Community is important in motherhood.
In fact, community is important in almost any endeavor. Especially in motherhood. You need other moms for comfort, for company, for a laugh.
You also need other moms to cry to while you curse the universe, teething and whoever created the Paw Patrol.
There are things amongst moms that are simply unspoken. There are sentences that will fall out of your mouth when you are with fellow moms that you might have to qualify with an explanation if shared with childless folk.
Such as, “no, I don’t always let the children run around the yard naked, but it was a warm day and the rain was so pleasant, I figured why not?” We got it. We understand. We won’t call CPS.
Here are just a few things your fellow moms will understand. (Trust me.)
In no specific order:
1.) Why your kids are wearing…
Mismatched socks or shoes. A polka-dotted shirt with striped pants. A Frozen or Ninja Turtles costume to the grocery store.
We understand your situation perfectly. You have a little one who is gaining a profound sense of independence, and learning to dress themselves. They are also developing the most “fun” trait of all the toddler years: opinions.
Sometimes, the quickest path to getting out of the house is the one of least resistance. Sometimes, for creativity and imagination’s sake, you just have to let them be. And sometimes, you don’t have time to sort through all of the socks to find a mate, so you put on socks that vaguely resemble each other and move on with your life.
I used to stress about mismatched socks. Until recently, when I started taking my daughter to a tumbling class at the YMCA. How relieved I was to see that she was not the only child cavorting around with mismatched socks.
I’m over it now.
2.) Why a trip to the __________ is never simple when kids are involved.
The grocery store. The MVA. A quick run into the pharmacy. Picking up something from a friend. Even if you’re going to be inside somewhere for less than four minutes, when the kids have to come with you? Game. Over.
Because even the simplest of tasks is NOT simple when your kids come with you. Because even though you only need toilet paper and milk at the store, it will take you thirty-seven minutes to accomplish getting it.
Because your children will change their mind about whether or not they want to ride in the cart. Because you just have to browse the toy aisle for a few minutes.
Because because because.
3.) Why you’re running late.
You couldn’t find someone’s rain boot. You couldn’t find their favorite toy. Your infant spit up all over themselves on your way out the door and everything ground to a halt.
Then you searched for your car keys and glasses. You zigged and zagged all over the house, only to find that the keys were in your pocket and your glasses were on your face the whole time.
No explanations needed.
We shall never speak of this again.
4.) Why your clothes have stains on them and there is gum in your hair…
Because your infant spits up more liquid than all the water in the entirety of Niagara falls. Because your kids think that they are sneaky when they rub their hands on your pants after they have wiped their noses. Because your child wanted to give you a gift when they hugged you, so they put their pureed carrots in your hair.
Because because because.
5.) The frustration of ______________________.
Every mother has one or two tasks that she just,…there really is no better way to say it, she’d rather jab flaming pencils in her eyes than do.
I sometimes lose my mind when I’m trying to put shoes or jackets on my children. Because if they aren’t fighting me to the death about getting out of the house, they’re removing their coats after I have already put them on.
Or, they “forget” which arm goes in which hole or which foot goes in which shoe. Or, worst of all, if I have to help them put a shoe on their foot, they stand there apathetically while I pound the bottom of their snows boots, trying to inch it on to their tiny foot.
See? Dull tipped pencils sound pretty good right about now.
6.) Why your kids watch television.
Your children are incredible. You love them. You do lots of things together.
But they make noise. And they make messes. And then they prevent you from cleaning those messes up. You also have phone calls to make, laundry to fold and you sometimes just want thirty minutes to yourself. So, they watch cartoons…
Because after one child has had you up half of the night, it’s perfectly acceptable for the children to watch a cartoon in the morning while you let the bliss of coffee resurrect you.
Because because because.
7.) Why your house looks like….
An episode of The Walking Dead, minus all of the body parts. Hand prints on your walls.Crusty, unrecognizable things on your dining room chairs. Coloring books, crayons, Lego’s and slinkys everywhere. You live in a Crayola and yogurt infested circus.
And when your mom friends come over, you want to justify the way everything looks, but you don’t have to. You want to say that you’re embarrassed. You want to say that it’s not normally this way, honest, you swear.
But that’s not entirely true, is it? You don’t WANT it to look like this. But it does. If you slack even the tiniest bit, this is what it will come to:
The truth is, your children can turn your house inside out within eight minutes after they wake up.
Go with it. Don’t let it stop you from socializing.
8.) Mom Guilt
Every mom suffers from this. Every mother thinks that every other mom is doing everything perfect, and that we are the failure. I can trace my motherhood path by the way I have let guilt eat at me.
I wish I had made homemade baby food. I wish that I was a mom who liked to wear her baby on the front of her where ever she went. I wish I was an early riser so that there could be scrambled eggs awaiting my family every morning. I wish for all kinds of things, and I share these wishes with friends.
The truth is that, in some ways, I’m not the mom that I thought I would be or the mom I hoped to be. You probably feel the same way. We have a lot more work to do, but the truth is, we are probably far better of a mother than the mold we try to put ourselves into. We are better than what we think we should be.
Share it. Cry about it. And try to move on. We all struggle. We all self-doubt. But your children love you and a mom who cares is
a good the best kind of mom.
9.) Why some days, you just want to quit
What does it look like when you quit mothering? I’m trying to picture that in my head. Do you hand in your written resignation to the husband or the children? Just who is really in charge around here, anyway? Would there be a retainer package and negotiations?
Can somebody really just…quit parenting?
No. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to go sit in the car in the driveway with the doors locked and the radio blaring while we stare at the steering wheel.
You will have bad days, all of you. Share them, and move on. Tomorrow is a new day that the Lord breathes life in to. Walk in it.
And call your friends, who will always talk you down from a ledge or show up at your doorstep with a cup of coffee.
10.) Why you do what you do.
Why do we subject ourselves to this?
Because we idealize motherhood. Because if we didn’t, we would go crazy. If motherhood was not a string of tiny revelations, then we wouldn’t sign ourselves up for it. Because those moments of magic make every hectic thing worth it.