We were at the playground, enjoying a warm afternoon just before dinner, when another mom came up to me and gushed, “Your children are so beautiful! And I can’t believe how well-behaved your little boy is. What’s your secret?”
As rude as it may sound, I had to struggle to keep from bursting into laughter. But then I realized how it must look… We were having a really good day! Brady was intently listening to my every word, making sure to sit carefully on the slide or to walk correctly up the slide’s ladder. Sometimes he’d run up to me just to give me a hug and to yell, “I luv you, Mama!” Kaitlyn was giggling with glee at my smiling face. And we were this image of happiness and perfection.
Of a calmness that moms crave. And for a moment, I considered admitting to the young mom that this scene before her wasn’t true. This beautiful moment wasn’t my life. Normally, I’m covered in spit-up, wiping poop off my hands, and running around the house like a chicken without a head.
But instead I experienced the moment through her eyes and realized that this sweet afternoon wasn’t a unicorn. It was real. But amidst the loud and the dirty and the chaotic, it was so easily overlooked or passed by. In fact, had she not pointed it out to me, I would have missed it!
Moments like this? They’re wildflowers growing through the cracks of a busy, city sidewalk. They’re beautiful and strong, but we have to choose to pause and acknowledge them. Because they are missed in the blink of an eye.
The hard moments? They’re so big sometimes that it can be easy to forget that mom life can be fun too. And funny! And too precious for words.
Most times, it’s about focus. Toddlers will push and test and run circles around you until you’re dizzy. Babies will make you miss sleep in ways you couldn’t imagine possible. But when you adjust that focus a bit and let yourself see mom life for what it is? Priorities shift just a bit.
Fifteen more minutes at the playground is worth it. You’ll realize that dinner might just be scrambled eggs, but that’ s okay. Families were surviving on simple meals long before Pinterest arrived to guilt us all into thinking that we need to cook gourmet food every day.
You might not get a hot shower before you start your day, but those cuddles first thing in the morning won’t last forever. So they’re to be treasured more than gold. Who cares about that shower, in fact. Your heart is overflowing with happiness right now.
Yeahhhh, you’d love to make it to the store alone. But you’re not ‘stuck’ home watching Curious George again. You have the amazing opportunity to snuggle and laugh with a little boy whose whole world revolves around you.
You might not know how you’re going to get everything accomplished this week, but you can take care of your littles right now. Right now, that’s what matters. Them. And only them.
Not the house. Not the job. Not the other requirements and responsibilities. Those little versions of you are what matter most.
So play. And laugh. And snuggle. Dance, sing, and make memories. Have fun!
And although there are hard moments that make you question your ability to parent, like that wildflower in the city, push through. And focus. Focus on the beauty. Because you ARE doing an amazing job. And I can guarantee that there are beautiful moments all around you if you just look.