Wherever I go, one thing is clearly obvious about me: I am not a perfect mum. It is something I cannot hide, and it is something that all perfect mums detect immediately with their secret perfect mum powers.
I have identified some of the magical ingredients that are required to achieve perfect mum status: immediate loss of any weight gained during pregnancy (minus 5lbs), perfectly packed changing bag filled with organic home-cooked baby snacks and luxury designer one-of-a-kind toys, the ability to push an expensive pushchair containing the worlds most contented baby whilst simultaneously updating twitter, sipping on a skinny latte, and giggling with enormous amazingly perfect group of other perfect mum friends.
Perfect mums stick together, you see, they don’t interact with regular people like me, except to gather information and anecdotes to share and laugh about with the rest of their kind. When I enter a room full of perfect mums (as I did again today), they notice that my hair hasn’t been cut or styled for a year. They know that I sometimes wear the same clothes for two (*cough* or three) days in a row. They are imagining what I would look like with make-up on, and they know the imaginary beautified version of me is no improvement on reality. They can spot hand-made and hand-me-down and hotchpotch. They see the signs of lonely and failing and desperate, and they keep their distance.
Sometimes I think I should look to my perfect peers as aspirational role-models, and that I should work to make myself more like them. But then my baby – my angel – calls for me, and I remember that I have no time to worry about how I look, because for now my time and energy and effort belongs to him, and he doesn’t give a shit about how I look. Don’t get me wrong, I have every intention of sorting myself out, but for now that can wait.