Love your fellow Mama
This morning, my daughter had cross country practice. I was surprised when she said she wanted to join the team because (a) she’s not really a runner and (b) it would mean getting up earlier than usual and my girl likes her sleep. The first few practices, she jumped out of bed, got dressed, ate breakfast and skipped down the road to school. Today, however, my early wake-up call was met with a lot of resistance.
With a little encouragement and positive talk, we got her to the practice on time. I’d like to say that this is the case every time we have a struggle in the morning, but it is definitely not. Many, many mornings are spent nagging and negotiating and yelling. I feel depleted and defeated, collapsing into my car to get to work…guilt gnawing at the pit of my stomach all the way there. I imagine my kids going through their day with the same feeling and I wonder if they feel sad and mad at me all day at school.
However, when I see them later on, they are not harboring any ill will or residual angst from the mornings chaos. They meet me with smiles and hugs…we’re all good. And, so it goes.
Back to this morning…after I had dropped my daughter to her practice, I was walking our dog around the park where our school is when I heard the cries of a little girl. I could see a mom, clearly frustrated, loudly scolding her daughter. She was telling her to get to the practice or that was it…no playdates no treats – nothing. Their exchange ended with the little girl going into the school and the mom storming away.
If you are like me, you are immediately judging the mom in this scenario. But…I ask you…just for a second, to reconsider. As I felt the sanctimony rising within me a little voice came into my head…“that could be you. That HAS been you.”
Yes, I have yelled at my kids. Yes, I have uttered threats. Yes, I have used my size and volume to get them to pay attention. Yes…I have, too, been that mom.
Part of me wanted to run after her and give her a big hug…knowing that she was likely going to get into her car with the same sadness and shame I have also experienced. I wanted to tell her that it’s okay. Her daughter will greet her this evening with a hug and smile.
Because, for the most part, we are all doing the very best we can. We are inundated each and every day with images and words and Facebook posts and Instagram photos of everyone who is doing it better.
Guess what though…they’re not.
None of us have this parenting thing all figured out. So, as hard as it is to reserve judgement…try to love your fellow mama. She’s feeling the same uncertainty you are.