I see you, Mama, and I Should Have Said Something.
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
If you guys have been around for a while you know that I often refer to my 4-year old twin girl and the struggles we face daily. I never know where her next meltdown will come from and frankly there are times I am afraid to leave the house. It's not so much because I'm afraid to be challenged with a meltdown. People closest to me know my style is that I 1000% believe that the more I expose my little to tough situations, she will eventually become more comfortable. It may be 1 time. It may be 100 times. But we will get there and boy will we celebrate when we do! What keeps me fearful is the judgement I can feel as onlookers watch the struggle. The times where I am fighting back tears to hold it together. The times I let the tears flow regardless of who is watching. When you have 4 kids and typically have all of them in tow the worst feeling you can have is feeling like you have no control.
Yesterday I was on the other side. I was picking my twins up from preschool and I saw a mama struggling to get her child out of the car to go into school. The principal was there as well as a resource officer trying to offer support. The child, who looked about 9 years old, was visibly upset in the backseat. This mama was reasoning, trying to stay calm, holding it together as best she could. But I see her. I see she was exhausted. I see she wanted to cry. I see she wanted to scream at the top of her lungs. I see all the things I feel inside when I am in the same situation. And I did nothing. I have been thinking about this poor mama since yesterday and wishing I had done something. What would I have done? I would give her a gentle touch on her shoulder and ask if she is ok. I would tell her she is amazing and not alone. I would give her a hug. Because if she felt anything like I do when I'm in those moments, I just want someone to understand. I want them to understand my child is the light of my life and she is amazing. I want them to understand I really am a good mom and do everything for my kids to help them succeed in a very strange world we are living in. I want them to understand that my child isn't just acting out...but has real struggles that make what seem to be simple things, more difficult.
Friends, we need to grant grace to each other. Let's face it, we are all winging it. Some of us got lucky and have 'easy' kids. Some of us have a rockier road. But if we can't show grace and compassion to each other, then how can we expect our kids to do the same? So next time you see that mama (or daddy) struggling, let them know they are amazing. If verbally saying it isn't your thing, say a prayer if you are the praying type. If praying isn't your thing, don't pass judgement by staring because trust me...that mom/dad can feel your eyes watching.
And to that struggling mama, or dad, I will end with what I believe is the #1 thing that took me a very long time to understand and how I pretty much end every blog...take care of yourself. Get that workout in. If you need a workout partner I can be found most weekday mornings at the 8:45 Orangetheory in Algonquin and would LOVE to help you find your fitness journey. Get that cup of coffee. NEVER EVER refuse help, even if its for 30 minutes so you can shower in peace. Do whatever it is you need to do to re-fuel yourself. You, of all people, deserve it!