The Anatomy of the Perfect Mom
Of course—there's no such thing as a perfect mom. That's why we had to invent her! The perfect mom would have, Bionic Woman-style…
The body of a 19-year-old
Really, the gift of youth is the only way you can truly bounce back post-pregnancy.
The physical stamina of a 20-year-old college student
No one else can manage all-nighters with such aplomb. Also, the ability to subsist, when necessary, on cold pizza and strong coffee helps immensely.
The short-term memory loss of an amnesiac
This one most moms, perfect or not, already achieve via the lingering effects of sleep deprivation. You just forget—how painful labor was, how much breastfeeding hurt at first, how little sleep you get, how stinky that diaper was, how much you used to weigh before you got pregnant. And that’s how we survive another year to—perchance—do it all over again.
The emotional balance of a post-menopausal woman
Without the cascade of hormones to contend with, you can better manage the irrational ups and downs of your baby, toddler, mother-in-law, husband, boss, BFF…
The psychological maturity of someone who’s been through five years of analysis
Only after years (and years!) of therapy do you really have the emotional wherewithal to let your baby be whoever he or she needs to be. Perfect moms don’t project their issues onto their poor children—they’ve dealt with them already.
The independent wealth of an heiress
Money is not the key to happiness—but not stressing about money really helps ease the daily grind. The perfect mom has a decent amount of money socked away so that, yes, you can afford that awesome (expensive!) preschool. And the nanny (if you work). And a babysitter (so you can have some much-needed me-time). And the housekeeper. And the aforementioned therapy.
The loving patience of a grandmother
“Yes, you can have another cookie, dear.”
“Come, let me rock you back to sleep… again.”
The ability to tune-out, like the hard of hearing
Speaking of grandmothers, in her later years, I’d catch my grandmother turning down her hearing aid to tune out the maddening world. I came to see it as a survival skill. The perfect mom also has this skill, so as not to run screaming out of the house when, for the 725th time, “The Wheels on the Bus” bellows forth from the activity center.
The sleight-of-hand of an illusionist
You need serious David-Copperfield-like skills to effectively whisk away dangerous toys and cleaning products from persistent babies and toddlers before the wailing and the waterworks begin. The perfect mom has mastered the art of distracting Baby from causing imminent destruction with a simple, “Oh! Look at that!”
The be-here-now mentality of a Zen master
Carpe diem, we say—even though we’re obsessively checking Facebook while nursing and half-watching reruns of Seinfeld. It’s fine—nay, necessary—to check out every once in a while. But the perfect mom remembers to enjoy the fleeting moments, be they heartbreaking, insane, ridiculous, or tender. It’ll just be a blur unless you pay attention.
The guilt-free conscience of a sociopath
Yes, I value compassion, empathy, and all that good stuff. But enough with the guilt! The perfect mom will accept that she’s doing the best she can, with the cards (and the baby!) she was dealt, and will trudge through her days with nary the glimmer of mommy guilt. Amen!
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