elaborate cookies for the class celebration…”, etc. I have a secret or two myself. I didn’t grow up in a very nurturing home with involved parents. It was pretty dysfunctional. I strive to give that to my kids, but it is really hard when you didn’t have great role models. Sometimes, I just want to be a kid again myself!

    As long as you keep writing your blog, I’ll keep reading it. Thank you for being strong enough to say the things that we are all thinking. You’re amazing!

    • susiej says

      Thank you Vicky! THANK YOU!!! Good for you for sharing!

      And by the way, your daughters are awesome.

      Just like you :)

  2. Lorrie Branigan says

    The family nights in pjs in front of the fire is what the kids will remember and cherish, not exquisitely decorated cookies. You don’t need to live by anyone else’s standards. Took me 20 years and an ex husband to find that out. Keep up the good work!!!

  3. Jen baron says

    Just what I NEEDED! Always have found myself “comparing”….I do have a past I’m not proud of but whether its past or present EVERYONE has something. So tx to your post I will get thru today with the hubby and kids and focus on us…not “the perfect ones”…so we think :-) tx!

  4. Amy says

    I’m a teacher, mother of three, soccer coach, room mother and I sent in homemade Christmas cookies to teachers today and…….. I take antidepressants every day, drink way too much wine, wipe dinner crumbs onto the floor, am behind on most of our bills and my car is a shithole. I love my kids and my husband and am just doing the best that I can!!!!

  5. Irene C. says

    Thanks Susie. I agree that no one is perfect. My mother always compared me to other kids and I grew up with very little self confidence. Nothing was ever good enough for her. I finally realized in my late 30s that nothing will ever be good enough for her. I was always looking for her approval and never getting it. I realized that I will always be a little chubby, my house will never be clean, and I will never be a rock star at work, but my children are loved. Sometimes their hair is not brushed or I take them out shopping in their pjs, but they are loved and happy.
    I love your blog. I feel like you are saying what is on my mind.

  6. says

    I’ve enjoyed all your posts and have always thought you approach things so honestly and openly. I’m pretty sure we all knew you were nuts when we found out you had 7 kids, so it’s not really news, but nice that you can admit it freely. :)

    keep posting! we’ll keep reading!

  7. Miranda says

    The first time I read your blog, you made me laugh, out loud! And think hey, that’s the same shit I think!!!
    So thank you, your amazing.

  8. Megan says

    Susie-my favorite thing about Facebook is the ability to re-connect with people from my past. It’s been so awesome getting to know you as an adult because I have such fond memories of you as my swim coach (one of my favs was allowing us to do Chinese fire drills at red lights in the freezing cold on your way to dropping us off at home:). You were always tough but had the best sense of humor and it’s so nice to see that nothing has changed!! I read your Blog every morning and laugh my ass off! Your posts in the last few days have really struck a cord with me-especially being a “new” mom and a middle school guidance counselor. Mental health is such a taboo topic and it’s easier for many families to try to hide it and pretend like nothing is wrong than to actually acknowledge they are struggling and seek out help. When I had my daughter Mia I suffered from post partum depression. I felt like the worst mom in the world and felt like such a failure. Luckily my husband, family and friends were so supportive and helped me through a difficult time. I was terrified when I had my daughter Reese b/c I was worried the same thing was going to happen. Fortunately I held it together- again with the help and support of family and friends. Lately, a lot of friends have been having babies for the first time and seem to be handling the transition so much better than I did, thus making me feel even more like a loser. I know I am going to mess up and I know my kids will too-no one is perfect. I just want to say thank you for today’s post-you tell it like it is and it made me feel better!! :)

  9. says

    This is very true. It’s such a slap in the face when you open up to your friends and they just sit there and act like they have no idea what you are talking about. As if they have no issues. When I was in high school, I was accused of thinking I am perfect. That was my friends favorite thing to say when she was upset with me. I believe her and her friends said that because I always knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing later on in life .That doesn’t make you perfect, it makes you goal oriented. It really irritated me because I was not and am not perfect. And when people say that about you it almost makes you feel like you have to live up to that title and it’s impossible.I wish the people who said that about me back then would show up at my house before 11am one day.

    Before 11am…
    I am still in my robe
    I look like I got struck by lightning (my wildly curly hair is just lovely in the morning!!)
    I have bananas in my hair ( one of my daughters loves giving raspberries while eating hah)
    I am braless (and yes now that I have twins, they do hang low, and they do wobble to and fro!!)

    And that is who I am! That is me in my purest form!

  10. Daniel says

    Not just Moms read your blog, I’m willing to bet a few Dads do as well…

    People often compare only the good things about others to themselves, rarely the bad, so they see what they want to. The phrase “looking through rose colored glasses comes to mind.” I’ll use an example…many times women look at me and see the so-called “perfect” husband. I was the guy who cried at his wedding, and the birth of his first child. I’m there for all the milestones, doctors appointments, ear pearcings, shots, family events, etc.

    But there is a flip side to this case…I’m far worse than people think. I break down easily, I’m paranoid, I get up at all hours to see if my wife and the kids are still breathing, im an insomniac… in short, I’m a bit of a head case, but people dont see that part. Thank god my wife understood that and accepted it before we got married.

    Reason? I have post traumatic stress disorder. When i was 15, I lost 3 women who were key to my life in the span of *one* week. My mother died suddenly after a long battle with cancer, my grandmother, a seemingly strong, healthy, active woman, albeit 83, died 3 days later in her sleep, and my sister, a young 30 years old, stroked out several days later during one of the epileptic episodes she was prone to.

    No wonder I’m cracked.

    Don’t try to be like others, sometimes getting to where they are requires a lot of extra baggage that you simply dont want.

    Be safe all, I’m off to take my meds.
    -Daniel

  11. Sandy Boyer says

    Oh you had the best comments today! Loved them!! You are our voice! I have that wild curly hair too so I always look pretty disheveled even when I try to look nice. My mom also used to get pissed off at me for being too loud, a tomboy and laughing to much. It was always so important for me to make my friends laugh and damn the consequences as long as they laughed. My mom has yet to give me a compliment and I am in my fifties. But I know how great I am and what I have accomplished. That;s not bragging or meant to sound arrogant it’s self confidence which I fought long and hard for. It is still important for me to make people laugh and thank goodness I don’t get sent to the principal’s office anymore! I will never be perfect and that is fine with me. What an awful life you’d have trying to live up to perfection. We are all perfect in Gods eyes anyway right? Just so we are kind to one another and respectful that;s being perfect to me.

  12. Stephanie Hamilton says

    Oh my gosh, that is so good! And true….I just started blogging and was reading yours because you inspire me and make me laugh so much. I think the last thing moms need is more perfection to try to live up to….what we need is more honesty and a hand up when we are down. It’s tough to think on your feet all day as a parent. I will be turning to your blog for inspiration and support for a long time.

  13. Rebecca says

    I am new to your blog I stumbled across it while read hot mess mom. I am so thankful I found you. Growing up my mother and father both were alcoholics. I NEVER felt as if I had enough attention or mattered more than their drinks. They eventually divorced and my father got sober. I moved in with him. I had always been a tom boy. My father always pressured me to wear makeup and paint my nails. Curl my hair and wear dresses and heels. I try my VERY best to show my boys that I both love and accept whoever they want to be in any and all forms they want to express themselves in. I am constantly comparing myself to the other moms I see. She has her shit together I say. But honestly in my heart of hearts I know its bull. That on the inside of her well-groomed, perfectly put together exterior there’s a deep dark secret. Its true that u may look at me and think “dear lord that lady looks rough, what is she like 30 and still has that terrible acne? Why doesn’t she put a little makeup on?” But you know what? My kids are happy, they’re full. They’re clothes fit and are tidy. They’re warm and safe. I may not come in the prettiest package, but it’s a DAMN NORMAL PACKAGE!!!!!!!