Perfect mom? Please don’t go there.

See? I often wear no makeup and show up sweaty at Richmond-area events.

The other day I had what is often a recurring conversation with a friend of mine, where she said, “Wow, you’re like the perfect mom! You built this website, you keep things together at home, you have an active social life, and you make it look easy, too! You’re just so put-together.”

After I quickly deflated my head and snapped back into reality I quickly corrected her: we all know this isn’t true, the concept of a perfect mom is a fallacy.

In fact, when talking to the co-creators of The Mom Complex, created by two fabulous ladies at Richmond’s The Martin Agency, we laughed about how this whole concept of “the perfect mom” just puts up a giant, unscalable wall that prevents moms from real talk.

How, for example, we all looked “put-together” (there’s that sneaky term again) at our recent luncheon at Bouchon as we talked about how one of our children smashed a brand-new flat-screen TV with a golf club. How one of our children was sent to school with a note and house key and told either his nanny or another family member would pick him up since mom had to get on an airplane at the last minute. How one of our children named his mommy’s tummy “Sasha” and like to announce that his mama had a big belly at public functions. Loudly.

You see, I am the mom who often packs the lunch then forgets to put the lunchbox into the backpack.

I am the mom who forgot to rsvp for the birthday party and is calling at the last minute, and probably is buying the party girl a gift card while grocery shopping thirty minutes before the party.

I am the mom who forgets it’s Teddy-Bear-Day at preschool and sends sad little child into the school empty-handed (thank you preschool teachers for always being prepared for this).

I am the mom whose cupboards would spew a mountain of plastic containers like volcanic ash when opened, and whose closet could possibly house a small pack of wolves, unnoticed.

I am the mom who forgot to pick up milk at the store, so the kids are mad at me because they can’t have cereal for dinner (yes I do sometimes let them do this. Don’t shoot me.)

So I’m not perfect, which is why I don’t want you to be upset if you run into me in public and I look nothing like this glamorous headshot. I just have really really good photographers.

Thanks, Hayes and Fisk for making me look like a rockstar. Most of the time, I'm really just not.

You’ll likely see me in my favorite pair of jeans with a black blouse on and my Frye cowboy boots, often with little makeup, sweaty and frazzled because I’ve forgotten something for said children, am late getting a story on the site, or have once again misplaced my debit card in my purse that has enough junk in the bottom that I could survive on a desert island with solely it’s contents for at least a week.

So give me a hug. You’re probably much more organized than I am. And that’s okay.


  1. Great post, Kate! We can't remind each other enough to be kind to ourselves as we try to juggle it all.

  2. So true! There is no perfect mom, although we probably all think we know one. I think it is especially challenging to portray yourself as real on the internet. I have stumbled across many blogs where the owner seems so sweet and down to earth and unflappable, but if I encounter them in real life they have their good days and bad days just like the rest of us. Even when we see others parenting in public and admire how patient and calm they are, we may not realize that they can be frazzled and have a bad day at home, or even in a different store that same day.

  3. Thanks Kate for saying it so well for the rest of us. I am the mom that forgot show and tell day three weeks running. I think I might sleep with a sticky note on my forehead Thursday night.

  4. The best reminder for all of us moms… kids just want to be loved and feel loved. I have 4 kids, triplet girls who are 6 and a 7 year old son. Loud and crazy life, full of forgetfulness, i'm sorry's, and oh craps… but they KNOW how loved they are!! That is what really counts. Great article Kate! So glad to know that I am not the only one with a closet full of god only knows what. I am afraid of my girls closets. I have gone in to clean them out for 2 weeks now. I look and then walk away. The job is just too big for me!!!

  5. Too funny & so true! My mom will laugh at me when she comes once a week to spend grandma time with my little bug. It takes me at least 20 minutes to get out of the house – when I knew she was coming. I will also usually have to come back in the house once or twice for something I've forgotten, before I actually make it out of the driveway. When she gives me that look – I just have to say "What – you had 4 – so stands to reason your brain went to pot with the first (me), right?" Mommy Brain is a true thing & I don't think i'll ever be the same! lol!

  6. I too Os this same mother you describe so well. So next time we see each other I will give you a hug and tell you “no matter what we forgot to do for our children, no matter how frazzled we look, no matter how unorganized we are: we are Amazing women!” thank Kate!

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