**what I keep telling myself**
The other day I was at Target and Foster was starting to be “over it” (if you know what I mean). As I was trying to maneuver the self-checkout process and keep him entertained I over heard a mom that was right next to me. Her child, that was sitting perfectly in the cart, asked for some food from the little restaurant in Target. The mom responded saying, “no dear remember mommy has carrot soufflé at home.” And then it happened…the bad mom voice came creeping in.
I looked at my son attempting to climb out the back of the cart with my deodorant firmly gripped in his mouth and my bags full of Veggie Straws for Foster and chocolate for me and I felt like I was a bad mom.
If I was a better mom I could keep my son seated in the cart and I would have some fancy dish prepared for him when we got home. But, I didn’t.
The crazy part is that I felt like the other mom was judging me. It’s like she saw me struggling and wanted to rub it in my face with her fancy soufflé, a word I didn’t even know how to spell. I have no idea if that’s true and I seriously doubt it was. It was probably just my insecurities making me feel irrational. But, we do that…don’t we?
As moms I feel like we have the constant need to prove that we are good moms.
Whenever I go to a function with other kids the moms don’t speak to each other at first. They speak about the kids. For example a conversation might go like this…”How old is he? Oh, really…is he walking yet?” Then other mom feels the need to explain why he is or is not walking yet.
Let me just say that I know some of it is just trying to break the ice and talk to another grown up. It’s so stinking hard/awkward to make mom friends. But, here’s how I wish it would go…Hi, my name is Lindsey. What’s yours? Way to go on keeping your child alive and dressed today. You are killing this mom thing! Wouldn’t that be so much nicer?!
And maybe it’s just me? Maybe this whole post is just an example of how irrational and insecure I can be because Lord knows I can. But, I have to believe that I’m not alone. There have to be other moms out there that feel like me.
I also have to confess that I’m guilty of following suit. On some occasions I begin conversation the same way…”how old is he?” followed by other milestone related questions because honestly it’s almost more vulnerable to begin conversation by talking directly to the mom. But, I’m done with that. It feels so stiff and unnatural and you walk away feeling less than after your “milestone” convo.
Believe me I know that this conversation is not done with malice or an ill intent. We are all just trying our hardest to be good moms and we’re trying to make sure that we are not failing our little one. I get it, I do it and I’m over it.
Instead I want to try and get to know the mom behind the child. Then hopefully get to a point where we can encourage and lift one another up. Instead of often unknowingly comparing and judging. Then hopefully this would be at least one step toward silencing the “bad mom voice.”
After all motherhood can be a lonely hood! So, I’m just going to say it. Way to get your child fed, dressed (optional) and smiling (optional) today!! Go get ’em mama!