When I’m not mommy-ing or writing for Kveller, I am writing other forms of comedy or performing stand-up.
I was recently asked to shoot an episode of an online comedy show called “Headline Punchline”–a talking heads showcase where five comics are given five headlines the night before filming and are asked to write up punchlines for them. It’s very fun, and very stressful. But hey, I’m one of those sickies who actually works well under pressure.
The day of shooting, my wonderful husband took an extra-long lunch so that I could make myself look like a person presentable for the camera and less like a walking napkin. I did my hair and makeup and found clothes that weren’t covered in toddler-mess.
I shot my segment, rushed home, and quickly got back into my stretched out t-shirt and pants; ready to head out to the park with my daughter. My hair and makeup now felt out of place with my wardrobe change, and as I looked in the mirror, I felt like a fraud. I felt like I was supposed to project the harried mom that I was and not someone who obviously had the leisure time to apply eyeliner.
I immediately flashed back to when I had a full-time job in an office. Whenever I would wear something a little nicer than usual or my hair was styled a bit differently, someone would inevitably ask me something snarky like, “Why are you so dressed up? Do ya have a job interview or something?” And so, as I looked at my uncharacteristically fresh-faced self, I wondered if my daughter and I should just stay in for the day to avoid this potential line of questioning.
Don’t get me wrong: I have always admired the moms whose makeup is miraculously, fully intact instead of sweating off their faces as they dance around in music class. Or the ones who show up to a playdate while wearing shirts that actually match their pants. But for me, with every day ending with sidewalk chalk-coated pants or tomato seed-stained sleeves, I have decided to just go with it and BE a perpetual smock.
This is what I look like on a daily basis.
So, it felt strange to be exuding this image of, “Man, she really has her sh*t together.” Because I know I don’t…most of the time.
But then I realized, maybe on this day, I actually was able to balance career aspirations with hunting for snails by the garage with my toddler. Maybe for this moment in time, my sh*t was, in fact, together.
But don’t worry; it took less than 10 minutes for my daughter to smear her mud-coated hands through my flat-ironed hair.