Monday, April 13, 2015

That Mom

A few months ago I ran into a woman carrying a screaming toddler out of Target.  I tried to give her my most sympathetic look, my best "we've all been there" look, to which she replied to me, "What, haven't you seen a crying child before?"  Yes, yes I have.  My own.  On multiple occasions.  In your exact situation.

I guess my best sympathetic look can easily be confused with my most judgmental look.  And you know what... before I had kids, she'd be right.

Before I had kids, I swore I would never be THAT mom.  You know, that mom with the screaming kid at the grocery store.  That mom breastfeeding her toddler in public (without a cover -gasp-).  That mom wearing PJ's for the 3rd day in a row.  That mom checking her phone while pushing her baby on the swing at the park.  That mom with the kid in clothes too small, too dirty, or too silly in public (I have to laugh out loud at that one!!). I definitely had rose colored glasses as to what motherhood, and more specifically stay at home motherhood, would be like.  Certainly MY child would not be rowdy in church, or mean to other kids at the playground, or wearing dress up clothes in public, because I am the parent, I will teach him how to behave, and he will respect me and my rules.




I guess I forgot to factor in the fact that kids come with opinions and -just my luck!- mine would be particularly strong willed.

Before I had kids, I would watch kids and their parents and make a mental list in my head of things I would never do.  And ya know what?  I've done of the things on that list.  Every one.  I've yelled, spanked, given in, bribed, and flat out given up.  I've worn PJ's, and work out clothes, and even high heels to the park.  I've carried a screaming child out of the park, the store, the library, the mall, and everywhere in between.  Because sometimes, we are all THAT mom.  Kids have bad days.  Moms have bad days.  And sometimes a momma's gotta do what a momma's gotta do.  Sometimes it means laying down the law and sometimes it means giving in.  But this doesn't make us bad mothers.  It makes us human.  And the fact that we care so much means that we are doing something right.

I used to think, "I will never do that."  Now I just laugh and think, "Tomorrow that will be me."  Being a mother is such an up and down roller coaster.  But my gosh, it's a fun ride and I'm grateful to be on it.  Even if some days I am THAT mom.

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