Shop the fall collection ➔

I love my kids, and I love watching them play. I do not, however, love taking them to the playground.

I’m just not a playground mom.

I know I don’t need to explain myself to the other non-playground moms. The noise, the small talk, the heat, the dangers lurking around every corner, the battle that will inevitably ensue when it’s time to go home. 

It’s just not my thing, and the thought of my little girl falling from the top of a play structure spikes my anxiety a little too much

My 3-year-old, however, loves the playground.

Less often than she would like and more often than I would like, I pack her up and take her to the park. You could say we’ve reached some sort of balance. 

RELATED: I’m Not Stuck-Up, I’m Just Socially Exhausted

Recently, I found myself at a packed playground with her and my newborn twins. It was one of the first nice days of spring, so of course, the park was packed. I had one baby strapped to my chest, one in a stroller, and I was keeping an eye on my toddler from afar. I’m sure I looked just as enthused as I actually was to be there. That is to say, not very enthused. 

Looking around, I didn’t see anyone I recognized, so I planted myself on the outskirts of the play area, giving me space to take care of the babies while also watching my daughter. 

“That’s so hard,” I heard a fellow mom say as she walked up behind me.

Surely, nobody could be talking to me, I thought. I don’t exactly look approachable when I’m in one of my least favorite places. As I turned around, I realized that sure enough, she actually was talking to me.

“I can tell you’ve got a kid out there. I see you watching her like a hawk,” the other mom added as if “out there” was some sort of battleground. Guilty as charged. 

We went on to have a polite conversation about how hard it is to have toddlers and babies at the same time. Because in case you’ve never experienced it, it’s really, really hard. 

I’m not sure who this other mom was. I never even got her name, but I want to tell her thank you. Thank you for validating my parenting experience. 

RELATED: I Want To Make Motherhood Look Effortless, But I’m Desperate For You To Acknowledge How Hard it is 

I walked away from that conversation still not loving the playground but feeling a little bit lighter. Without doing much and only taking a few minutes out of her day, she made my day a little bit brighter.

She made me feel less alone and more equipped with just a few simple words.

She didn’t even give me a compliment or tell me I was doing a good job. All she did was confirm my running internal monologue these days: this is really hard. 

She may never know how validating those simple words were

So, next time you’re at the playground or the grocery store or the doctor’s office and you see another parent doing their best to take care of multiple kids, say the nice thing. Validate their experience. It doesn’t take much. A simple “what you’re doing is really hard” will suffice, and it may just make all the difference. 

Alicia Betz

Alicia is a freelance writer and former teacher. She specializes in parenting, education, and pets. She has a bachelor's and master's in education and also runs a freelance writing business. You can usually find her hiking, working out, going to the movies, or writing with napping babies on her lap. 

Good Moms Get Scared, Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, selfie, color photo

Postpartum anxiety: a different spin on what I thought I was dealing with (postpartum depression). After the birth of my son, I had the baby blues for a little bit, but I spun into a clinical textbook definition of someone with postpartum anxiety right away. Let’s be honest though, I’ve lived with anxiety all my life. I just kicked it up a notch or 10 when my son was born. I was overcome by this irrational fear that my son would die as soon as we were released from the hospital. DIE. Not just have an undiagnosed incurable illness, but...

Keep Reading

To the Woman Swinging My Toddler at the Park

In: Journal, Motherhood
To the Woman Swinging My Toddler at the Park www.herviewfromhome.com

Yes, I see you lifting my three-year-old into that swing next to your own child. I saw her get between the two of you and grab each of your hands as you walked across the park, too. And yes, I am just going to sit here chatting with my friends while you push both of them. You are very sweet for doing so, but you certainly don’t have to. She would have been fine if you had ignored her. She would have laid on her belly in that low one and had a blast by herself. I used to be you, the...

Keep Reading

Being a Mom With Anxiety is Hard, But it Doesn’t Make Me Weak

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom sitting on floor with child

What would motherhood be like if I didn’t have anxiety? I’ve wondered this so many times over the last six years, especially when I meet a mom who exudes joy and seems to always be so loving and present with her kids. Or one who is unphased by the noise, chaos, and overstimulation of motherhood. Or who, when asked if she struggles with her mental health, is able to shrug and truthfully answer no. Each time I’ve wondered, what must that be like? Because for me and my own journey through motherhood, anxiety is a very present, very real companion. My anxiety...

Keep Reading