All of us have encountered that sweet (sometimes not so sweet) woman in the grocery store. She watches as we struggle to get through the grocery line and then tells us with teary eyes, “They are only young for a little while. You must enjoy every minute before they get old and leave you!” Can I just say thanks, but that really does not help me RIGHT NOW!
This is what I dream those experienced mothers would say to me:
- “You are doing great, Mom. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking, just do what you gotta do.”
- “Please, will you let me help you? I had young children, and wish someone would have helped me get through the grocery line. Can I load these for you? Can I hold your baby? He is adorable!”
- “I have a lollipop in my purse, can I give it to your daughter? I always kept these in my purse so I wouldn’t murder my children at the store.”
- “It is incredibly hard what you are doing, and I applaud how well you are handling this.”
- “This is for you, dear.” She then slips a Coke and a candy bar in my purse. “You go enjoy yourself. You deserve it!”
I know I know, I need to remember that they grow so fast and that someday I will be alone in the store and wish I had a little person singing the Dora song to me. But for now, I am just trying to make it through that line, to the car, and home without losing my mind. Some moments, I want to run and hide in my closet until they go to bed. I beg for just 20 minutes to myself to shower without someone playing peak-a-boo through the shower curtain. I wish the reason I don’t get 8 hours of sleep was because of insomnia. And when I get sick, it would be nice to just take the day off and rest and get better rather than having to be zombie mom for 5 days. Those moments are not the moments to cherish.
The moments to cherish are few and far between. They come at odd times and in odd places when you least expect them. They come when my 3 year old plops down on my lap, holds my face in her little hands, and says, “I lub you Mom.” Or when my 10 year old sneaks a handful of my hair and smells it with a content grin.
So, nice lady in the grocery store who has been there done that, try to remember what it was really like when you were there. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t always a cherished moment to treasure. You didn’t want advice or nostalgia in those moments. You wanted escape. You wanted help. You wanted a shoulder to cry on.
For those of you with small children who are not beating them, locking them in their rooms, or in any other way abusing them, you are doing great! Give yourself a little bit of credit. Don’t worry so much about every little thing. This too shall pass, but it will not be easy. You can do it and your kids will not turn out to be murderers.