I used to be such a good mom. Then I had a kid.
See, before I was a mom, I knew all the answers. I knew the secrets, the tips, the obvious dos and don’ts of motherhood. Because, I was that mom who stands in the aisle at the grocery store while your child is having a full-on tantrum and thinks:
“When I’m a mom, I won’t let my kid throw a fit in public.”
I was the mom who watched you feed your child leftover fast food while thinking:
“When I’m a mom, I will only feed my child homemade meals.”
I was the mom who watched you block out the screams of your baby while I sat nearby thinking:
“When I’m a mom, I won’t let my baby scream in restaurants.”
Then I had a kid, and everything changed. I soon realized that I knew absolutely nothing about being a good mom. Turns out, I am now the “bad mom” I judged only months before.
I’m the mom who lets my baby cry because that’s what babies do. I’m the mom who lets her kid eat the grass he found in the backyard because that’s what kids do.
Kids will be kids. And the thing is, at least in my case, you don’t know the ins and outs of children until you have them. Which means you don’t know what it’s like to be at the end of your rope when you’re walking through the grocery store and your kid decides to throw a tantrum worthy of a medal. You don’t know what it’s like to deal with that tantrum after a day full of laundry, cleaning, feeding, chasing, diapering, and more tantrums. You don’t know what it’s like to be so tired.
Sure, I’d been tired before motherhood. But, I’d never been mom-tired. Now, I get it.
When a mom is dealing with a tantrum in public, watching her child shove French fries in his mouth, or zoning out to the sound of a screaming baby, I no longer judge her. Instead, I salute her with a Hunger Games-esque symbol of solidarity.
Because, we’re all in this together. And, we’re all good moms. We’re figuring it out a day at a time, and no one can mother our kids better than we can.
Even if that woman standing across the aisle from you thinks otherwise. She’ll figure it out soon.