Welcome to Mommy Mondays, my weekly lesson in re-learning everything I thought I ever knew.
What I used to notice when I saw a frazzled mom out and about with her kids:
disheveled hair, non-existent makeup, baggy clothes over a saggy body.
- shrieking stroller baby, toddler eating something off the cement, whiny older kid.
- how they were taking up the whole walkway.
- that however she was talking to her kids was completely ineffective.
- how she kept digging in her overflowing purse looking for her phone, or possibly for the sunglasses perched on her head.
- that she wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else.
What I think now when I see a frazzled mom out and about with her kids:
- that her laugh lines show off the kindness in her eyes.
- I wonder where she got that stroller, and if it folds easily.
- I can’t believe that she’s managing to feed one child, reason with the other, and unpack her purse AT THE SAME TIME.
- assume she’s hearing her phone ring, after she texted a loved one a blurry picture of the kids.
- that she’ll go home, fall into bed exhausted, and laugh until she cries telling her husband a certain story from the day.
It never crossed my mind before I had kids that that lady was having a good day. I could not understand how it would be fun to haul multiple children to an amusement park, the zoo, the mall. I thought, sincerely, that you gave up your weekends when you had kids, that you were forced into family time.
I did not know yet that weekend family time was the best part of the week. It didn’t compute that all those families out and about - at the amusement park, the zoo, the mall - they were having fun. They were creating memories and childhoods.
Not out of obligation, but out of joy. Lots of it.
Every family outing isn’t fun and every frazzled mom isn’t having a great day, but until recently I thought nothing about that scenario besides “bummer.”
I just didn’t know. Now I do.