Motherhood is a journey. One filled with bumps, hills, mountains and valleys, and lots of surprises.
Summer was ending and we were getting ready for the first day of school. We had new outfits picked out and laid out on beds the night before, fresh haircuts, an earlier bedtime, and lunches packed with notes from Mom on the napkins. It was going to be the great start of a new school year. I’m all about new beginnings so I wanted to embrace this one and make it a great memory. As my daughter and son walked along the path to school I made them repeatedly stop for poses, taking shots of the first day. My 3 year-old started to cry, wanting to wheel in his big brother’s backpack on wheels. My son looked at me and I said, “Just let him wheel it to the door.” We got to the door and there was no turning back. Our 3 year-old decided it was HIS backpack and he would wheel it around the halls to his heart’s content.
You can imagine the scene when there were no more minutes left (How many times do we as Moms say, “One more minute.”) and my older son had to get to his classroom with his backpack and without his little brother attached to it.
There it was – the first day of school memory.
My child sprawled out across the school lobby floor, kicking screaming, crying –full blown TANTRUM. I was horrified. I looked at my son and daughter’s faces whose eyes seemed to say, “Now what Mom?” I had no idea. I was mortified, sad, embarrassed, confused, angry.
And it was time to say goodbye.
I did the best I could to hold it together, sent them off reassuring them that their day would be great and then looked around me. I expected to see people laughing, whispering, snickering. And what I received was a gift. A hug from another mom of three- the school art teacher.
There were no judgements, no stares, no comparing. There was love and acceptance, and it was just what I needed as a Mom.
When we are “real” with each other, when we share our struggles and don’t put on our masks of perfection it lets us all off the hook. What a relief to know that someone else had a bad day, someone else’s kids were up all night and now you are a sleep deprived, just trying to survive Mommy. Being real lets other Moms know they are normal. We don’t have to pretend that everything is good all the time. Because it’s not. There are great moments and there are stinky moments. When we adjust our expectations and don’t expect to be perfect it’s a relief to all the Moms out there.
Lets do ourselves and our friends a favor and “keep it real.”
– Natalie –