Dear Sweet Mommas,
I see you struggling. I see the despair in your eyes. I hear the unspoken cries for reassurance. I feel the internal struggle. I know. I get it. I’m there with you.
I’m here to tell you today that all those moments of frustration, of complete and total loss aren’t just yours. They are mine too. The voice in the back of your mind that wonders… “What grade did I just get in this parenting scenario? F. Fail. Failure.”
Grandma B. behind you in line at the grocery store has an opinion. You are sure of it. I am sure of it. We all have an opinion paired with advice, theories and solutions. Thoughts and considerations regarding the situations. We feel the eyes hot on our backs. The gentle smiles to our kids. The looks. We’ve doled them out on occasion. That look that says it all. No words necessary. F. Fail. Failure.
But dear sweet mommas know this. Know that beyond that feeling you have is something far different than your angry, disappointed, sad and struggling momma mind perceives. There is compassion, empathy, encouragement and kinship. There is wonder and amazement, praise and congratulations. There is melancholy and reminiscence for days gone by. The look you see may not be what it seems.
The observers of our lives are giving us the benefit of the doubt on this parenting gig. (And if they aren’t that’s their cross to bear.) The onlookers giving compassion, empathy, encouragement and kinship are fellow mommas and daddy-os. We are all in the same boat. The wonder and amazement comes from all around. Not-yet parents looking into their futures, wondering how they’ll handle parenthood. Older generations wondering how they survived those years. Amazement at the fact that you can shop for groceries with kids (any number of them) in tow. Encouragement that says “You can handle this. You have what it takes.” Praise for you. For the job you are doing as a parent. A job you are doing well. A. Excellent. Excelling.
Moments of less-than-perfection are given to us as a gift to teach us for future reference. I often pray for patience seeing as it seems to be one of the virtues God chose to forgo when blessing me. Having realized that God then likes to bless me with ample opportunities to practice my patience, I’ve resorted to praying more specifically about my patience. Requesting fewer chances to learn from my mistakes and shortcomings and more of an attitude adjustment at the start of my days.
My days are filled with the same emotional roller coaster rides as yours. I know. I get it. I’m there with you.
So when we see each other in the isles at Target, struggling with life and kids, and I give you a look, take a second to look again. I’ll give you a second chance to really understand and interpret. To connect with me in a non-verbal, parent-to-parent kind of way. To encourage and praise and congratulate you. To remind you that you are doing well. That you have what it takes. That you are earning an A.
And if you need a verbal cheering on, I’ll give you a smile and a “you got this” as I pass by. I’m here for you, dear sweet momma. I’m here for you.