Think back for a minute. Picture in your mind’s eye, the worst parenting day you’ve ever had.
The day that you felt for sure that someone was going to knock on the door and declare, with much pomp and circumstance, that you were mis-labeled. That you really were an absolute DISASTER of a parent.
What if I told you, that instead of being your lowest mothering moment, it was actually your finest?
No, really. I mean it.
I’ll prove it to you by sharing what I like to call Heather’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.
Shoplifting, Explosion Poops, and Mommy Meltdowns
It was my first out-of-the-house experience as of a mother of three. There was six-inches of snow on the ground and it was 5°F outside. After thirty minutes of donning coats, scarves, hats, boots, gloves (Has anyone seen my PINK gloves? Mom, I can only find one boot…etc. etc.) we finally piled into our newly-acquired minivan.
After stopping by the drug store for a “quick” three-item shopping list, I finally managed to buckle the last buckle and turned to put the cart away…which is where I found an unpurchased bottle of baby shampoo taunting me. (It had slid underneath the newborn car seat.)
Okay. Let’s go over our options here:
- Option A: Get all three kids out of the van again (5°), go in and pay. Be late to doctor’s appointment, be late to Cameron’s Christmas office party, where they were all waiting for the reveal of his latest daughter.
- Option B: Get all three kids out of the van again, return the bottle, and make this “quick” stop again tomorrow.
- Option C: Mentally block what I was doing, toss the gosh-darn shampoo into the van before I can feel the first pang of guilt and make a run for it.
*sigh* Can you guess which one I chose?
Please Tell Me I’m Not the Only One..
Once we got to the doctor’s office, Isabella decided to have one of those monstrous diaper explosions that make you question why you had kids in the first place. I had forgotten to bring extra clothes in the diaper bag, so guess whose baby smelled like crap? Yep. Mine.
Elena and Lauren were acting like a toddler and a preschooler…they were fighting. (Please pretend to be shocked that my children occasionally misbehave in public.) I was juggling a screaming poo-bathed newborn, a cranky obstinate toddler, and a preschooler who couldn’t. stop. asking. questions. (Mommy, how old is God?)
Finally, we piled back into the Odyssey to head over to Cameron’s office Christmas party, 30 minutes late. I turned the key…
Unknown to me, on the way to the doctor, Lauren decided to “explore” the new van’s interior lights. It was completely dead. Here’s a word of advice: don’t get stuck in a doctor’s office the week before Christmas. Of their non-vacationing staff of 4, not one (all women) knew how to battery jump a car. (I’m not judging. After all, I didn’t know how either!)
I had left my cell phone at home (Mommy brain), and I couldn’t remember Cameron’s brand-new cell number (that’s why I have a cell! so I can just push “1”!). No one was sitting at their desk, of course, because it was an office Christmas party. 60-minutes later, AAA arrived to jump the van and we headed home.
The New Maniac Side of Mommy
Driving home, I had a complete meltdown of tears. (Post-partum anyone?) All three kids were completely silent in the car, probably scared spitless at this new maniac side of Mommy.
All I could think was….
“Is this going to be my new life? I signed up for THIS?
I can’t even handle three kids on my own for 3 hours, let alone 18 years!
How do people DO THIS! Everyone else makes Motherhood look so easy.”
Once I got home, I settled the kids in front of the TV (because if I’m going to feel guilty at my mommy-fails, I might as well go all the way, right?) and called a friend, spilling out the day’s nightmare and expecting a flood of empathy.
What I got, though, were stifled giggles. Which was exactly what I needed. She shared HER worst parenting day ever, and soon we were both guffawing and chuckling over the insanity that only kids can give you.
What Does It Mean to Be a Mighty Mom?
This “off” day (and all the thousands that came after) have taught me this: Some days just suck.
Being a Mighty Mom isn’t about not having those bad mom days, it’s about showing up the day after. That your finest moment as a mother begins by just being there. Day after day.
It’s the deep breath, the decision to get up again at 2am.
As a social worker, I worked with many kids whose moms decided not to show up. Don’t take this for granted: you really are making a choice every morning to keep going.
Every day, you make a choice to…
- keep rocking that screaming baby.
- have patience with that obstinate toddler.
- be compassionate with that frustrated preschooler.
No one is tying you to a chair and forcing you to be here. You are choosing to show up. So, even if you are reading this feeling like the worst mother in the world.
Defeated. Overwhelmed. Lost.
You are still a Mighty Mom, because you have taken the very first step. You’ve showed up.
That’s what I hope this website can be. A community of moms who are choosing to show up. Yes, we all parent a bit differently, make mistakes, and have horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad days. But we get through them.
If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to join our little Mighty Moms Club. No fees. No code words. Not even a secret handshake. (Although I really do think that would be SO COOL.)
Just articles and conversations from moms just like you. We are going to fill this website with articles about pregnancy, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, food, home organization, party planning, money management…pretty much any and every topic that we, as loving parents, might find helpful.
It’s what we are. Together.
We are mighty.
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