Over at CatholicMom.com, I explain why you need to kick out of your brain that imaginary mother living in your head.
Mythical Mom is what happens when you take a few general impressions and fill in the blanks with heroic detail:
Mythical Mom is the warped product of charitable thinking (it doesn’t do to assume your new acquaintance is a lousy housekeeper until you have hard evidence it’s so) combined with broad experience. You know this mother who runs her own business, that mother who smocks heirloom first communion dresses, and the other mother who tutors calculus. You meld them all together in your imagination, never minding that it’s physically impossible to hand sew and operate a mechanical pencil at the same time. Mythical Mom does calculus in her head.
Mythical Mom makes you impatient with those ladies you know who seem like they have it made, and you wonder why they can’t do one little thing to help you out:
Mythical Mom always has a smile, but Mrs. C may well be icing the cramps in her cheeks after a day of putting on cheerfulness so that other people don’t have to be pulled down by her problems.
Mythical Mom gets personal when jealousy kicks in:
Real women don’t have enchanted lives. Mythical Mom will persuade you that somehow your normal marriage, your normal job, your normal family, are all terribly short of the mark. Get her out of your marriage, fast, because she’s the original homewrecker.
And if she can’t have your marriage, she’ll take you:
How can you ever be good enough, when Mythical Mom is fit, beautiful, talented, intelligent, kind, holy, and always, always impeccably organized?
. . . When Mythical Mom is in charge, you’ll always feel like the one lady in the mother’s group who doesn’t have it together. The one who doesn’t fit in. The outsider. The also-ran.
The only solution?
Kick her out.
Read the whole thing here, and be forever freed from the beast.
Artwork: Gustave Moreau [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons