I always hear women refer to themselves as “that mom.” Usually in a negative context and likely taking their impressions from behaviors they’ve seen in others that they don’t really wish to emulate. Like “I was that mom who had to drag my three kids kicking and screaming out of the library in the middle of story time and THEN I was that mom who yelled ferociously at them in the car because they ruined everything!”
Not that I would know. Ahem.
Being “that mom” doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Before Christmas there was a day when I was lucky enough to be several moms — moms that I had been before, and many I had not.
I was that mom who had her hands full out shopping by herself with two rambunctious 3.5 year olds. I know I had my hands full because at least 7 people stopped to tell me that.
Two minutes in I was that mom who threatened to “turn around and leave this store right now if you don’t put that back and stay with me!” …Target and your dollar section, I curse you. But also I kinda love you? It’s a complicated relationship.
I was that mom who bribed her kids with the opportunity to unshelve the entire toy section if they would just stay put and let her look at the kids’ shoes for 2 minutes please!
Yes, I was that mom whose voice everyone constantly heard calling out “Claaaaairrrrre! Raaachellllll!” Then in a frantic half-whisper because you don’t want to yell, but yeah you kinda really want to yell, “Get over here!!!” when the bribing didn’t work.
I was that mom who actually survived lunch in a busy restaurant with two 3.5 year olds. And actually got to eat. And actually enjoyed it.
And I was that mom who saw the couple next to her, juggling not even one year old twins, an older child, and all the gear that comes with and yearned to tell them that it gets easier.
But instead I was that mom who smiled but held her tongue because really? It doesn’t get that much easier. It just gets different. Less crap to carry, more crap to deal with, really.
And for a moment I was that mom who kind of liked being someone’s “See? It won’t always be this hard.”
Then I was that mom who dragged her kids to another store with no cart in which to put them, and prayed that they wouldn’t disappear or break anything.
And yeah, I was that mom who yawned and tweeted on her phone while her kids were engrossed in God knows what.
But then I was that mom who had to go back into that store after her kids were half buckled in their seats because she had that kid who insisted on taking that stuffed puppy into the store and promptly abandoned him in favor of that shiny Lightening McQueen display.
I was that mom who had to drag her kids out of the store because apparently they thought we came back in to play with more toys.
I was that mom who went home frustrated because I was that mom who waited until the last minute to try and find simple black dress shoes for her kids at Christmas time. But in that mom’s defense, getting out and going shopping isn’t the easiest or most enticing thing to do with three kids, especially during the holidays.
But I was that mom who braved the ridiculous holiday shopping with her two crazy girls, had a fantastic lunch, didn’t lose any kids, and lived to tell about it. And actually enjoyed it.
If by enjoy you mean “I only went 2 places but damn I feel like we ran all over town because I am freaking exhausted.”
So then I was that mom who put on a Strawberry Shortcake DVD so she could put her feet up a while.
Did I find any shoes? No. So I may be that mom who sends her kids to school in their Christmas best with their dingy old Stride Rites on their feet.*
What mom are you?
*After coming home, taking a break from shopping, and recharging our batteries, we piled everyone back into the car for a family shoe seeking excursion. And found shoes at the first place I ran into. No one else even got out of the car. What. The. Hell.