24 3 / 2014

I wore my pajamas to drop my son off at preschool this morning. A pair of plain black running pants and a hooded sweatshirt from my high school days. I had on no makeup, my glasses and a pair of tennis shoes.

It shouldn’t matter, right? I mean, I was completely covered up. I was not dressed inappropriately. None of the little four-year olds saw anything they would not have seen if I had been dressed, with my makeup done, etc. But it does matter. It matters very much.

My son goes to a private Christian preschool. He is the only student in the entire school from a single-parent family. I am one of only three mothers at that school who works, and the only one who works full-time and nights. I know that I should not care what other people think about me, but every time I show up looking like I just rolled out of bed, I feel like they are judging me.

The other moms make cupcakes and homemade Valentines and birthday invitations. It is everything I can do to make sure that my son is dressed, with all his necessary materials for the day at 8am, when I worked until 1am the night before.

I work in a restaurant where we are prided on being a little bit trashy. Tight jeans, hair done, makeup done, etc. I am very proud of my job. It allows me to pay all my bills on my own without any child support or help from anyone else. I have no problem telling people that I work there and I have no problem fitting into that stereotype while I am at work. I just do not want to be that person outside of work.

I want to be the put-together mom, who never has her contacts in backwards, who always has her hair and makeup styled perfectly, and who is always completely classy. That is not an easy achievement but it is what I strive for. Regardless of the “be yourself” and “you are beautiful the way you are” campaigns that are floating around the internet, I just want to be able to fit in with the other mothers at the preschool who did not have to work all night the night before.

For the record, I put my makeup on, put my contacts in and put on real clothes before I picked him up from school. I should probably go shower at some point though.