As I was cleaning out my pantry the other day I found a bag of sliced almonds that had been pushed to the very back. I bought them to sprinkle on top of all the salads I was going to eat the last couple of months. Obviously.
The bag is still 7/8 full.
Unused from all the salads I still haven’t eaten.
Then I thought, “Maybe I could bring them to the park as a snack. Maybe the kids would eat them?” Ha.
Except, I’m not really the mom who brings almonds to the park as a snack.
But . . . am I really all that different from the moms who would bring sliced almonds or fresh fruit?
I don’t think so.
I don’t think any of us are all that different at all.
To the mom at the park with the peanut butter crackers and the mom with fresh fruit and the mom who doesn’t really care if her kid is eating a little bit of dirt—you’re really not that different.
To the mom sitting through sports events, the mom sitting through concerts, and to the parents who have opted out of activities for a season—you’re really not that different.
To the mom feeding her child with her breastmilk, to the mom whose best choice is formula, to the mom praying for donor milk to become available—you’re really not that different.
To the mom running as quick as she can to be an employee, boss, and then everything to everyone at home as well, to the mom spending each day at home with kids who undo everything as quickly as she does it—you’re really not all that different.
To the mom over the stove making homemade tomato sauce and to the mom sitting in the drive-through—you’re really not that different.
To the mom planning a hospital birth, to the mom gowning up for a cesarean, and the mom giving birth in her own home—you’re really not that different.
We are all too good at recognizing each other’s differences—be it our strengths, flaws, or parenting choices—I think we forget to acknowledge our similarities as mothers.
Don’t we all stay up way too late replaying the day and worrying about something?
Wouldn’t we all fight a rabid grizzly bear for our children?
Wouldn’t we all take their place in a hospital bed in the blink of an eye if they weren’t in pain any longer?
Don’t we all just want nothing more than for these little humans we made to be successful, kind, happy people?
Don’t we all make the absolute best decisions we can for our own family dynamic and our children’s very unique needs?
And don’t we all wish we could just tell time to slow down for a minute so we could soak in their smell, their smile, and the way they say momma?
Isn’t it wonderful, painful, overwhelming, and pure perfection to watch these little pieces of your heart run around outside of you?
I believe we all love our kids with something so familiar to each of us, it erases all our differences.
So, next time you see me at the park with my prepackaged peanut butter crackers and my toddler with dirt around her lips, come say hi anyway.
I bet we really aren’t all that different.
Previously published on the author’s Facebook page