Being a mom is hard.
I know, I know. That’s a shocking statement. Moms only have to carry, birth, feed, change, train, teach, drive, tutor, counsel, clean….. Shall I go on, or do we all get the point?
Yea, being a mom is hard, but I get the feeling it may be harder than it needs to be. What if we all helped moms just a little more? Instead of a pat on the back and a “just wait until…” or a “you’ll miss this,” or some other worn out phrase that serves no purpose; what if we got our hands dirty and HELPED other moms?
I’ll give a couple of personal examples of what I mean. A few weeks ago Skeet had a doctor appointment. Since I was already going to be in Amarillo on a weekday I decided I would just make a day of it and do some shopping. The very first stop was the resale shop, where I needed to get 2 kids and a big box of stuff in the door. People were coming in and out but no one offered to carry the box or even hold the door open for me. Either one would’ve been a HUGE help.
At that same stop Gracie was in a mood. She kept trying to run off to look at toys, and she laid down on the floor to cry twice. I was frustrated, because she has never done that to me before. We managed to wrap up in that store and I decided maybe an early lunch would fix the grouchy attitude.
We headed over to my favorite lunch spot — Chick-fil-a.Gracie stood sweetly in line and we sat down to eat. That’s when she noticed the play place. I’ve never let her play before because it’s not a habit I wanted to start. But with still a long day ahead I begin thinking maybe burning off some energy would help. I told Gracie if she ate her fruit and let me finish my lunch she could play. BUT when I said it was time to go she would have to come out nicely.
Fast forward 10 minutes and I was ready to go. Gracie was too short to maneuver her way up to the slide and I was worried she would make it half way and get stuck. Some sweet girls helped her to the top and when she came back down i told her it was time to leave. That is when disaster struck. I was holding Skeet and sitting with our drinks. Gracie ran away. I sat the drinks down and went to take her hand. She slumped to the floor and began screaming. I shifted Skeet and Tried to pick her up. She hung limp. I managed to get her shoes back on her and in a very firm, but quiet voice told her to get her drink, we were going. She broke and ran. I swatted her once and told her again to get her drink. She unleashed her full furry. I picked her up under one arm, struggled out the door back through the restaurant, leaned her against the car until I could unlock the door, swatted her some more and put her writhing body in the car seat. She kicked and screamed the whole way. Even the other children ran away.
It wasn’t pretty. I was livid that she would behave that way. And I was thirsty. My drink sat there smiling back at me from inside the play place. I wanted to cry. I called Brandon. He chewed Gracie out and promised a spanking when he got home from work. Then we drove away with Gracie screaming she wanted her “Strite.”
As much as I disliked the attention we did get; I was upset. There were other moms in the restaurant. A lot of other moms all sitting together and chatting while their kids played. I wanted so bad for one of them to help me. To come get the door I was dragging kids through. Maybe even offer to carry Skeet. To bring our drinks out for us. But they didn’t. I don’t know maybe their conversation was so deep they never noticed the chaos. Maybe they sat there talking about that horrible child for 20 minutes after we left. But they sure didn’t help.
On the other hand I had a completely different experience this week at the grocery store. We left the house pretty early to get our shopping done before the store was crowded and the kids were tired. Gracie carried her “wist” all through the store and told several people she was shopping and “I gonna be Dora when I grow up.” She did great. Skeet did too. But even when your kids are well behaved sometimes your hands are just too full.
As I paid I heard Gracie complaining that her coat wasn’t zipped. I was already trying to figure out how to zip it while holding Skeet and the other things I had in my hands; when a cashier walked by, stooped down and zipped up the coat. Then she gave Gracie a balloon and visited with her while I finished up the transaction. It was awesome! Even the sweet man that carried our food to the car helped hold onto the balloon so it wouldn’t get away.
Two different days. Two very different scenarios. The first day I felt defeated and unnoticed as a mom. The second day I was encouraged. Real help. Not just an old cliche about kids being kids, or how we’ve all been there. Help.
So from now on, whenever I am able to offer another hand; I will. And I hope you will too.