Yesterday I sent the two littlest Littles to school with wet hair. Okay, so it wasn’t sopping wet. We did manage a few minutes of blow dryer on each. But it was definitely what one would call “wet head.”
I can’t begin to tell you the amount of guilt and embarrassment that threatened to overwhelm me. In my upbringing, one simply does not gallivant around with a wet head. It just isn’t proper. It is a sign of well, bad upbringing.
As I looked at my damp children, I wondered how many people would see them before their hair dried naturally and think, “Those poor children, sent to school with damp hair. Their cleanliness must of been just a passing thought. Probably the first bath they have in days. Momma probably sleeps until noon on a regular basis and I bet they had to fix breakfast for themselves. Wonder if their homework is done. With hair like that, that’s probably one of three outfits they own, last year’s backpack. Hell, I bet that cute little monkey lunchbox is empty or filled with Poptarts, Cheetos and a YooHoo!”
I never said I was rational. But don’t discount the whole concern as total paranoia either. The concern has merit. I know because I am learning that my warped thoughts – those private, deep seeded, crazy ones – are pretty damn normal and shared by too many people to be considered abnormal.
But I reminded myself of what was true. The truth was we had just spent Labor Day weekend at Tybee Island. Because of my work schedule, the car situation was such that it was easier to just get up super early Tuesday morning and head straight to school. By the time we all got back in our house Tuesday evening, we were exhausted. Morgan fell asleep before dinner which also meant before bath. If I had to bathe Morgan in the morning, I was just going to do the same for Emily.
In other words, I knew wet heads were not the product of a disheveled, dysfunctional, poor planned morning (although I have been known to have them). It was the result of a marvelous weekend that left the whole family spent of energy and deliciously worn out.
I kissed them, hugged them, and smiled at all that wet hair, proud of what it meant and deciding to screw worrying about what anybody else thought.
Total Mommy win.
As you may know from my Facebook page, I am kinda excited about Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.” You’ll be shocked to know (I swear HTML needs a <sacrasm> tag) that I plan on starting one myself. This little encounter is going in there somewhere as it spawned another thought.
I spend a whole lot of energy worrying about the judgement of others and it does not make me happy
The wet head brain jack sparked ideas of all the other times I worry about what people think.
- When I go off plan and consume animal (yes, it happens) do folks think I am hypocritical? Do they understand that I just find it important to be gentle with myself and sometimes it makes me and my family a bit happier?
- When I am raising my voice at the children in public, do they think I am a horribly out of control mommy? Or do they realize that this is probably the eleventy BILLIONTH time I have said the SAME THING?
- When my kids behave like bat shit crazy heathens, do they think that I am a momma that lets them behave however they want and lacks discipline or regular instruction?
- When I go a week without a run (like now), do I appear unmotivated and lazy? Or is it understood that sometimes I am tired, overworked, or yeah, unmotivated and lazy?
- When I look like ever loving hell when I do make it out on a run and the cute little chick passes me all bouncy, does she judge my ability as sucky and unpracticed? Or does she consider the idea that while she has just started, just maybe I am wrapping up mile 30?
- When I got to Walmart looking like People of Walmart, am I automatically lumped with the likes of Mama June? Or do folks consider that maybe I haven’t slept in 2 days, have a sick kid at home who has puked for the 15th time, and I just need a bottle of wine, children’s motrin, and some Pedialyte?
These thoughts and many like them, suck the happiness out of my day. They make me feel unmotivated, incapable, and, in short, paralyzed. Worse, they compel me to try and figure out ways to make sure folks know about the events that led up to this seemingly unput together mess.
In fact, I should probably apologize now to all the poor souls who had to hear about my broken flip flop at Emily’s Open House. But seriously, knowing my love of my own bare feet, of course everyone thought I was walking the halls of the elementary school shoeless on purpose and judging me. Right?
And this thought brought me to an idea that is worse in my mind than the fact that it makes me unhappy.
Feeling this way makes me think less of other people for things that I imagine they have done. They haven’t even actually screwed up yet and I have already indignantly attributed to them a laundry list of self righteous and judgmental behavior that they probably have not even had.
How grand assholio is THAT!?!
Be polite and be fair
I will also offer you one of my own “Secrets of Adulthood”
There are plenty of real asshats in the world. I don’t need to go create imaginary ones.