I have been that mom in the grocery store too many times to count, haphazardly pushing a cart full of fidgety children trying to frantically open a pack of fruit snacks so they'll just be quiet. I used to be prepared and have snacks along, but that was two kids ago. There are times when it's all about survival. Counting the moments until bedtime.
I can think of many instances sitting in a restaurant listening to other people's kids screaming. It never really bothered me until it was my own little ones creating a ruckus. Those days I want to just crawl in a hole and hide. After offering to pay for the meals for folks around us... Sometimes keeping everyone buckled in the car is easier for everyone.
I was really strict with Emma's diet when she started eating solids. Minimal sugar, few processed foods, balanced meals. How could other parents feed their kids that junk? With two little mouths to feed and another one on the way, it all started to slip away some where. Fast food has it's benefits (see above). Maybe not for your physical health, but certainly for your mental health.
I used to be super organized and anal about keeping the house in order. Now toys have taken over. Even with a playroom designated for toys, they seem to spill over into other rooms as well. Laundry piles up at an alarming rate. As soon as the dishwasher is emptied it needs to be filled again. Vacuuming creates a never ending demand on my time.
I was never going to let my child(ren) run amuck at the park, with stained knees and filthy faces. While supervising them is still important, they now have free range when we're playing outdoors. Getting dirty is all part of exploring the world around them and learning. It's nothing a good bath and
In the end, I'm starting to learn these are all minor in the grand scheme of life. In the days of FB, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs it's to easy to compare to other households. But those are mere snippets of what really goes on. People tend to share all the smiles and joy, but leave out the difficult pieces. Raising a family of little ones is hard. Period.
Being there for your children is what matters- not how well they're dressed, how neat your home is. I miss doing all my crafty stuff, reading books in peace and quiet, shopping just because. All those things will still be there 5 years from now, but the little one tugging at my shirt to be picked up won't.
I feel God is teaching me a lot through this journey of parenthood. Some days I have to let go of my perfectionism and OCD because these don't mesh well with little people. I can't control everything. When life is stressing me out (like now with the impending arrival of #3) I need to simply hand the reins over to Him. Thank you God for this beautiful, chaotic ride!