Hi there, it’s me, the other mom who gave you the cheesy smile and two dorky thumbs up. I just want you to know that you have someone rooting for you. Someone who knows exactly how you’re feeling. Someone who isn’t judging you or your crying toddler. Someone who isn’t going to pointlessly tell you that you have your hands full. Someone who wouldn’t dream of telling you to *cherish* these horribly long public outings with a fussy new baby and an adjusting toddler. Someone who’s been right where you are.
I won’t tell you any of those things you’re going to hear every single time you go anywhere from now on, but I will tell you:
You’ve got this.
You’re doing awesome.
It will get better.
You looked at me with pleading eyes, trying to figure out how I had it all together with my two kids and a baby all happily enjoying the store. Maybe you thought, What’s wrong with me? How come I can’t get my life together like all the other moms?
The truth is, we’re all a hot mess. What you don’t know is that my baby is wearing the same outfit he wore yesterday, and I didn’t brush the other one’s hair. You didn’t see my toddler throw herself on the floor this morning because her sippy had the “wrong” lid. You don’t realize that dry shampoo is my only shampoo, I used a baby wipe to clean my jeans, and I wear Febreeze as perfume (don’t judge Chanel is expensive).
Maybe you’re wondering how you’re going to survive until tomorrow, or why on earth you had another baby in the first place. Chin up, tomorrow will come. You’ll make it. Tomorrow will come and so will the tomorrow after that. The days will seem long, but I promise they’ll pass quickly. You’ll get the hang of it. Soon you’ll be juggling kids like a pro. You’ll be able to predict what your baby needs before he’s fussy, and you’ll fall into a new routine with your toddler. Better yet, you’ll have tricks of your own so you can go out in public and pretend you have your life together. Tip: a smile distracts people from the three-day top knot.
From one mom to another, don’t neglect yourself. If you need a break, make it happen. Ask a partner/friend/grandparent for an afternoon to yourself. Maybe to remind yourself what real shampoo is like (ps it smells amazing). Maybe you want to get out of your house and go somewhere other than the park or grocery store. Maybe you need some adult conversation with a side of adult food. There is no shame in taking care of you.
One more thing, give yourself some grace. Unfortunately, you don’t become a seasoned mother overnight. No one is perfect, and certainly no one is the perfect put-together mother. We’ve all got our tricks. Press forward with chocolate and a little humor. I promise even Wonder Woman loses her lasso.
You’ve got this.
Mother of Three