On a Monday morning grocery store run with three of my boys (not an ideal situation, mind you), I hear a distant crash and glass breaking. Minutes later when we left the produce department and rounded the corner into the organic section, I see her. Bent over cases of broken Izze bottles, toddler boy resting on one hip.
For a moment I considered walking past, not wanting to make her feel worse about the situation. But with a Holy Spirit nudge I asked, “Is someone coming to help you? I can go find somebody?” Sweet momma struggled to find words but said, “They know. I just looked away for a second. I just can’t believe it.”
And oh how I’ve been there…
The pee flowing down the playscape. The spilled Starbucks hot chocolate in the frozen food department. The peeing on a tree right in front of the private school. The taking off all his clothes at the playground. The tantrum at checkout over a lightning McQueen night light.
These public moments that bring us to our knees (both literally as we clean up and metaphorically as we are stripped of pride).
I comforted that mom with words of hope, “Oh dear, it is definitely not what you hoped for your Monday morning grocery store run, but it could be so much worse (thoughts of my dear friend recovering in a hospital room…). I have four boys and have my full share of moments. They keep coming. Even this past Sunday the teacher told me one of my sons ‘exposed’ himself to another kid. I’m so sorry this happened but just because it did does not make you a bad mom.”
I saw tears start to fill her eyes. Then I warned her, “I’m going to give you a hug.” She took it (despite my un-showered, post-workout stench).
This is it. The sisterhood of motherhood. Coming alongside one another and saying. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, that moment was embarrassing.
BUT…it could be worse and you are a great mom.
His behavior is his behavior. It does not reflect your worth or your lack of good parenting.
Standing in the church nursery hallway, another mom stopped me and said, “I’m just going to get straight to it. Have you ever just not liked one of your children?” Tears filled her eyes and I guided her into the supply closet behind me to exchange mom stories.
We need to be free to say, “Have you had a moment you just don’t like your child?” and nod in agreement, “yes, I know the feeling.” Love him, just struggling with the “like” part.
Entering the cardio room at our gym I saw her, a fellow all-boy mom. She asked if I wanted to join her and side-by-side we climb automatic stairs while sharing the latest mom challenges. She not only encouraged me to climb for 5 more minutes, she filled me up so I can keep my mommy standards high. Keep doing the best I can do and leave the rest to God.
Have you had a “sisterhood of motherhood” experience lately? A mom who came alongside and encouraged you to keep on?
Side note: Those public moments, those ones that cause us embarrassment. What do you call them? Looking for good hashtag ideas…feel free to share your ideas in the comments. #tomyknees; #onmyknees; #Targettantrum ; _#yourideahere_