How many times have you run into her on the soccer field or at the grocery store (pre-pandemic of course): the mom who always seems to have it together. She arrives five minutes early everywhere she goes, never frazzled and always with a smile on her face. She’s dressed like your favorite fashion blogger, even in the carpool line. Worst of all, her kids look you in the eye and use phrases like “yes, ma’am” on a regular basis. 

And, there you are: running late {again}, with “not sure what” all over your decades-old sweatshirt, watching your kid throw himself on the floor in a rage…because you wouldn’t let him hold your cell phone.  

I’m not making up this scene in my head. I’m speaking from personal experience. 

I hate to admit it, but I’ve spent way too much time succumbing to the ick that this scenario digs up in all of us. As I’ve second-guessed my way through parenthood, I’ve often felt defeated when looking at those moms around me who seem to have it all figured out. But, you know what? In these moments of insecurity, I haven’t compared truth to truth. I’ve stacked my feelings of inadequacy up against the “appearance” of perfection in other moms. And, a little bit of time and a whole lot of observation have taught me something.

NONE of us really have it “all together.” Especially now. 

Nope. Nada. None.

Listen, regardless of the stages our children are in, we are all clueless. There is no golden rule book for parenting, and as we navigate this crazy ride, we’re all going to question ourselves no matter where we are in the journey. While we’ll find tricks that work for our families, and our confidence will grow as we gain insight and wisdom, there’s never going to come a time when we don’t wonder if we’re doing it right. And, you know what’s really interesting? 

That’s what makes us all the same. 

Behind every perfectly made-up face and joyful Instagram post is a mom who has moments of sadness, fear, and utter lack of confidence. And, I’d bet anything the same things that keep you up at night, keep her up, too. 

So, what do we do with all of this? We have to begin by putting a stop to the vicious cycle of comparison – it’s quicksand for our souls. Just because your neighbor hired unicorns to run around at her kid’s birthday party, and it took everything you had to whip up a batch of Duncan Hines cupcakes for yours, doesn’t make you a failure. It makes her talented at putting beautiful things together. That doesn’t negate the ways in which you’re gifted, also. As for me, my four children will never wear coordinated outfits, and I will consistently forget about 252 deadlines over the course of a school year. But, I am really good at being their mom in my own flawed, imperfect way.

No one is going to love my kids better than me. And, that goes for you, too.

Come on, now… As you hold your unwashed head of hair high, salute the moms walking around Kroger at 3 p.m. looking absolutely flawless. Applaud the women who make homemade baked goods for the entire school staff every other week. Cheer for the ladies whose children eat their vegetables, win all the citizenship awards, and never forget to say “thank you.”

Just confidently remember that there’s really no such thing as perfection, especially when it comes to motherhood.

But, lucky for your kids – there is YOU. Beautifully unique you. 

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Tracie is a Florida girl who fell in love with Atlanta’s southern charm after graduating from college. She currently lives in the John’s Creek area with her husband and four children. If you don't see her in a carpool line or at a kid's sports field, she's most likely at home writing or in her virtual classroom where she teaches middle school students in language arts. Tracie writes about food, family, and faith on her personal blog, and you can read more at