My mom used to say, “Fake it till you make it!” a lot when I was growing up. I don’t remember the context of any of those conversations with her, but for some reason, that will be one of the things of many that sticks in my head when she dies. Along with always telling me what her mother used to say, “My mother always said, ‘You have to eat a ton of dirt before you die'” Mom quotes. Gotta love them. And, you have to wonder what MY kids will hear ringing in THEIR ears when I die. But, that’s a depressing thought.
I recently switched the name of my blog. When I was trying to come up with a name, I wanted a name that described me. Even though I blog about my kids and my family, this blog is ultimately about my experience through their lives, right? After all, I’m the one writing it. So, I was trying to think of names that described me as a Mom, and one of the things that kept coming back to me was the fact that I try so hard to be a people pleaser. I try so hard to make everything look just right. I try so hard to hold it all together when I feel like falling apart inside. I try so hard to not let others know that when I post something on FB that comes off as a joke, I’m really mostly serious. What am I doing? I’m faking it. Thus, the name Faking Picture Perfect was born.
Now, that may seem like a depressing thought, but aren’t we all faking our way through motherhood just a little bit? Or am I the only one? Maybe some of us do it more than most. And by some us, I mean me. But, I think as moms, we are all guilty of it.
We do things like go to a playgroup and feel lonely and try to fit in, but never truly open up, when all we really want is a best friend. We share all the pretty pictures and happy moments on our family blogs to make other think we have it all together.
We agree with things that we don’t really agree with. We shove all the toys on our living room floor into a closet when the doorbell rings. We answer the phone through tears and pretend all is fine to the person on the other end. We make up rules for our kids as we go. We change them the next time because, let’s face it, we don’t know what we’re doing half the time, but we can’t let them see that. We tell people, “No we’re fine. Really.” when they call to offer help. We don’t talk about what is truly bothering us for fear of being rejected by friends, family, or the lady checking us out in the grocery store line. I could go on all day, really.
I was at the pediatrician’s office this week and saw a Mom walk in with her two kids. She was so put together. And cute. She had her hair up, but in a cute way. A stylish coat with a scarf. Knee high boots covering her skinny jeans. Cute earrings. A full face of make-up (like lipstick, even). Cute diaper bag. And two kids that were dressed like they stepped out of a Gap Kids catalog. And, I couldn’t help but look down at my thrown on t-shirt with a hole in it, and raggedy old fleece jacket (I have cute coats and scarves, too) and feel like, “Geez. I could work on making myself look a little better.” I felt inferior. But, you know what? She’s probably faking it too. After all, she was in a doctor’s office with two kids. And, I didn’t want to stare, but I think her little 2-year-old girl had on some sort of back brace on under her tiny fur coat. We all have problems. We all have things that are difficult. We all fake it a little, don’t we? Is it wrong?
One thing I’m working on doing is faking it a little less. And, part of not faking it, is not worrying about how you compare to others. That’s a hard one.
But, I want to be real. And, I think that gradually comes with age and wisdom. After all, did you see my post about how you can say whatever you want when you’re old? I’m looking forward to that. I want to be real on this blog, and I want to be real in real life. Because I am a Mom, just like any other Mom, sitting behind this computer screen that loves her kids, loves her husband, and just wants life to be perfect. Even though, I know it never will be.
And while faking it has its perks. I think if I can be real more than I fake it, there might be things that happen in my life that I never thought were possible. At least, that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.