To the Mother Crying in the Corner,
I can imagine what’s going through your mind. Its 9PM and you’re just now feeding your kids their dinner. The restaurant is empty but somehow everyone is staring. Your baby can’t be more than three-months old and she’s scream-crying. After politely trying to get your kids to stop jumping and trying to run off (your husband echoing your commands with minimal success) you finally think to get the nursing cover. Your husband desperately reaches for the cover, tosses it to you, corrals your other two while you swing your nursing cover over your head like the Superman cape it is, ready to save the day and stop the endless flow of tears. And nothing. Absolutely nothing.
The baby is still screaming. You either can’t get her to latch or she doesn’t want to nurse under your cape but you’re too embarrassed to nurse without it. Either way, she’s still screaming. Still. Finally you look up at your husband, he swoops her up, bounces twice, and she stops. Despite the light murmurs of conversation that are obviously about your failures as a parent, everything is silent. You look over to me and see my seven-week old perfectly amused by the roof and my three year old, happily chatting up a storm. You break. You look up at your husband holding your happy baby and then your eyes fall. You’re defeated. You look over your tacos and begin crying.
You are crying over tacos.
I can imagine what you’re thinking.
I can imagine it because I’ve thought it too. So. Many. Times. I may not be crying at Pecos Bill but I’ve cried over tacos.
I know what you’re thinking, I feel what you’re thinking. You’re with your babies daily, you’re their mom. How could you not get your kids to sit still and your baby to stop crying? Your husband did it in .2 seconds and you’re sitting, crying over tacos. It’s Disney World, the weather is phenomenal for the first time all year and somehow you can’t get it together enough to have a moderately pleasant dining experience. And what are you even doing at Disney world?
There are so many things I wish were socially appropriate for me to do. All I really want to do is give you a big bear hug and hold your baby while you eat your now, extra salty tacos.
Most of all, I want to tell you that you are enough.
You are enough.
We all have moments of defeat and sometimes those moments are made worse by a lack of tacos. Heck, I was on the verge of tears over a mediocre pork sandwich just the day before. I wish it were tacos.
If we could have a conversation, I would say more. First, you are not only enough, you are DOMINATING this whole mom-thing. The fact that you’re crying over tacos is proof that you care and are trying. You have three beautiful children and were strong enough to brave the happiest and most exhausting place on earth. Your kids were having so much fun that you made it to 9PM until someone complained of hunger.
Second, babies cry. Some days more than others but it will not last forever. There are countless reasons why they start, and more reasons why they stop. The fact that your husband got her to stop before you is no reflection of her love or preference.
You are loved, you are full of great worth, you are not alone.
We all cry over tacos. We all get tired. We all struggle with crying babies and relentless toddlers. We all understand what it’s like to want to sit your kid in front of the TV, lay out bags of junk food, shut the door, and repetitively ram our head into a wall.
Please stop looking at other parents to compare yourself. There’s no way to take a glimpse of their parenting experience and determine what it’s like overall. Much less use it as a measure of how you’re performing as a parent, your children are. If they’re growing and learning and simply alive, kudos you’re WINNING at this parenting thing. No one gets out of it unscathed, you’re raising humans.
You are not alone.
And even if you don’t know who I am, know that I admire you, I believe in you, and I support you.