I’m going to share a little secret with you: some days I don’t want to get out of bed. The alarm goes off and I just want to pull the covers over my head and not start the mom-hustle that is my day.
So maybe that’s not really a secret given I’ve already written about how depression and anxiety have been a part of my life. Also maybe it’s not a great secret because you feel that way, too.
And maybe one day you forced yourself out of bed to the sound of your children fighting and the site of a litter box that was the victim of bad aim and a change in your cat’s food. And you were running late because you already snoozed your alarm and pulled the covers over your head once and what you thought was your hustle to get your kid fed and to the bus stop on time now included cleaning up a disgusting mess. Oh, also your other cat peed on the floor. In his defense, he was probably trying to avoid the situation his sister-cat created.
And obviously this is the morning your 8 year-old daughter chooses to launch into tween-mode and freak out about her clothes. And your 4 year-old can’t get out of imagination-mode and is still in her nightgown five minutes before you have to walk out the door for the bus stop. Also you aren’t dressed yet at five till departure because why would you be?
So voices are raised. Hands are clapped. To emphasize the “chop-chop” that needs to happen, not to celebrate. Because that would be terribly out of place and an indicator that mama has finally lost her ever-loving mind. Mama being me. I don’t normally talk about myself in third person so I felt I should clarify.
The Shoe Alarm goes off. I should explain that, too, I suppose.
We use the Shoe Alarm instead of the Bus Alarm because inevitably shoes are not on when they should be and so the Shoe Alarm is like a pre-alarm so that we can get out the door in time for the bus. Also we are always the first people at the bus stop so probably none of this is necessary. The Shoe Alarm. Not the shoes. I know kids need shoes. I am a capable parent. None of this is the point of my story.
The point of my story is lipstick and earrings.
I’m not what you call a “morning person”. I don’t necessarily shower “every day”. My clothes aren’t always “clean”. And sometimes I’m in a “really bad mood”. But I don’t necessarily have to broadcast that. I would like my children especially to have the idea that mama has her shit together. (Again, mama is me.)
So besides making sure I own clothes that fit me and that don’t have holes in them and that I can throw on at a moment’s notice, I also make sure I’m wearing lipstick and earrings. Possibly a lip “tint” or “stain” — not some fabulous Gwen Stefani red, just something to make me look like I didn’t just throw up.
Because the real secret here is that a hint of color on your lips and a bit of sparkle on your lobes makes you look like you give a shit. Even when you don’t. And if you can convince the outside world you haven’t given up yet, maybe you can convince yourself, too.