Yes, you. You with the crispy hair from too many days of dry shampoo.
You with the stack of mail you’ve promised to sort through for at least two weeks.
You over there saying a little prayer that your kid doesn’t get salmonella from the slightly expired eggs you fed him this morning (cooked in the microwave, of course, and eaten on the way to school, as if that needed to be said).
You with the screaming toddler in the checkout line at Target, beads of sweat dripping down the back of your neck, while people give you their judgy side-glances for not controlling your child better.
You with the soft bags under your eyes from staying up too late last night, just so you could savor a few delicious minutes of alone time.
You with your knotted-up stomach from worrying about your kid’s grades because you don’t have time to pee, much less sit down to help her with homework at night.
You with the voicemail box filled with messages from teachers and school principals because your kid has behavior issues, and you can’t take time off work to meet with them in person.
You with your head hung low because the reality of your life doesn’t look nearly as rosy as the one you pictured when the seeds for your little family were just being planted.
I have something to tell you. A scrumptious secret.
You are admired by someone.
You are revered by someone.
You are a beaming ray of hope and light to someone and you don’t even know it.
You don’t know it because they probably haven’t told you.
Because for some reason, we don’t share these things with each other. We don’t want to seem creepy or mushy.
Or because they don’t want you to think they don’t have it together.
Or maybe they have told you, but you didn’t believe it.
Because, how could someone admire you, when some days - most days - you feel like you’re running on a treadmill that's racing so fast, your heart’s beating like a drum in your chest and you can’t push the Emergency Stop button because you can’t take your hands off the handrails for fear of shooting off the back, leaving a mom-shaped hole in the sheetrock behind you?
But it’s true.
You’re doing something right (whatever “right” means) in some way for somebody, and while you’re self-shaming because you’re drowning in a tub full of exhaustion and overlooked bills and expired dairy products, you’re rocking a certain something for somebody else that proves you’ve still got your head above water.
You are showing up as a woman. As a mom.
Someone else is looking at you with envy. At something you do that’s different - better, in their mind - than the way they do it.
Those few tiny things that you do with ease (you don’t even realize you have some of those, do you? “Things you do with ease,” I mean)? Those things seem like impossible achievements to someone else.
Your lowest acceptable standard of whatever-it-is, someone else is thinking, “She’s got that shit together,” or “Why can she do it, but I just can’t?”
We all have these thoughts at one point or another.
But here’s what I want you to do today: I want you to pull on your sensible panties - the super-soft cotton ones that have the tiny hole at the elastic because of the hard water and the fact that you’ve owned them since before you were pregnant with your 12-year-old, - slap on some concealer, and lift your face up to the sun with a big smile, because - you might not feel like it - but you are a hero, badass of a woman to someone else today.
Today and everyday.
You are a firework. A radiant superwoman perched high on someone’s pedestal as we speak.