A Note from “That Mom”

I’ve read a lot of blog posts lately about “that mom.” You know the one, she looks all put together every time you drop your kids off at school. She even puts jewelry on! These posts have had a lot of the same underlying themes like “She must have it all together.” “How does she do it?” and “Don’t worry, I don’t hate, I’m actually a fan!” I read those posts and wholeheartedly agreed with everything they were saying. Fast forward a few days and I was bringing my son to his school. I saw her, “that mom”. She wasn’t even wearing jeans that day, she was rocking her yoga pants and cute tennis shoes. Her hair was beautifully wavy and cascading down her back all while she was carrying her baby along in the car seat and smoothly guiding her obedient pre-schooler into the building. As the light reflected off of her fancy sunglasses I thought, “she probably doesn’t even sweat when she runs! Or maybe she just looks that way and doesn’t even have to run to stay in shape. She probably doesn’t even curl he hair, it’s just wavy like that…”

I was a little jealous. I thought, “Man, she’s got it all together….blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.” and whatever else us women say in our heads. Then I walked up to the building and saw my reflection in the door. I was rocking an awesome new haircut, I had on an actual top (not a t-shirt), and nice fitting jeans with brown strappy sandals. I even was wearing (dare I admit it?) jewelry! Earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet! I had makeup on too. It struck me, I AM “THAT MOM.”



Really? Me? Shock has set in. I couldn’t be “that mom”. Does everyone assume I have it all together just because I get dressed every day? It then, very forcefully and clearly made me realize that putting on an outfit in the morning and wearing a smile throughout most of the day does NOT erase the fact that I’m still a mom of three kids, who throw fits sometimes. It does NOT erase the fact that half the time I’m scrambling to figure out what to make for dinner (yes, I still scramble, even though I have a food blog). It does NOT erase the fact that most of the time, I don’t have it all together. I don’t even know what having it all together means anyway.

Let me tell you a little about my life.

In the morning:

My son wakes me up every morning, and he is usually the one dragging me out of bed. I don’t sing. I don’t smile. I simply exist in the morning.

Getting my kids dressed:

I usually let the kids choose their outfits which can often result in my son wearing two different shades of the same color and my daughter wearing the same princess dress for three days in a row. Many times my son insists that  I choose his outfit for him because it’s faster that way, sadly the result of his outfit combinations aren’t always much better than if he did it himself.

At the grocery store:

Most of the time I try to go to the store by myself, but this doesn’t always work. So I venture out with all three kids. Some days things are fine, they only fuss a little and ask for a mere $20 worth of food or toys that I (not so graciously) tell them we aren’t going to buy. The other week I only bought 1/4 of what I needed at the grocery store to avoid complete and utter meltdowns by everyone, myself included. A week or so later I was the one at the store that kept telling her son to put down the box of blueberries. I didn’t even ask, I just told him. He wouldn’t, and soon he dropped the box. Blueberries were all over the checkout aisle. I was the one who gave a heavy sigh and tried to explain that, that exact reason (pointing to the blueberries rolling across the floor) was why I didn’t want him to hold the blueberry box. Then I spent the next few minutes trying to stop my three year old daughter from eating the berries off the grimy floor. All of this happened while I was wearing jewelry I might add. Thankfully an employee had enough pity on me to sweep up the blueberries, even when I offered to do it.


Meal time:

I let my kids eat cake for breakfast two days in a row this week. Sometimes we eat leftovers for three days in a row.  80% of the time I just want to give in and order pizza….I LOVE PIZZA! Most of the time my kids don’t eat what I make for dinner. Many times, to get them to eat green vegetables I have to pretend we are at a zoo, they are the animals and I am the zoo keeper feeding them.


To spare you too many details, let’s just say there have been Sunday’s that I’ve sat there crying. Not because I felt the spirit, but because my kids were wrestling and I just didn’t know what else to do but cry. Does this happen every week? No, but it does happen (even if I’m wearing makeup), because I have three kids, and that’s just sometimes what happens when you have kids.

With my friends:

A lot of my friends tell me things like, “Oh, well, you can pull anything off” or “You always look so great!”…was that a hint of sarcasm I heard? I can’t really tell. So, thank you, I think. At one point when I got together with my friends I would wonder if I should take jewelry off or just put an old running t-shirt on because I know some of my friends may not be dressed in an outfit. Then I learned to get over it and show up in what I’m wearing. I hang out with my friends because of them, not because of what they are wearing. I assume they feel the same way about me.

I promise, getting dressed and putting on jewelry does not suddenly keep crazy things in life from happening to me. It’s just something I like to do!

Can it really be as simple as that? Yes! I seriously like putting on an outfit. I like trying to buy clothes all within the same color scheme so I can quickly get dressed and have it match. I like doing my hair. I love my “second day hair” (let’s not get crazy, I only wash and style my hair every other day). I like jewelry and how it can take an outfit from good to fantastic! I just like it, ok? I’m not trying to put on a show, or make it look like I have it all together. I’m just being me. If I can look in the mirror for 10 seconds in the morning and feel 100% like ME, then it makes my days when I must constantly cater to the needs of my 5, 3, and 1 year old a lot more bearable!  And if I happened to look in the mirror any other time of the day and see and feel like ME, even better.

If getting dressed and putting on makeup is not your thing, great! Guess what, it’s not my only thing. As women, whether we are stay at home moms, working moms, or not moms at all, we have to have a few things that anchor us to who we really are. We can sometimes get a little carried away in other things (whether it be work, kids, relationships, etc.) Fashion, mixing and matching outfits, putting on jewelry, and doing hair and makeup is just one of those anchors for me. It’s fun, creative, and relaxes me. Want to know some of my other anchors? Taking time to read, playing one of my many musical instruments, writing stories or music, blogging, going on dates with my husband, and taking a break from cleaning to play and spend time with with my husband and kids. Do the things you love and that anchor you to who you are. Even if it’s a little thing like getting dressed every day, painting your nails, going on a run, or eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

In short, how about we quit applauding women if they get ready every day, or if they don’t, or if they are crafty, or if they are a CEO. Let’s try simply applauding women who stay true to themselves.


“That Mom”

Becca F. Fillmore

Women, Wife, Mom, Blogger at dinnerforeveryone.com