I had such an up-and-down experience this Mother's Day weekend. On Saturday, I headed to Elevate conference up in Newport Beach.
Everyone was so lovely and inspirational and kind. I almost didn't go because, honestly, things at home have been in a state of complete disarray while we've been moving Some Boy to the “big boy” bed and simultaneously weaning Sidekick. I'm not sleeping much. But I sucked it up, downed a big mug of coffee and drove up the coast to sun and surf and pretty little cupcakes with bloggy friends. It was refreshing.
Mixed Feelings on Mother's Day
And then I got home and all hell broke loose. Nate does a phenomenal job with the kids when I'm away, but they still miss me. The “terrible twos” are, well, pretty terrible. Not gonna lie. Some Boy acts out a lot when his schedule gets messed with. He doesn't like change, and there's been a lot of it around here lately.
So, Mother's Day. All I wanted was to be on time for church. I wanted to get up early, put on nice clothes and take our place in the pews before the pastor started talking. I wanted to see my boys playing with the other kids. I wanted that damned flower that they give out to all the moms. But I didn't really communicate this to Nate, and it didn't happen. I felt defeated and angry. I felt like a failure. I sat in the bathroom and cried and shook my head, sadly repeating, “This is my life.” As if that would help make it better.
Don't get me wrong. We do have beautiful, organized, graceful days where all things fall into place.
Yesterday just wasn't one of them.
And then I started thinking back at all the wonderful words I've heard in recent weeks. Nate gives me positive affirmations on a daily basis. He's such a loving husband. But something about his familiarity…it's easy to let those words slip by. They don't stick with me when they're said in comfort.
I've never been one to connect much with other women. I tell myself it's because I'm too blunt and too flakey and too standoffish and too…too many things. The truth is, I close myself off because I'm scared of not being accepted into those cliquey little groups that women tend to form. But slowly, other moms have been getting through. Maybe they see a familiar exhaustion in my eyes. Maybe they like that I overshare everything, like the fact that my breastmilk only comes in to one boob and causes me to be eternally lopsided.
A new friend named Amy – a fellow San Diego mom who I just recently met – walked up to me at Mom 2.0 a couple weekends ago and said, “Hey, I have some questions about blogging. You seem really approachable and nice so I thought I'd ask you. Do you have a few minutes?”
These words were said in passing by someone I barely knew. And yet they stuck with me. When I was sitting on that toilet lid and bawling my eyes out on Mother's Day, those words are what came into my head. I think it was because I felt a kinship with this fellow mom. It occurred to me that somewhere in the world, she or someone just like her was probably doing the exact same thing as me. Feeling overwhelmed. And in that moment, this tiny affirmation helped me feel not so alone.
Spreading Affirmations with Johnson's Baby Cares
So here's to those other moms. The ones who inspire instead of tearing each other down. I've decided that I need to make a more conscious effort to share positive affirmations and lift others up.
Starting with Amy.
Johnson's Baby launched a charitable platform in 2012 called Johnson's Baby Cares, which is working with Save the Children to ensure that every baby has a healthy and happy start to life. For every affirmative “Care Card” sent to share a positive message of encouragement to moms across the country, Johnson's Baby donates $1 to Save the Children. What a wonderful way to spread a little joy while help saving lives!
I sent one to my new friend this morning in hopes that a few kind words would stick with her in those inevitable moments of motherly desperation.
Save the Children is helping 10,000 families this year. Maybe my little actions can help one.
What gives YOU reassurance that you're doing okay as a mom?
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for JOHNSON's Baby. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.