A couple weeks ago, we were having an uncharacteristically hot day, so I took my kiddos on a picnic to the park. As we were sitting and eating, we saw a woman with two little kids on bikes, pushing a stroller. The little girl was struggling to pedal the bike, and kept stopping, while the older brother was way ahead. I could sympathize with the dilemma that Mom was facing. Not only the dilemma of which child to go to first, but also one that goes a little deeper. The one where you do hard things so that you make sure your kids are being raised right. The one where, if you spend too much time with your kids, you need to cut the cord, but if you don’t spend enough time with them, you are neglectful and selfish. Surely both situations are setting the kids up for failure, which they will have to deal with later in life with a therapist.
The ending to the story? The little girl ended up walking, leaving her mom to carry her bike and push the stroller. If you think moms aren’t super heroes, guess again.
Fast forward to today, when we were running errands in town. There was a woman walking out of the store we had just arrived at, holding the hands of two little boys, one of which was crying big crocodile tears. She was empty handed, so I’m thinking it was a situation of, “if you’re going to act like that, we are not getting anything. Put it down and let’s go.” Yeah, been there.
It’s in these situations where I wish I had the courage to walk up to the woman and say, “you know what? You are amazing. Your kids are cute and I’m sure they are awesome too, and you are a good mom. Way to go. Keep up the good work! ” While I work up my courage with real people, I wanted to reach out through the world wide inter web and offer some encouragement. Because the truth is, being a mom is so.dang.hard. These little beings, whom you love more than life itself: are trying to figure life out along with you. With different personalities, that can be chaos and drama waiting to happen, until you can find a way to be in harmony with each other.
This may be cliche, but I like the way this following message is like a high five to my fellow moms:
To the mom who tried to venture out to the park with 3 little kids and ended up carrying a bike: you are freaking Wonder Woman. Your kids won’t remember the struggle, they’ll remember your effort.
To the mom who stuck to her guns, put the toy back and marched the kid out of the store: You just taught your son a valuable lesson that his mom follows through. She does what she says she’s going to do. When he’s a teenager and has much heavier things weighing on his heart, he’ll know that he can count on you.
To the mom at Taco Bell with the new baby, tugging and pulling at ill-fitting clothes: You are beautiful. I know you don’t feel it right now, but you are. Your body just made a human. The time will come when you’ll be able to lose the weight and fit into your clothes better. But for now, enjoy the baby snuggles and don’t apologize for holding your baby more often then the “experts” say you should.
To the Mom who is going to bed tonight feeling like you yelled at your kids one too many times today: Tomorrow is a new day. Take a deep breath, and go look at your babies while they sleep. You’ll be reminded of the gifts they are and it will give you the resolve to do better tomorrow. And also, kids are the most forgiving humans on the planet. Forgive yourself, and do better tomorrow.
To the Mom who feels like she is on her own, even when the husband is in the next room: plain and simple, you’re NOT alone. There are women out there who feel the same. And more than that, there is a God in Heaven who sees you and knows where your heart is. He won’t leave you. Ever. Put one foot in front of the other, and keep loving forward. You were given these children for a reason, because God knew you were the best one to understand and guide them. Hold on to that and keep going.
To the woman who is struggling to have children of her own: My heart aches for you. I know the longing that fills your heart and the emptiness inside your arms. You have an important purpose in this world. Whether it takes a couple more years for you to experience the rich blessing of motherhood, or it doesn’t happen for you in this life, please know that you are loved and needed. It takes a village to raise a child, and you are an important part in someone’s village.
We have to keep moving forward and trusting that our purpose as moms– WOMEN– is divine. We don’t have to do it alone. We should be building each other up and empowering each other. The world is so full of garbage, but it is also full of light. You just have to look for it. And if you don’t see it, start by being the light yourself. We got this, ladies!