My kids and I were finally leaving the indoor play center. I thought it would be the perfect outing, my first solo outing with both toddler and a newborn. But it wasn’t. It was hectic. And I felt frazzled, oh so frazzled. My older one wanted mommy’s full attention while the baby needed to nurse the entire time.
I had pulled the nursing cover on and off over my head so many times that by now my messy bun had become a disaster bun. So after paying $10 for unlimited playtime, we ended up staying about thirty minutes.
I was loading up my car to take my sweet (but cranky) children home. You were parked right next to me, getting your two kids out of the car to enter the same play center we had just left. You looked so put together—full makeup and you were even wearing an adorable dress. After making eye contact I immediately felt insecure about how messy I looked.
I tend to ramble when I’m nervous so I asked you, “Do you feel as frazzled as I do today?” I quickly hoped that maybe the perfect appearance was just a façade but deep down you felt as flustered as I was.
You smiled and replied “No, not really. Two kids really isn’t that hard. But don’t worry, you will get the hang of it soon.”
Yikes. Not only do a look like crap, I apparently should be way better at this parenting two kids gig. I smiled at you and told you to have a good day. But my heart had sunk and I felt even more frazzled. I went from feeling frumpy to frumpier.
In that moment, I made myself a promise. I did not ever want to make another mom feel how I currently felt. Sure, you probably meant it as an encouragement. Maybe I should have just minded my own business and not started a conversation. Or maybe there are days you feel as frazzled as I do, but you just stay positive to get through it. I don’t know you so I don’t know your intent. And I don’t want to judge you. More power to you for doing this mommy thing so smoothly
But what I didn’t get to tell you is that I know it probably won’t get easier for me. I felt this frazzled when I just had one child. Heck I felt this frazzled since my first positive pregnancy test. I love being a mommy more than anything. But for some reason, I don’t seem to rock motherhood very gracefully. I usually wrangle kids into the car only to realize that my mascara has smudged and my shirt has breakfast on it.
I’m the mom who is so sleep deprived, I sometimes can’t remember basic words. Last week, I forget it was show and tell day at my son’s preschool so I had the teacher pull out his comfort item from the emergency kit for him to share.
I’m DEFINITELY not a perfect mom.
I am, however, a mom who chooses to acknowledge these imperfections.
And I’m thankful to have other friends who seem to share this imperfection with me. We dig through the muddy trenches of motherhood together. We share our mistakes, embarrassing moments, and then we cry or laugh (or sometimes both). They encourage me and I leave feeling like a better, stronger mom.
I want to be like these women. I want to be someone who builds other moms up. I want to make them feel that they can be a good mom, even while being frazzled and imperfect.
So, mommy of two who has it all together, if you ever find that your circumstances change and you become a frazzled, frumpy mess… I’m here for you. I can’t promise that I’ll have it all together but I can promise to give you a hug or a shoulder to cry on.
Motherhood is beautiful and messy and tough. Let’s help each other out.