Let’s face it, there is some sort of weird, high-schoolish hierarchy at play between many moms. I get so tired of the judgement and competition between mommies, and I have witnessed more than a few “Mean Mom” moments myself. But, I gotta tell ya, when push comes to shove comes to nervous breakdown… Moms rock!
I’m going through a tough time right now. Really tough. I won’t bore, or possibly interest you, with the details, but let’s just say this has been the hardest month of my life. On top of that, I have a crazy/awesome almost-three-year-old who doesn’t nap most days, and a sweet three-month-old who doesn’t sleep most nights. I’m tired. Really f-ing tired.
The other day I took my daughter to one of those coffee shop-slash-play areas. You know the kind where the kids can play while you drink overpriced coffee and where the other Lululemon-wearing, organic-feeding, their-stroller-costs-more-than-your-car type moms barely look at you… unless your kid is pulling their kid’s hair. Yeah. That place. Anyway, I took the kids there in hopes of wearing them both out enough so that they would take naps and I could finally get some work done. Ha.
Five minutes in, while nursing my son and before a single drop of $6 organic latte could cross my lips, all terrible-two hell broke loose. My daughter had an uber-meltdown. Conveniently, these meltdowns always happen while I am right in the middle of nursing, so I have chase my daughter around with my boobs out and my Hooter Hider flying behind me like a cape. I look like a coked-up superhero.
Like said super-hero, I managed to drag my daughter away from the crime scene, kicking and screaming “Owie!!” at the top of her lungs (because my evil genius has discovered that when she acts like I am hurting her, people look.) In the middle of attempting to carry my screaming daughter – who has now moved into Meltdown Stage II, where she turns all of her bones into jelly, so I can’t possibly get a grip on her – and hastily explaining to a room full of strangers that I am not ACTUALLY hurting my child, my baby starts to wail. I can’t pick him up because I can’t calm my daughter down enough to risk letting go of her. So now I have two screaming kids, only two hands, zero hours of sleep, and no mental capacity to deal with any of it. So I start to cry. Bawl, actually. I was a snot-nosed, red-faced mess. Just like my toddler. It was probably the single most humiliating moment of my life.
And while this was going on, do you want to know what those other “perfect” moms, did?!
One helped me pack up and carry my bags, while I hauled my screaming toddler to the car. Another rocked and shushed my son until he stopped crying. Yet another buckled him into his car seat and carried him out to my car for me. None of them laughed at me, or judged me, or made me feel worse than I already did. All of them hugged me and told me they knew how I felt. How they had been there before. Yes, even perfect moms have dealt with toddler meltdowns and crying babies. Apparently, even perfect moms can sometimes feel like terrible moms. Who knew?
And so, Moms, this is why you rock.
Because no matter who you are, or how much your stroller costs, you have been there before. And when push comes to shove, you are there for each other. And there for me too.
Now… if only my ego would allow me to go back to that coffee shop and thank them. I’m just not quite there yet.