When I was a newlywed and blissfully unaware of the stresses of raising children, it was very easy for me to judge other moms. I remember my husband and I were sitting in a restaurant enjoying our food without interruptions. We saw a family at the table next to us whip out the iPad and turn it on for their fussy three year old to watch so they could eat quietly. My new husband and I looked at each other and swore we would never be “those” parents. Now that we are actually responsible for raising two human beings, two very active humans, I can only laugh at our naive thoughts about “those” parents. In fact, I think I have become “That Mom“!
You know who “that” mom is. She’s the one with hair that hasn’t been washed for three days in a ponytail, usually yelling at a kid in a public place. She’s slowly loosing her mind! Although I tend not to look too disheveled, I am usually on the verge of a breakdown.
While walking down the aisles in Trader Joe’s I’m that mom; chasing after my two boys who are playing hide and seek in the cereal aisle. As I stand there and call their names over and over with no response, I have become “that” mom. Shoppers walk by and look at me sadly. I stand there alone while my children scream in glee and run around the store. Some shoppers give me the side eye, the “can’t you control your children” look. Others shake their heads at my unsuccessful attempt to rally my kids back.
I’m also “that”mom when after a long day at work I go to pick up my kids from their after-school program. I am exhausted and want to get home and take my shoes off. My four year old didn’t nap at daycare and is in a terrible mood. He refuses to leave the building without a snack. And not just any snack, but one from the snack machine, which is terribly placed right outside the classroom. Now I have my four year old screaming, tears running down his cheeks, pulling him to the front door while my seven year old is running a mile ahead of us.
I am totally “that” mom when people pass me by, sweat dripping off my forehead, one kid running a muck, the other a screaming, hot mess. All I want to do is go home and yell at my kids in peace. But it can’t wait, so the screaming commences in front of the new moms play group. They all look at me with stares and wide eyes and I know they are thinking, “I will never become that mom!”
The truth is moms know. There are going to be those days when you just cant take it anymore and you have to let go. Either you forget to change from your slippers into real shoes on your trip to Target. Or you realize once you get to work that your shirt is on inside out and also has a chocolate stain on the sleeve. Then there are the days when all you want to do is climb back into bed, turn off the lights, lock your door and count down the minutes until bed time.
We’ve all been there. As moms its important for us to remind each other, while we are in the midst of it, this too will pass. Tomorrow is another day. But until then, don’t give me the side eye or the evil eye when you witness me loosing it on my kids at the end of an exhausting day. Next time you see a fellow mom in this state, why not go up to her and say,“Ive been there, you’re doing a great job.” That would have helped me that day in Trader Joe’s. We need to remind ourselves that we are all “that” mom every once in a while.