Some days, everything just jives and I feel like Super Mom. Emilia plays independently. Caroline is engrossed in whatever I’ve set out for her for 15 to 20 minutes straight. I can sip a cup of coffee in relative peace. Everyone is happy with whatever foods I offer and no one spills on me. Or the floor. Somehow, I also don’t make poor “mom” decisions like letting C self-feed herself oatmeal. I somehow manage to coordinate both girls’ naps (in the same room) simultaneously. We might even successfully enjoy lunch out just the three of us, in a restaurant, without me needing to hold anyone in my lap, like we did yesterday. These are GREAT days.
And then there are days like today. Naps were a disaster so I quickly pivoted and decided that we all needed to just get out of the house. We’ll visit a local farm to see the baby animals after a quick run to Trader Joe’s and hopefully, Miss I-Won’t-Nap will doze in the car on the way.
I masterfully pack an array of snacks and “lunch” options for my opinionated toddler and remember C’s puffs and purees. I have the most caffeinated, Iced Vanilla Starbucks coffee I could manage to create and I had the coordinated foresight to order it with the Starbucks app so it’s ready and waiting as I pull up. And I was as patient as Mother Teresa while letting E dawdle putting her shoes on. And then again with buckling herself into her carseat before doing the usual song + dance WE DO EVERY SINGLE CAR TRIP which entails me asking her, theatrically: “Do you feel safe??!
::: E enthusiastically wriggles her body and punches her arms and kicks her feet and shakes her head back and forth. :::
Then replies: “Safe!:::
[This is my sneaky mom hack for empowering my toddler while simultaneously ensuring her 5-point harness is tight enough.]
I feel invincible.
Then, as we park at our first destination, I realize I don’t have my wallet. Despite packing the car with supplies for an entire morning of errands, I’ve neglected to switch over my wallet to today’s sexy tote bag.
We have to scrap plans to see the bunnies and baby chicks and definitely won’t be going to the playground at the farm because it’s so out of the way and in such blisteringly hot sun that not being able to pick-up the herbs that were secretly the whole purpose of this entire expedition renders the effort and energy just to carry it all out with an overtired baby an energetic toddler just not worth it.
On these days, all I want to hear from anyone — a stranger, a friend, my husband… is: you’re doing so well. You’re a rock star. Great job. I couldn’t have done that. I appreciate you. What you’re doing is SO important, and most of all, tomorrow is a new day.
Maybe give me a long, long hug. Maybe (for said husband) rub my shoulders, unasked, which are clenched up from the permanent tension all moms probably suffer from, from constantly scooping their toddlers up all day, every day, and schlepping heavy carseat carriers in and out of the house along with all the packhorse supplies necessary for traveling anywhere with children: snacks, drinks, toys, wipes, changes of clothes, jackets, sun protection, etc.
And that nursing moms develop from rocking and nursing and rocking and nursing until the end of time which is exactly what it feels like when you exclusively nurse 8-9 times a day, and that’s 10-months out. And maybe try your damn hardest to not fall asleep while doing this because YOU think you have had an exhausting day.
And just keep reminding me that tomorrow could very well be another great day.