It’s not often enough that I get to post about my Perfectly Imperfect movement. You might be thinking, “Heidi…you ALWAYS post about it.” But the fact of the matter is that as women (and men), we cannot get enough reminders that we ARE perfect as is…with our faults and all. We are good enough, we are smart enough, and doggone it, people like us. 😉 And there is something magical about hearing others open up about their lives and their struggles as well. We begin to see that maybe life IS supposed to be the way that it is and that our internal complaints about ourselves are not unique. We are not alone.
I have the pleasure of working with some of the best ladies in the world. All of them are incredibly real, raw, authentic, and empowering. One of these rare gems is my friend, Janey Kaspari. I’m telling you, there is no one in this world who will have you laughing, crying, and feeling so normal with your abnormalities as she does. Love her to death, and honored to have her as my PERFECT Perfectly Imperfect guest blogger. Sit back, relax, and enjoy…
A Perfectly Imperfect Working Mom
by Janey Kaspari
I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a picture perfect mother. My mom successfully raised 5 children, fostered one more, worked full-time, ran a part-time sewing business out of our home to make ends meet, decorated and crafted our house into 90s perfection, and would certainly never be caught dead in a messy bun or workout attire in place of actual clothing. Meals were hot and served with veggie or fruit sides, sporting events were always attended, church and community duties were fulfilled with a smile, and truth be told, I never once heard her and my dad argue. She is the picture of a lady—classy, well-mannered, not a crass word to leave her lips. She once told me she’s never uttered a swear, and dammit, I believe her. I am not my mother. In fact, I strongly believe if my mom and I met on the street, she might internally gasp, nervously sweat and avoid my gaze, and politely walking the other way.
The one thing my sweet mama and I do have in common is that we both have chosen the role of working mother. My mom a teacher, myself working in both a school and outpatient pediatric setting providing Occupational Therapy to special needs children. Additionally, I also have my fun job—working with the one and only Heidi Powell. I am so lucky to have not one, but two jobs that I love so much and make me feel so rewarded at the end of the day, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that being a working mom is also nothing short of hell on earth.
Although I love being a working mom, I almost always feel like I’m failing. We have a saying in the OT world: If you think you’re right handed and left handed, you’re probably bad at both. I think that sums up my feelings about my roles as both mother + business woman—trying to do two (or three or four) things equally well has left me failing at everything. Most days (read: every day) my hair is either greasier than a Five Guys burger or caked with an inch of dry shampoo. Every bra I own is soaked in breast milk stains, my car has approximately 37 various lego pieces scattered across the floorboards, my “homemade” meals almost always come from a crockpot, and my house is only clean because I hired someone to make it that way.
Besides the outward fails, the school parties I miss because of work meetings, the meals I skip because I’m busy trying to eek out just a few more ounces of breast milk, and the clothes I slap on despite being visibly dirty and smelling of spit up, I internally question my life decision to be a working mother every. single. day. A few weeks ago I was venting to a fellow new mama friend about my 12-hour work day, and she responded, “I could never work, I love my baby way too much.” I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. Was she purposely implying that because she stays at home she loves her daughter more than I love my sweet baby boy? No. Did some sick, deep rooted mom guilt make me feel that way? Absolutely.
Comparing myself to my amazing mother and how seamlessly she divided her attentions between her children and her work life, I will always feel like a failure. Scrolling through Instagram and gawking at all the leggy blondes that grace every inch of social media, I will always feel less than attractive. Tallying up my meek efforts against the Pinterest-perfect lives of my stay-at-home mom counterparts, I will always be burdened with jealousy.
But slowly, I am learning to shut my laptop, put down my phone, and stop comparing myself to the beautiful, supposed do-it-all mothers that I feel like completely surround me. I am learning to love all of the things that make me uniquely me. Yes, my stomach might sag over the top of my pants, but it sags because just a few months ago I successfully carried a perfect, healthy baby boy. Sure my car is dirty, but it is dirty because I am busy ensuring I don’t miss a single one of my son’s hockey games. My hair might be dirty and not-so-stylish, but that is because I spent my morning making breakfast for my boys instead of stressing about my messy bun. Have I missed the occasional school event? Yes, but that is because I am devoting my time to providing therapy for children who so desperately need my services.
If only we could, instead of comparing ourselves to the seemingly perfect women around us, realize that we are all very much the same. We all just want to be the best we can be, we want to feel like we give and do enough. We want to know that our shortcomings and flaws are ok. But guess what? We ARE enough. Janey Kaspari and her dirty hair, car, and shirt are enough. You and your weaknesses are enough.
Sometimes in our darkest hours, when the baby won’t stop screaming, that mess of hair simply can’t be tamed, and we’re running late to work (again), it’s hard to believe it. Trust me, I know. But it is my hope that, instead of letting our insecurities get the best of us, we can all just take a deep breath, maybe take a long swig of Diet Coke, and remember our imperfections are not our downfalls—they are what make us unique and beautiful and wonderful. They make us human and relatable. They are what make us Perfectly Imperfect, and Perfectly Imperfect is the best way to be.
Join us, along with many others, in our Perfectly Imperfect movement. Celebrate your humanness and embrace the imperfections that make us perfect.
Grab a Perfectly Imperfect shirt here, and snag one of my Perfectly Imperfect Tribe Bracelets at a discounted rate. Enter the code PERFECTLY2 at checkout to take $14 OFF of your shirt and $15 off of the Tribe Bracelet. That’s just $25 for BOTH the shirt and the bracelet! There’s never been a better time to take a stand against perfection! 😉