The other day I did something stupid and felt like a terrible mother all morning. We were running way behind schedule and I knew there was no way we could make it home for lunch before an appointment now so we went to a café I knew had weird snack-plate items I could throw together a lunch with. Hardboiled eggs, string cheese, fruit cups, baby carrots… not ideal, but it would have to do.
I was still feeling bad, and now even worse because I couldn’t keep a schedule together and I couldn’t get a decent lunch figured out… and then it happened.
An older woman walked up to me and complimented me on my cute kids. If you read here often, you know that this normally frustrates me. We’re accosted with comments every time we leave the house and I don’t like it when people interrupt my conversations with my children to tell me, “They’re so blonde!” because, well, I know. So I smiled politely and thanked the woman, then employed my usual trick of angling my body away from her so she’d move along. Instead she leaned down and said, “And I can tell you’re a good mama. They’re obviously very loved.”
And I cried.
I am a good mom. Am I the best? Definitely not. But I am good. I care. I love my children like crazy. I read them stories and play games with them and snuggle them. I teach them about eating healthy and exercising and being kind and always having a plan for their money. I plan fun adventures I know they will love, even though I’d secretly prefer to leave the house only for a bi-weekly library trip by myself. I am not the world’s best mom, but I am still a good one. And I bet you are too.
I thanked her profusely and told her, “I really needed to hear that today.”
It was perfect timing, and it reminded me that sometimes the compliment we’re thinking in our heads might go a really long way when we say it out loud.