Unfortunately, this is a true story.
Before I had kids, I was the 'perfect' mom. Weren't we all? There were so many things I swore I'd never do. I was that young girl, by myself at the store, quietly judging the mom whose kid was nose deep in an iPAD. If I have learned anything from being a momma, it's that you can never judge another momma's situation. What works for you and your family, is what's best for you and nothing else matters. Plain and simple.
A few weeks ago I realized I was one of those moms. I was speed racer-ing my way through the isles of the grocery store because I have a very limited time where both of my kids can handle being in public. I look up from the bag of apples my toddler just ripped open to lock eyes with another tired momma. She was walking so slowly, seeming as if she wasn't looking for anything in particular. I noticed her sweet little boy, holding on to her phone for dear life watching a Curious George video and screaming on the top of his lungs. I wanted her to know that she was understood and that she was doing a great job even if she thought otherwise. Here's where it gets bad, you guys. As we crossed paths with our carts, I literally put out my hand in front of her face to give her a high five... This was clearly a strange thing to do because instead of the, "go team," high five I was fully expecting, it was the most awkward, gentle palm touch.
I walked away feeling a little silly but not embarrassed in the least. I must have really boosted her self-esteem, right?! We finished our trip and got in the car to go home. As we drove away I replayed the encounter in my mind and realized how ridiculous I was. I was definitely one of those moms. That mom who is a little too enthusiastic about mom life. That mom who wants to know a detailed summary of your child's sleep schedule. That mom who wouldn't even bat an eye if you sent her a picture of the contents of a diaper to figure out a problem. That mom who high fives moms she doesn't know in public. One of those moms who rounds the corner of her subdivision, realizing that she had asked for the drive-up service for groceries and actually left the parking lot without ever picking them up... (Both of these events took place on the same shopping trip)
Motherhood is so hilarious. It's messy and it's beautiful. It's so full and it can also be lonely. Motherhood can bring us together as mommas and it can also pit us against each other in comparison. I think this life would be so beautiful if we choose to lift each other up. Wouldn't it? So maybe today you were the mom with the clean, quiet kids and carefully planned snacks. Or maybe you were the mom whose kid lost a shoe in the cereal isle and you feverishly downloaded an app on your phone just to finish a hectic grocery trip. Maybe you're one of those moms like me. Either way, momma, you are doing a great job. If I could, I would give you an awkward palm touch just to show you that we are all on the same team. We love these loud-crazy-beautiful little humans, and that's what matters most.