I imagine those other moms sort, wash, dry, fold and put away their children’s clothes every day.
I believe that other moms create culinary masterpieces — complete with fresh vegetables and a baked-from-scratch dessert — every night for dinner.
In my mind, better moms organize all the toys in their houses by shape, color and size and have them on cute Ikea shelving units in a playroom that’s always clean.
Sometimes, as I’m staring at the always-growing pile of dirty laundry in my house, I imagine what it’s like for other moms. It’s the motherhood equivalent of “the grass is always greener,” I think.
I’m sure other people’s children gladly get ready for bed and drift peacefully to sleep at 8 p.m. every night.
In the morning, those children rise happily after a full night of sleep, brush their teeth without being asked and get dressed in the outfit they picked out the night before.
In other houses, toddlers are potty trained and never dump their full dinner plates on the floor.
Some days, I strive to be like these “other” mothers. I stay up late doing dishes, making lunches, prepping dinners and cleaning up toys.
But, during a particularly stressful week recently, I couldn’t keep up. The dishes stacked up. Clothes, clean and dirty, seemed to be everywhere. Toys, mail and newspapers littered the floor of the living room, kitchen and bedrooms.
I felt like I had failed. I thought that every other mom in the world can do it. Why can’t I?
Then I came home after a late night at work, and my house was clean. My husband and kids had spent the night straightening up and putting toys away.
I could see the floor in my living room, where my kids were having a camp out. My toddler was snuggled next to his big sister, who was snoring lightly.
On the couch was my husband, who woke up long enough to smile and ask me how my night was.
As I dragged myself to bed that night, I thought that maybe I have a few things figured out, too.
And I need to stop worrying about what I think is happening in the homes of other moms and focus on all the good things happening in mine.
Kara Eberle is the day metro editor at York Daily Record/Sunday News. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.