Thursday, January 10, 2013

Here We Go!

So this is it.  This is me starting a blog.  I'm not really sure what I'm doing or what I'm supposed to write.  I feel like I should have something profound to say that would be worth putting out there for someone else to read.  It should be funny.  It should be poignant.  It should be eloquent.  It should be worth whatever space it is taking up on the Internet.  The first blog entry on a blank page in the blogosphere... Oh, the pressure...

And so I suppose that is where this all begins.  Pressure.  The pressure that comes with being a mom.  The pressure we put on ourselves.  The pressure we inadvertently put on each other.  The pressure the rest of the world puts on us.  But most of all, the pressure we put on ourselves.  

I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog for about six months, after a dear friend had suggested starting one (Thanks, Tara! :), but I had yet to act on it.  Nothing had hit me as far as having anything to say about anything.  I had lots of experiences and lots of feelings on lots of things (and oh don't you worry...that will all come later!), but nothing that really rang true or felt authentic that other people could relate to that I could actually start a blog about.  That all changed after a grocery shopping trip to Meijer with my toddler and preschooler in tow.  (Enter collective sigh by all moms here...)

I had embarked on our weekly grocery shopping trip to Meijer with my 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.  As always, it was my lofty goal to get the things on my shopping list, check out, load the car and get home without a.) losing a child or b.) losing my mind.  This particular shopping trip was in the middle of a business trip my for my husband and the Christmas season.  Double whammy.  Needless to say, there had not been much sleep in our house, and the kiddos were getting a little sick of the "all mommy, all the time" show.  We were far enough into Dad being out of town that everyone was tired, but not yet close enough to him being back home to have that "light at the end of the tunnel" feel.  I was looking especially lovely, having not slept through the night in a few nights, and not showered in just as many days, I'm sure.

We were slogging up one aisle and down the next, and had avoided a couple melt down situations with the distraction of Goldfish crackers, the highlight of getting to walk by the cart for an aisle instead of being strapped in, or the special job of going to get a requested item off Mom's list.    This had been, and was continuing to be, an extra long trip, as I was not only doing our weekly grocery shopping, but also the Christmas grocery shopping for the family gathering of 25+ we'd be having at our house soon.  Things were actually going relatively well, all things considered...and then we hit the baking aisle.  Oh, the baking aisle...

Per our advent activity calendar that I was attempting to do with my kids, we were getting supplies to bake a birthday cake for Jesus for Christmas day.  We have never before done this, but I thought, "What the heck, let's give it a try..."  I told the kids they could pick out sprinkles and frosting to decorate the cake.  They approached the shelf, and of course wanted totally different things.  As I looked up, my son had his hand raised and was coming down at full force to deliver a mighty blow to his younger sister, who was no doubt, aggravating him.  A birthday cake for Jesus and we are hitting each other over it.  Perfect.  I think that parable was somewhere in the New Testament... Anyway... Moments before my son could make contact with his target, I reached out and quickly pulled them both back by me. The aisle was pretty much empty, but the last thing I needed was two kids in major melt down mode in Meijer, with a finished list and a check out lane miles away! 

I'm not gonna lie.  I was pretty close to losing my mind at that point. There were a lot of deep breaths being taken.  I kept my cool the best I could and tried to talk as calmly as I could to my kiddos, and we all worked through the issue without physical violence or crying on anyone's part.  (In general, I consider this a good day...)  I was feeling pretty much at the end of my rope and like my last ounce of energy and patience had just been sucked out of me, and I still had about half a shopping trip ahead of me.  As I finally loaded the kids back in the cart and we were getting ready to finish up our list and survive yet another week in the saga that is the Meijer trip, a woman in her 40s came walking calmly down the aisle, pushing her cart, without any kids in tow.  She didn't slow down, she didn't stop, she just casually walked by and leaned over and said "You're a good mom," smiled, winked and kept walking. She had no intention of having a conversation or talking to the kids, as many people do when we grocery shop.   She just wanted to deliver that message and move on.

That was it.  Four little words.  Nothing more, nothing less.

But they were the four little words I needed to hear the absolute most in that moment.  They weren't in judgement. They weren't in praise. They weren't meant to begin a conversation.  But they calmed me and encouraged me and made me smile when I felt like crying.  They gave me the energy and patience I needed; that my kids needed me to have.  Those four little words did, however,  begin thoughts for me about what we do day in and day out as moms, how we question and second-guess ourselves, how we push ourselves, how we give every ounce of ourselves and sometimes still feel like we come up short.  The quiet, simple encouragement of one mom to another at the moment it was needed most.  This rang true.  This felt authentic.  This felt like something I could say something about.  

In all the thinking, in all the pondering, in all the wondering for six months about writing something and putting it out there...that's it.  That's what this blog is going to be least for now.  

You're a Good Mom.  They are not my words, but her words.  A total stranger in Meijer, who gave me the gift of those four little words at the moment I needed it most.  She will never know what a gift those words were and continue to be.

You're a Good Mom.  Because you need to hear it.  Because I need to hear it.  Because we all need to believe it...of ourselves, and of each other.

I figure that whenever you visit this page, at the very least you will read that title and know those four little words were meant for YOU in that moment...
YOU are a good mom.  

No matter where you are, what you are doing, how you are feeling...
You ARE a good mom.  

No matter what the day has held or the future may hold...
You are a GOOD mom.  

No matter if your baby is a week old, or is now having a baby of her own...
You are a good MOM.  

Just by swinging by this little piece of the world wide web, no matter if you stay to read anything or not, you have heard the message YOU ARE A GOOD MOM and I hope you take it to heart.

So there you have it...I guess that takes the pressure off me having to say something funny, poignant, eloquent. Taking the pressure off?  I think that's a pretty good place to start...for all of us.


  1. A Beautiful blog! I am looking forward to following it, Carrie - for many, many reasons! - Dad

  2. And this is, wholeheartedly, why you're my editor. Your voice is so genuine and caring. You lift others when they need it most. I've known that sine we were 15, and I'm genuinely thrilled that others have the chance to know what I've realized for so long... That you, Dear Abby (said with intentionality on a day like today) can bring to others the hope they need to keep moving forward - and know that they're not alone. Keep up the good work. Your heart is amazing... and placed here with intention. Revel in the possibility.

    1. You are amazing, my friend. Thank you for your beyond kind words. Can't thank you enough for your support and encouragement!


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