Dear Perfect Mom at the playground:

I don’t know how you do it but every time I see you at the playground you look clean. No food, tears or saliva on your clothes or in your hair, unlike me. I’m a walking picture menu of all of the food my kids have eaten in the past two days. Maybe three, if I’m being honest.

Laundry just piles up at my house so after a few days, we start wearing clothes we picked out of the dirty pile. They’re just going to get dirty again anyway. Saves time and money. But I have unfulfilled fantasies about looking clean, like you look. A girl can dream!

As if looking clean weren’t enough, I see you actually wearing real clothes, not exercise clothes or ratty sweatpants. Jesus. You are making the rest of us look bad but looking on the bright side, most of us moms at the playground are probably too sleep-deprived to notice. Hard to miss those bright pink suede driving moccasins, though. You apparently don’t routinely walk through mud or juice spills or vomit at your house.

But what amazes me the most is how your daughters play so nicely with each other. No raised voices, no shoving matches and no improvised swordplay with tree limbs. Those loud and active boys at the playground yesterday who tried to invade your daughters’ encampment to plunder their luncheon provisions, were mine. Their distaste for healthy food was probably the only reason they left empty-handed.

I don’t know if your girls are picky eaters, but the only food groups my boys will eat from are the salty snack food group and the sugary sweet food group. Fresh fruits and vegetables have never touched their tongues! As you may have noticed from their hands and faces, they are surviving largely on foods covered in bright orange cheese dust.

I must admit I watched with envy as you sat on the park bench and talked on your cell phone today. With no interruptions from a crying child or a bored child or a hungry child. Wow. I was amazed as I watched you chat without needing to stop someone from diving off of the top of the playhouse or jumping in front of the swings. No need to do triage. No need to referee an impending skirmish. No need to threaten anyone with anything.

I have loud active feral boys. You have quiet sweet little girls. But they will grow into teenage girls one day. I think that’s called karma!

Until then,

The Mom in the yoga pants covered in food stains at the playground with the wild boys


About the author: Janet Eve Josselyn is a graduate of Colby College, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Boston College Law School. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post and has published one novel, Thin Rich Bitches. She enjoys collecting advanced degrees and not using the knowledge for monetary gain. To her credit, she is remarkably optimistic despite her obvious shortcomings and lack of talent.


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