Busy mamas everywhere know that a trip to Target with your kids will likely garnish some comments from onlookers, especially if you happen to have 3 or more children. Everything imaginable comes from the mouths of complete strangers.
Most comments are slightly snide while others are downright rude:
“What aisle did you find those in”
(where “those” refers to my children…who have ears by the way)
“You have your hands full!”
(Thank You, Captain Obvious. So glad you told me.)
“How old are you?!”
(Old enough, trust me.)
“Are these all yours?”
(umm…no, I just borrow children and stick them in my cart for fun. Wait until one of my kids chimes in and says we have 2 more at home)
“You do know how that happens, right?”
(awkward on so many levels!)
“How do you pay for all of them?”
(I would love to know how to respond to this one…)
“They sure keep you busy!”
(Do I look like I’m insanely busy? Because this is my chilled out look… :-))
“Are they all from the same father?”
(Yes! Not that you should ask.)
“Do you have any twins?”
(No, do you?)
“Better you than me”
(Yes, I definitely agree!)
Some are non-verbal:
Shaking their heads after making eye contact.
Sighs and moving away as if I have the plague.
Chuckling while walking away.
Then there are the “positive” comments (where I think people are genuinely trying to complement me):
“You must have a lot of patience”
“I don’t know how you do it.”
“You’re truly amazing!”
“You are superwoman!”
I generally just shrug, smile, and say something like
“we have a lot of fun together”
“I couldn’t imagine doing life without my treasures”,
but then I saw a friend’s Facebook post about his wife homeschooling their 3 older kids and taking care of their 4th baby and I found myself getting ready to type, “Woah! She’s superwoman!”
I meant it as a complement, I really did.
That seemed like a crazy, ridiculous task from the outside looking in.
I could almost see myself shaking my head and wondering, “How does she do it?”
Then I looked at myself, homeschooling and raising up 6 blessings, wife, and friend, involved in ministry,
and just ran my first marathon and I realized something, we are all super amazing moms!
The truth is that when I had one baby and was trying to learn to balance groceries and budgets and diapers and husband and church, I felt like I was maxed out! I couldn’t possibly imagine doing more.
And then Baby #2 came along.
And I learned how to adjust
And a different ministry opportunity with teen moms started up.
And I learned how to grow.
And then we moved to seminary.
And I tried to acquire some patience.
And then I started homeschooling.
And I learned more than my kindergartener
And then we had another baby.
And balance became an essential
And then….and then… and then….
The point is that we all feel like we are drowning sometimes,
no matter how many kids you have
or what your day looks like.
And we all have our days when we feel like “we got this” too.
So, maybe next time you see a mom or dad with more kids than you and you feel like they must possess some secret super-powered-patience, remember that you are just as amazing.
We all look “awesome” at different times to different people just like we all have our ugly days too.
(No one saw me when I went to Target in my pajamas, tousled hair, and without makeup, right?!)
Next time you see a mom doing fabulous (or when you see her struggling), take a second and just say,
“Hey – you’re doing awesome!”
And remember that we’re all in the same boat, despite what it might look like some days.