I don’t think there is a mom out there that hasn’t been kicked in the ass by motherhood a time or two.
Years ago, when Wilson was a nonverbal toddler and Charlie an infant, I attempted to take them both to Target. This was pre-autism diagnosis, and I really struggled to understand and communicate with this boy of mine.
He started getting worked up as I loaded them into the double stroller. As we passed through the automatic doors, he quickly escalated to intense screaming. Everyone stared. I had no idea why he was so upset. His shrieks were so loud, he couldn’t understand a word I was trying to say (or see the bribes I was sending his way). I turned around, wheeled them outside and bent down to try and reason with my frantic child at his level.
That is when his little ninja foot connected perfectly with my jaw. My toddler had just kicked me in the face.
I held back tears as I headed back to the car. Wilson still screaming, the baby was clueless, and we had no groceries to show for the courageous outing.
A man in the parking lot saw me and said, “You’re doing a great job. Being a mom is the hardest… I’ve got two little ones at home.”
I burst into tears.
What he said was nice, but do you know what I heard?
I heard that motherhood is hard, and it wasn’t just me doing it wrong. I heard that I am not weak, unqualified, or unfit for this mom-life thing, which is exactly the narrative I had been telling myself all too often. This job is hard, and beautiful, and messy, and to acknowledge that is normal and to struggle is okay.
I felt seen at one of my weakest moments and encouraged by a stranger.
That man probably has no clue what he did for me that day. How he encouraged a struggling mom and that she still thinks about those words, years later.
Think about how easily you could do that for someone else… your words matter.
Just to be crystal clear, I know there is always a time and a place and commenting on a given situation doesn’t always feel right. Just remember you are capable of being a bright spot in someone’s tough day.
Also, remember that your best is MORE than enough.