the thirties grind

get up, go to work, raise kids, pay bills, sleep. repeat.

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.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Love your fellow Mama

  1. Shannon on said:

    I feel you there. I have those regrets too (all the time!) and wonder if the kids stay upset and off kilter as long as I do when we’ve had moments like that. I seem to dwell on it, but like you said, they usually bounce back much quicker and easier than we do! S and N’s first go at soccer camp was an epic failure as I lost my temper on them when they weren’t enthusiastic and wanting to participate. My kids not want to play soccer?? NO WAY. Now I’ve grown to realize they likely are more interested in other sports (and N wasn’t ready yet developmentally) but it was a learning moment as I was not proud of how I behaved after spending money on the camp and they didn’t want to play.

    Just the other day I watched a mum struggling to get her youngster to leave daycare. He wanted to go with his friends who had just gone outside. I smiled at the mum and told her I felt her pain as I’d been there before (most days pickup with our oldest little guy was like this – sweaty and frustrated mess after a long day at work when he doesn’t want to leave). As her little one continued hysterically, she eventually got him to the car but he wouldn’t get in his seat. She threatened that he’d have to stay I his room for the rest of the night. I gulped as I’ve never said that, but gosh I’ve felt like saying it. I wanted to go over and tell her that this is the hard stuff and she was doing great. But by the time I got my littlest in his seat, she was in her car pulling away. I wish I’d stopped her to tell her what I was thinking cause sometimes it’s what you need to hear: that you’re not alone and you’re doing your best when you maybe feel you’re at your worst.

    Hugs. We can do this. It isn’t always pretty but as long as we’re trying to do our best, it is enough. We are enough!

  2. Harriet Fancott on said:

    We all been there and the kids will be totally fine. I.M.O.

  3. Erin D on said:

    As the mom of a recently married 25 year old daughter I had said to her after looking at the many facebook posts of young moms today that I didn’t do so many fancy things for her growing up and she replied “I turned out okay”

    I was lucky to have not parented in the social media age. I think it was much easier back in the 90/00s.

    You are doing a great job and the kids will turn out okay 🙂

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