This is a compensated post in collaboration with JOHNSON’S® Baby and Latina Bloggers Connect.
It was one of those days. You know the kind you wished you could have stayed in your pj’s all day and not left the house. Honestly, it wasn’t even that day . . . it had been one of those months. I was trying to figure out how to help out one of our boys with a situation that seemed totally out of my control. Actually, it was totally out of my control, which only made me turn into crazy control freak mama as I tried to find a solution to help him out. I’m sure you have no idea what I mean.
That morning, I got a note from his teacher about an incident that happened earlier that week. I burst into tears.
I had a deadline at work that was past due.
I was supposed to bring some cupcakes to my son’s class early that morning.
I was supposed to go back to school later that afternoon to participate in a little event that was happening in my other son’s class, mind you I was also supposed to bring something.
My house is a mess.
My toddler decides this is the day he has attachment issues and he can’t have me out of his sight. I drop the cupcakes in the kitchen, only able to save a few. I make another batch. I’m now late to my son’s event that I was supposed to be at 15 minutes ago with cupcakes in hand.
I’m running down the school hallway, probably looking frantic, but trying to keep it together because God forbid someone classify me as a frazzled mom.
My husband is waiting for me at the entrance of the atrium with this annoyed look, because I’m running late. Unbeknownst to him, how awful my day has been, he says in his most annoyed voice, “Mari, come on, you’re 15 minutes late.” Before he can finish his sentence, I fall apart.
Right there in the school hallway, I’m sobbing like a baby. There goes the, “I have it all together mama” face I’d been trying to wear all month. I’m not much of a crier and I’m certainly not a public crier, but I lost it. It wasn’t little tears falling down my cheeks, it was gobs, I was sobbing. You know that type of sobbing when you can’t even put together a single coherent word. The kind of sobbing that you get lost in and when you finally stop, you think, “Why am I crying so much?” The kind of sobbing that makes your eyes and lips all puffy.
He holds me. I cry even more.
Some days all you need to hear is, “You’re doing okay, mom.”
Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, every day little things is hard for me. And if it’s hard for you I want you to take a moment and dig it out of your busy day full of unmet expectations. Sometimes it just takes a minute of me stopping. Stopping and taking a deep breath. Because when I do stop, even in the midst of the child who’s having a tantrum because I left his side to go pee, I’m able to count my blessings. When I stop (and count to 10) it gives me a moment to cool down before I lash out and regret what is about to come out of my mouth.
I wish I could tell you from experience that the more you do it the more it becomes a way of life and before you know it you don’t have to think about stopping, breathing, praying and overflowing with words of encouragement for your little ones. I can’t say this from experience, because I’m still in process, stumbling along on this journey. But I totally believe in the benefits of stopping, take a deep breath and praying.
So I continue, walking along imperfectly and sometimes in those moments when I stop, I’m able to get glimpses of His beauty unfolding in their lives. Little glimpses of “You’re doing okay, mom” spewing forth not from their little lips but from their lives. So don’t just listen for the words, “You’re doing okay, mom”, but let’s open the eyes of our heart so we can see the work He has begun in those little hearts and that He will finish to the very end.
JOHNSON’S® Baby asked us mommy bloggers to share why our children think we are doing great. My kids responded with, “You play with us. You cook good. You funny, you make my tummy laugh.” This campaign really hit the spot because what mom doesn’t want to hear “You’re doing great.” They also have a great tear jerker video, you can view it here.
Since my kids are “men of few words” I hope these pictures better portray my IMPERFECT journey of motherhood as I listen to the words “You’re doing okay, mom.” through their actions.
No, they weren’t humming up and down the stairs as they hauled the firewood down, but they sure were working hard. You’re doing okay, mom.
Yup, he’s crying, it’s happens. You’re doing okay, mom.
Even after all the bickering and fighting about imaginary things like who has the biggest flying horse that turns into a human and crushes planes . . . they still love each other. You’re doing okay, mom.
Not only are they happily playing, ahem (cough, cough) for 10 minutes, they are happily playing with pink dishes. You’re doing okay, mom.
Spending their Christmas break helping others, joyfully! You’re doing okay, mom.
I once wondered, when he would learn to speak correctly and here he is reading to his brothers. You’re doing okay, mom.
My heart is filled with joy as I looked through our family photos looking for pictures to remind me that my cup runs over and I’m truly doing okay. In no way do I take full credit for any good I see in my children, because thankfully, I don’t walk this journey alone. I walk hand in hand with He who gives me strength, wisdom and discernment and my best friend and first kiss, Ben, because without them I couldn’t do it.
And then there are moments like this that humble me and remind me, we are in process.
Oh, how I wish I could tell you that this picture was staged, but it wasn’t. I had the crazy idea of getting family pictures on Mother’s day a few years ago and I nearly hurt someone. It was a complete DISASTER but at least I can now laugh at these pictures.
JOHNSON’S® Baby will donate $1 to Save the Children® for every view of the “You’re doing OK, Mom” video on YouTube so go see it here. They are committed to ensuring that every baby has a happy and healthy start through various initiatives. So make sure to share the video so that every view counts towards making that happen.