I did the school drop off this morning with my kindergartner. I don’t do it often; usually, I kiss my high schoolers and kindergartener goodbye and watch my 16-year-old daughter drive them all off to school. I then snuggle back in near the fireplace, coffee in hand, scrolling through Facebook for a few minutes before I have to tackle my day.
But this morning, I had the privilege of doing the drop off. I was wearing my pajama tee and some sweats. I had thrown on my Uggs with no socks. Though I did run a comb through my hair, it still had the appearance of bedhead. And though I did brush my teeth, my face still had residue of yesterday’s makeup.
As I walked my little girl into the gym to line up for class, another mama was bringing her son to school, too. She was dressed in a cute and trendy outfit. The makeup on her face was fresh and her hair was styled.
For a brief moment, I wished to be her.
I imagined she had gotten up early enough to ready herself for the day, before having to wake the kids. She looked like she was probably headed to put in a full day’s worth of work at a business somewhere in town. She was cute and confident. Put together and going places.
I, on the other hand, looked like I had just emerged from bed. As most kids were already lined up to go to the classroom, we could have been perceived as running late and being rushed. That was far from the truth, as I had been awake since before 5:30, and we had a somewhat leisurely morning, getting ready for school.
But no one knew that. No one knew that I, too, would be put together and heading to my job, albeit part-time, in just a few short hours.
And, for a brief moment, that bothered me. It bothered me that I could be perceived as frumpy or lazy, or careless or neglectful. I wanted to be seen as this woman–stylish and hardworking. I wanted to be seen as energetic and attractive.
I am grateful the moment passed quickly, that I was able to remind myself that my flexibility did not equate me to being a slacker or less valuable than the other mama.
I’m grateful that I remembered how blessed I am to make the choices I have, to live the life that I do–and that the other mama was blessed to make her own choices too.
I didn’t need to wonder what people thought of me–most often I think that they think the worst, don’t you? I didn’t need to worry about how they perceived me because I knew me.
I knew that I relished a slow morning with a later work schedule. I’m happy to trade off an early shower for an early morning yoga session. I have chosen to cradle my cup of coffee in front of the fire, instead of grabbing it to go.
These are the choices that make me–me and my life–my own. And this morning I am grateful for the reminder that I can confidently do me . . . while you confidently do you.