(Or in other words…this is not me.)
What do you think of when you hear this phrase, “The Put-Together Mom”? I’ll bet you get a mental picture of someone you know who is a Put-Together Mom. I know I do. In fact, I’ve seen more than one. Yes, it seems every Mom I know is a Put-Together Mom…well all I know except for myself of course. You won’t ever hear me bragging, “I’ve just got it all together. I am so put together.”
No, but you may hear me brag about this, “I am so unorganized. I’d lose my head if it wasn’t permanently fixed to my body. My mind is another matter entirely. I’ve lost it and completely given up hope of every seeing it again. Put together? I’m put together all right, with leftover oatmeal that has been sitting in the bowl all day. Oh, and don’t forget the honey…oh yes, I’m stuck on the stuff and it’s stuck on me.”
I often see Moms I judge to be “Put-together Moms”, you’ve no doubt seen them too. Who knows? You might just be one of them.
Put-together Moms are those who always wear makeup, and it looks wonderful. Their hair is always styled and looks great. Her clothes are always the most stylish without being faddish. She does not own a pair of blue jeans with a hole in the knee; unless of course the designers put it there on purpose.
Her feathers never get ruffled. Waiting in the drive through line with a starving 3-year-old screaming I’M HUNGRY repeatedly in the back seat, doesn’t even phase her. They smile sweetly and say just as sweetly, “I know dear and I’m sorry. Here, would you like a sucker? As soon as the nice man in front of us is helped it will be our turn.”
Put-together Moms arise every morning at four, spend one hour reading their Bible and one-hour praying. They name all the missionaries by name and country. They even remember to pray specifically for their requests. They make their families a good old down home on the farm huge breakfast, and keep the kitchen spotless. They never fail to greet each member of the family with a smile and a kiss. They never forget to brush their teeth.
They don’t know the meaning of “Having a bad day.” The Put-Together Mom answers a question asked for the tenth time as cheerfully as she answered the first time. The Put-Together Mom never goes to her back porch and directs her scream at the heavens, HELLPPP!!!!
The Put-together Mom does not know the meaning of PMS and is never afflicted with it. She also would never ever not one time talk about it in public. She doesn’t even use it as an excuse for being grumpy. She doesn’t have to, she’s never grumpy.
She is always on time for every thing. Her children enter college at the age of 10, after passing advanced calculus at the age of 8. Yet they are also the most polite, even-tempered children you’ve ever laid eyes on. You find yourself asking your children, “Why can’t you be more like so and so? They are so together.”
The Put-together Mom retires for bed at midnight every night; yes, she thrives on four hours of sleep and never complains and never naps. You won’t ever hear her say, “I’m so tired. I just really need a nap.” because she’s too busy being sweet and taking care of every one with a real smile on her face.
She’s the Director Of Women’s Ministry at her church and she’s a leader in AWANA. She is the head of the PTA and has a girl scout troop. Her children always sell the most cookies. Her children are involved in soccer, little league, piano, voice, and dance. Not only are they involved in them and are never late, they excel in all of them. The Put-Together Mom is always the first to take a meal to a new Mom or someone who’s had surgery, and it’s a four-course gourmet meal. No Take and Bake Pizza from this Momma. When she hears of someone in the hospital, she’s the first one visiting. She leads a Bible study. Her phone number is on the Pastor’s speed dial, and he calls her with Greek questions.
The Put-Together Mom takes her children grocery shopping with her and you never see her scolding them. She loves to do crafts with her children, and doesn’t care that her house gets a bit messed up. Of course she will tell you it’s completely trashed, but you know in your heart of hearts her house “completely trashed” is neater than your house on a clean day.
The Put-Together Mom does not live for naptime and bedtime. When her children are toddlers she does not find herself longing with great eager anticipation for the first day of preschool, and then the first day of school. No, she is actually one of those Moms who truly celebrates her children whatever their stage. The “Why?” stage never bothers her, she welcomes it and teaches her children. She also never says, “If you ask that one more time, you will live to regret it.”
The Put-together Mom is a phony, a real live, genuine fake. There is no such thing as a Put-Together Mom. She only exists in our dream world. The special world we have to judge ourselves and our abilities by some Mythical standard.
Even if there was such a Mom, how does she really feel deep inside? I’d bet she feels pretty darn insecure. She has the persona of perfection, and is working so hard to keep it she can’t let her guard down for a minute. Share a struggle with another Mom? No way. Too dangerous.
I’d bet if you asked your Put-Together Mom if she was A Put-Together Mom, she’d laugh at you and assure you, “No!!! But you are, right?”
Girlfriends, we weren’t made to go it alone. We were not designed to be Put-Together Moms. We are designed to be Stuck Together Moms. Moms who are stuck together with a special bond, shared sufferings, longings and laughter. We were designed to be real both in our minds and in our relationships with our spouse our children our friends and ourself.
We are not to shun the assembling of ourselves together. We are to bear one another’s burdens. If we’re so caught up in being The Put-Together Mom, we’re not obeying those commands. How can we bear one another’s needs if we’re appearing too Put-Together? When I’m struggling with something, the last person I want to chat about it with is a Put Together Mom.
So the next time you see your Put-Together Mom, give her a hug (be sure to wrinkle her clothes a bit…just kidding) ask her how she is and invite her for coffee. You just might find a hurting Mom in need of your friendship.