Mamas, have you found your parenting “sweet spot”? Where you feel like you’ve finally hit your stride and things are easy-breezy? Like you’ve finally figured this whole #momlife thing out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, GIVE THE REST OF US YOUR SECRETS!!! WHY ARE YOU HOLDING OUT ON US?!? Seriously though, I need to know what you’re doing. For me, I seem to ride on this wave—the parenting ocean, if you will. It seems like every time I start feeling really good about my mom skills, chaos erupts and everything changes. Never get too sure of yourself, right?
Don’t believe me? Girl, just wait. Read on, because after all, if we can’t laugh about it then surely we’ll cry. And to be honest, there’s been more than enough crying at my house today. I thought I had this whole “mom of two” thing locked down; we were a well-oiled machine. UNTIL. There’s always an “until”.
I am not exactly what you call a homebody. I get so bored staying home all day, so we frequent places like Target and H-E-B on the regular, simply because it gets us out of the house. I felt like we had gotten pretty darn good at it. UNTIL… I decided to bring both kiddos with me to look for a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. This place happens to not allow carts in the dressing rooms, which led to our downfall. Said place also has the kind of dressing rooms that are open at the bottom, creating apparently the most exciting obstacle course for a one year old to climb through. Rather than try on dresses, I spent the duration of our time in the dressing room wrangling my toddler and trying to corral him into one 3×3 square instead of crawling full speed at half-naked strangers. There was quite a bit of what can only be described as a “stern whisper” as I tried to simultaneously convince O to stay in the room and M to stop yelling at her brother. Talk about a good time.
Same day as above. Abandoned the dress idea and thought it would be easier to look for shoes. But, of course, I forgot any sort of carrier for O and we went somewhere that lacked carts. As I tried on shoes, I assigned M the task of keeping her brother in the same aisle as us. It started out great as O explored the shoe boxes in my immediate vicinity. I’m super picky, so I finally found two pairs to try. In as much time as it took me to pull the size 7 rose gold beauties out of the box, chaos erupted. O decided to make his move, crawling at lightning speed to get as far away as possible. M takes her role as big sister and subsequent protector VERY seriously, which led her to run behind him, also at full speed, and full-body tackle him to the ground to stop him. This, of course, caused him to immediately start screaming and crying, causing everyone in the building to give us the side-eye as I scrambled to pick up my children and high-tail it towards the parking lot. Wonderful.
Both my kids slept in—WIN! However, that meant we were running super late for our morning routine. I scrambled to make breakfast and get everyone ready to leave for Stroller Strides. At the same moment I realize it’s time to go, I also remember that I need to load the stroller into the car AND stop to get gas. Cue even more rushing around. As I put M’s shoes on, I turn too quickly and knock a full cup of coffee onto the carpet. I half-heartedly clean it up, salvage the approximately 3 oz of coffee left in the tumbler, and we get out the door. As I pull out of the gas station, the cup goes flying from my cup holder and my last few drops of goodness cover the passenger seat. Oh, and that same afternoon, we packed up ALL the things, lubed up with sunscreen, and attempted to go to the pool. We were there somewhere between 5 and 7 minutes before O lost his ever loving mind. M wasn’t ready to leave, so she also start bawling. So, we packed EVERYTHING back up, avoided the eye contact and came home. Super worth it.
So uh… yeah.
It’s still hard. I feel like there’s this whole secret world of parenting that no one really tells you about. The parts where you will feel like you have NO IDEA what you’re doing. Where you’ll cry out of sheer frustration, not because of what your kid is doing, but because you don’t know how to “properly” handle it. Where you’ll lie awake at night and second guess what your kids eat or how they behaved at a playdate or whether you’re royally screwing them up or not. The good news (the bad news? I haven’t decided) is that as long as you’re worrying about these things, I can promise that you’re a good mom. We’re all good moms. We’re good moms when it’s easy and we’re good moms when it’s hard. We’re good moms even when we feel like awful moms. Because as it just turns out that even when things seem easy, parenting is hard AF.