Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The time a complete stranger {a man} made me cry

We wake up early this morning. Too early. Elliana wanted to be up and at em at the crack of dawn and hurry downstairs for her usual request of a "banana, cereal bar, and cereal." I, on the other hand, wanted to be able to sleep in as long as possible. In other words, until the baby woke up. So somehow I was able to convince the toddler to just close her eyes and suck her thumb a little while longer. She does as requested.
It wasn't much longer before I heard little noises come out of Graham's room. It seems as though in the mornings, when he sleeps in long enough, he always wakes up happy and chit chats to himself for quite some time. Not exactly how wake ups go come nap time though. Anywho, Elliana screeched as soon as she heard his voice and ran quickly to his room where she jumps on his crib and starts hugging and kissing on him. And by hugging, I mean choking the life out of him.
That's when he pleads for mercy and yells for mama. I scoop him up, and kiss on those adorable sweet baby cheeks.
We proceed to do our morning routine. Brush teeth. Wash faces. Change diaper. Get dressed. Throw dirty laundry down the stairs. Make a bed, or two. Head downstairs and eat breakfast. The kids eat breakfast that is. Me? I think I eat a cake pop {or three}.
After realizing that we had no {real} food left in our fridge, and only the scraps left from the party the previous weekend, it was quickly decided that a trip to Trader Joe's was much needed. And as soon as I told the toddler this, she was more than excited and ready to go find the monkey. That's all she ever talks about when she hears the mention of TJ's. "I go find the monkey and I get a lolli-pop, or cereal bar." So finding the monkey we went.
I had a lot on my mind driving to the store. I thought about the night before when I had lost my cool with Elliana. I had worked the night before, was running on little sleep, and my tolerance level was at the lowest of lows. And defiance was at its highest. So naturally, after an hour of trying to get her to go to sleep, I lost it, I yelled, and I was not the parent I wanted to be in that moment. She fell asleep. And it ate me inside. I went back in and held her, rocked her, and kissed her. I told her I'm sorry so many times and I love you, and I would wake her so she could hear me. She would just mumble back "It's okay" and "Love you too." I held my baby and I just wanted to take all my anger and frustration back. It wasn't her fault I was running on little sleep. It wasn't her fault that I was overworked or tired. It wasn't her fault that she was merely being a typical three year old. And it also wasn't my fault that I was human and made a mistake.
Yet, it still bothered me. But today was a new day, a better day, and it had been going great.
We got to the store, and after getting them out of their carseats,  I  bundled them up in their thick winter coats, hats, and mittens. I carried G while holding E's hand and we got our designated carts. G plopped in the big cart, and E got her baby cart. Can I mention here how much I love TJ's for that. For allowing Toddlers to be a part of the shopping experience. Although it can be frustrating at times, this time wasn't one of them. She followed me around the store and listened to my instructions. She went up to the worker and told her that the monkey was in the barrel, proudly. She got her cereal bar and even managed to push her cart and eat her bar at the same time. Proving me wrong after I told her that that would be a hard task to handle. She's a big girl and it's hard for me to accept it.
I check out. Graham at this point had enough of sitting in the cart so I pick him up {bundled up and all}. And then I bag the groceries while E stands next to me. We make jokes with the cashier, who at first, told me that my bill was $100 more than it was. Mini-heart attack. We wave him goodbye, and he smiles at me real big {why is it that TJ employees are always so happy by the way}, and while holding G in one hand, pushing the cart in another, and having E hold onto my jacket, I hear something come out of this man's mouth. Something that I didn't even grasp until I was almost out the door...
"You're doing a great job mom."
And I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Just as I got tears in my eyes as I walked outside, and just as I had tears in my eyes as I was driving home. Not just a litte watery, I'm talking running down my face, need some tissues type tears.
I'm not sure why his words affected me so much. How a complete stranger just made a grown woman break down like that. Not sure how or why that happens. But I am so grateful it did. Because it just reminded me of something that I needed to be saying to myself today. That I'm doing a great job, the best job, that I possibly can as a mom. I'll never get it right the first time every time. I may not always know the answer or the best route to go. I may feel defeated, tired, and regretful. But always, always, am I doing the best with each situation.
And by the time I got home and got the kids out of the car, carried the groceries inside, and starting preparing lunch, I had a new outlook on the day. I stopped beating myself up over the night before and reminded myself it was a new day. A new day to be the best and do the best for my children. 
And I smiled while I stood in the kitchen preparing my daughter's lunch.We need to do this more often.Remind moms what a great job they are doing.

Even moms we don't even know.
If you're a mom out there, listen to me.... you're doing a great job. 
Each and every day. You love your children? You work hard for your children? You sacrifice for your children? You grow and learn because of your children?


You're doing a great job.


  1. I'm going to share this on Facebook because not enough people do this and it's so easy to do and makes such a difference!

  2. I love when people say nice things like this. I feel like sometimes people focus too much on the negative, and making sure they get their judgmental two cents in. It's nice to know people still focus on the positive. I remember when I announced that I was pregnant an old friend contacted me on Facebook and told me that I was going to be an amazing Mom. At a time when everyone and their mother was telling me what I was doing wrong or what I should do, it was so touching to hear something positive.

  3. Thank you for this post. What a wonderful story to share! You ARE doing a great job, Mom. All of us are and we need to hear it more often, from other mothers. Keep it up and thanks again!

  4. What a nice story! It is always so sweet when random people make comments like that and don't even realize how much of an impact it makes on us.

  5. This is such a great story! It's amazing what a few kind words can do for someone. When my little guy was about 3 months old, it got pretty cold for the first time, so I had him all bundle up. While waiting in line at the post office, an older gentleman stopped to peek at him and told me about his grandchildren. As he was walking away, he turned around and told me "You are doing a great job mom!" My heart melted and it still makes me smile when I think about it!

  6. I always find that it means the most when a compliment comes from a complete stranger. Someone complimenting you on being a good mom is one of the best compliments you can get. It's one we all strive for yet I feel like it might be hard to come by. You are a terrific Mom!

  7. I'm 100% positive that God knows that we need to hear something from time to time & he knew (even though you already know) that you're a great mom. Plus it's always great to hear it from a complete stranger that doesn't know you at all, but can see it :)

  8. God definitely knows we don't ever hear those few words enough. And for some reason coming from a stranger sounds so much better, because they wouldn't say it if they didn't actually mean it.


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