The fantastic world of Unicorn Moms
‘And they were all there in their Lululemon at Starbucks at 11am, perfectly coiffed after completing their 5km run…”
Late one afternoon last week, I interrupted a conversation between two working mothers. They were describing a posse of stay-at-home moms with the awe of two women watching a supermodel eat Krispy Kremes.
“Are you talking about Westwind moms?” I offered up.
“No Homma,” one corrected, “but they’re in Dunbar too.”
With baited breath, they described Spring Break Maui vacations, manicured fingernails, and stomachs you could bounce a twoonie off of. These moms lived on the nice side of their subdivisions, headed up the parents’ committee, and had children who knew their pleases and thank yous. Their lives were inconceivable.
“They’re worse in Tsawwassen…” I added, “I hear they send their daughters on expensive ballet camp in Montreal for the summer… and they do two week holidays over the Winter Break as well.”
“I overheard one complaining that they didn’t know what to do now that their youngest was in kindergarten… she was thinking of taking up golf.”
“And they have cabins on Savary Island and Whistler, both.”
We all stood there, speechless for a moment, imagining such a life. Leaning against our plastic desks, sipping our office coffee, we engaged in fantasy, suburban mom-style.
Because that’s what it really was… a fantasy. When we imagine the buff, relaxed stay at home with the perfect life, it’s kind of like imagining a unicorn stepping out of the Richmond Nature Park. Yes, there are beautiful stay-at-home mothers who occasionally stop their lives for a coffee with friends but the reality of domestic motherhood is less sparkly. And like a unicorn, the fantasy mothers don’t really exist.
I’ve been there, part time. My days at home are not filled with multiple girlfriend dates. Most of the time, I’m scrubbing the toilet or doing my taxes or marking. My Lululemon outfit is 15 years old and I’ve never been asked out for coffee. But I can fantasize about the Unicorn Moms.
We need these fantasies in the same way that we need celebrities in the gossip magazines. We need to feel more essential and relevant than these glittery fantastic creatures whose lives we can only imagine. We need to feel that we would somehow choose not to be one of those creatures (even if our husband/prince charming set us up in a sprawling mansion in the Homma catchment area)
In the meantime, we live our daily grind, both the stay at homes and the working mothers (who probably fantasize about working moms with their hour long lunch dates downtown.)
The grass is always greener on the other side. That’s where the unicorns graze.
Andrea Phillpotts is a Richmond writer and teacher. Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of any school district, organization, or school. Her column appears every other Wednesday in The Richmond Review.