To my mom friend who always seems self-conscious

To my friend who always seems self-conscious:

I don’t care if you are dressed to kill or wearing pajama bottoms in public.

I don’t care if your hair is salon-coiffed or your roots are showing.

I don’t care if you are made up like a TV anchor or if your recent sleepless nights are written all over your face.

You don’t need to defend your choices to me, whether you’re a SAHM, WAHM, WOHM or just a tired mom.

You don’t need to apologize for the mounds of laundry in the living room, the dirty dishes in the sink, the toys on the dining room floor.

You don’t need to apologize for your clean house, either, but you should know I might ask to move in!

Do your kids wear new clothes from Walmart or Land’s End, or thrift-store scores, or hand-me-downs? It isn’t necessary to explain their wardrobe to me.

It doesn’t matter to me if you are married, divorced or single; if your husband works in a bank or a coal mine, or at all.

Know this: I am your peer, your friend, your cheerleader, your shoulder to cry on, your sounding board, your partner in parenthood, your would-be confidante.

Also know this: You are worthy. You are unique. You have talent. You are kind and generous. You are an awesome person, an awesome mom.

I understand your need to seem put-together all the time, to put on a brave face, to explain away any perceived fault or pain. I find myself caught in that losing battle sometimes, too

It doesn’t make me like you any more or less, but it does put up a wall between us.

Dear friend, I always want the best for you. Let me help you tear down that wall, brick by brick.

Then we can take out all our mommy frustrations together by smashing them on the ground!

Betsy Bethel is the Life editor of the Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and editor of OV Parent magazine. She can be reached at

(Previously published as a blog on OV Parent magazine website,