There’s so much “advice” to be had out there these days. Anywhere you turn, there’s an article or a blog or a news report to support your line of thinking, whatever that may be. Or, in the case of parenting, maybe to make you doubt your line of thinking, whatever that may be. 😉
The reality is, as a young mother, “advice” is usually the absolute last thing I’m looking for. Advice is easy to come by, whether it’s requested or not. Opinions fly right and left, and in the end, so few of them are useful to the individual parent and child because the whole point of mothering a child is that that child and mother are unique.
Yesterday, I took all 3 kids to Target – 4 if you count Baby #4 inside me. 😉 After a while of shopping through morning-but-really-all-day sickness, I figuratively threw up my hands and started handing my squawking 1-year-old Lucas the sour patch kids I keep on me for my nausea. Just as I was putting one in his hand, I caught the eye of a gentleman across the aisle, and I instantly wondered what he must be thinking of this mother with an overflowing cart full of kids, a pregnant belly, and obviously ZERO sense of proper nutrition for her child. 😉
He smiled. He winked. And then he said, “They make life crazy, don’t they? Crazy and so damn wonderful you don’t know what you’d do without them. God bless. You’re doing a great job.”
Thank you for that, you wonderful, thoughtful, kind stranger in Target. Because your words are what I needed. Those words are what I wish for all the time now, it feels like. I need someone to know. And it made me think of all the other mothers of littles I know who feel the same way – that mothering littles is the most beautiful, the most rewarding job in the world – and that it can also feel like the most isolating and lonely one.
We want to hear you say that you remember. You remember what it’s like to be so tired you feel like crying.
You remember what it’s like when being “sick” just meant doing everything you always do, while you feel like death.
You remember that each tiny struggle with your child filled your heart with doubt and guilt and you sometimes felt like the worst mother in the world.
You remember that each time you chose gentleness instead of anger, compassion instead of impatience – it was worth more to you than anyone knew.
You remember feeling invisible in a room full of people. You remember the people who made you feel seen, even when they were the people you’d least expect.
You remember all the baby giggles and gooey kisses and tiny hands… and you remember that sometimes all you wanted was 10 minutes away from them to call yourself your own.
And you remember that then you would always feel terrible for having such thoughts.
You remember the good, too.
You remember the simplicity of life with little ones, and how petty drama had no place in your life.
You remember that incredible pride when your little one achieved a goal no one else even noticed.
You remember the milestones, you remember the snuggles, the stories read, the baby secrets shared.
You remember the excitement of every special day, every sandwich cut into a favorite shape, every art project, every belly laugh that filled your home with happiness.
You remember all of it. And you remember that it’s worth it.
Talk to us, you seasoned parents. Tell us you remember. Remind us that it’s wonderful when you see us struggle. Show us that you see us trying – trying so, so hard all the time.
But most of all, tell us you remember what it was like to be here.