YOU'RE NOT DOING IT WRONG
You’re not doing it wrong. 100%. You’re not. You’re perfectly fine. In a world where people are constantly telling you how to do it and perfecting their instagram square with the most beautiful filter available, I’m here to tell you, your square is perfect. You’re not doing it wrong.
Just today I walked out of the house unshowered with my hair in a bun with two toddlers who were hell bent on being good, as I promised them a cookie upon our return home with good behavior at the grocery store. Unbeknownst to me they had a plan all along. A toddler plan. But suprisingly, we walked through, aisle by aisle, bagel by bagel, oreo by oreo and we accomplished the very task at hand. They behaved. There were good boys for the most part. As we reached the check out line, I bent down and kissed them both on the lips and I said “you are some good boys and mama loves you.” They kindly responded with “I love you mama.” My heart melted. DAMN I’m good. Or at least that’s what I thought.
The truth is, sometimes something goes awry and you can do nothing about it.
Case in point. As we exited the grocery store with about $300 worth of groceries in the cart and two identical sweet toddlers attached to my legs, I reminded them very precisely to stay close to mama and not run away because I didn’t want them to be hit by a car.
As we briskly and confidently walked towards the exiting doors, one of the twins made a run for it. And with twins, if one runs, the other one follows. This is basic twin 101 operation. It’s kind of like when one gets the stomach bug, you know the other one will get it. It’s a no brainer. You might as well brush each other’s teeth with the same tooth brush to avoid the surprise of when it will happen. So off they go and it was like a scene out of “I love Lucy”. They ran and laughed, I screamed my head off. I dropped my bag, and ran for it like a bat out of hell to make sure my children were not run over in the parking lot. I stopped Luke and said to him with tears in my eyes, “what are you doing son? Do not ever run away from me ever ever again.” I shouted out loud. “I could have lost you.” He began to cry. Then he began to wail. I looked back and saw my other son standing still, scared to death. We were all scared to death. And we were all crying.
I picked Luke up, put him on my hip, took Bo’s hand and walked back inside the grocery store to recover our grocery cart. Not only were the ladies at the pizza check out line staring, I saw 7 different bystanders looking at me, but not offering to help. I kept my head up. I looked down at my children and said “Do not ever run away from mommy again.” I said it loud and clear and I said it with conviction. At this point they had both stopped crying. Luke then began to cry again as we approached our vehicle. I wiped my tears, put the groceries in the back, and climbed in the back seat and buckled up my children.
I gave them the speech one more time and said “Do not ever run away from mommy, ever again. Do you understand?” I grabbed Luke’s face and held it tight and said “Son, I could’ve lost you. I don’t know what I would do if I lost you.” I said “Do not ever do that again to mommy. Do you understand? Say yes mom.” He said “Yes Mom.” I kissed him on the lips and on the forehead and I said “I love you son.”
Then I took out my antibacterial wipes and wiped off both of their hands. Then I grabbed a tissue and cleared my nose because it was filled with snot because I had absolutely lost my shit. I turned the car on, put on my seatbelt and we headed home.
Was that a failure? #momfail?
I don’t think so.
Some people might say you’re doing it wrong. Or some people might criticize. Or you might criticize yourself the most.
None of that matters.
What matters is this.
Parenting is hard.
Parenting is imperfect.
Parenting is failing.
Parenting is loving.
Parenting is redemption.
This is not the tell all be all I know it all because I’m a parent.
This is the give yourself some damn grace.
You’re not doing it wrong.
I don’t know when anybody ever thought perfection was the name of the game when it comes to parenting, or anything at all for that matter.
But I’m telling you with all that I am, you’re not doing it wrong.
Whether you’re a first time mom and have an infant on your boob and you can’t get her to drink the milk, you’re not doing it wrong. You’re doing wonderful.
To the new mom who’s muffin top is still hanging out over her pants after two months of working out and breastfeeding, don’t fret, you’re not doing it wrong. Be patient.
To the mom of 5 who never sits down to a warm meal and probably wishes she was somewhere on an island like Tahiti alone for a week. You’re not doing it wrong. You’re an actual superhuman.
To the single mom who feels all the guilt all the time and never gets a break, you’re not doing it wrong. You’re a saint.
To the working mom, who’s multi-tasking and still not grinding that perfection that she’s so desperate to, you’re not doing it wrong. You’re killing it.
To the mom who thinks she’s not a mom because she hasn’t given birth yet or because pregnancy “didn’t work” the way she wanted it to, you’re not doing it wrong. You are a mom. And you’re a warrior.
To the mama who has had this experience that I had today, and is sighing a little bit of relief, yep, you’re not alone. You’re not doing it wrong.
In fact, I’m pretty certain you’re winning. Because I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who is a mother to a child and has not had this moment that I had myself, with her child.
Let’s all be a little more gently with ourselves. And remind ourselves how empowered we are by this job. By this honor.
After all, God made us women. And we are the only ones who get the task. That’s all. Carry on warriors. I love you most.