Some days I wish I could just hand in my mom cape, rule enforcement badge, and just settle in with a book, a cup of hot tea and a blanket. I want to hide. Remember when you could do that? Hit that important reset button on your mind, body and soul? Some peace and quiet?
Yesterday I heard ‘oh did you throw up AGAIN?–Jill can I have a rag?’ ‘Moo-oom we’re out of toilet paper!’ ‘I wasn’t fighting, the other kid lied.’ The noise of all the things that a parent has to deal with is deafening. Kids don’t have a volume button. Somehow that important thing was left out, be it via evolution or intelligent design– I won’t try and force my beliefs on you. Either way–a parent should just be able to turn down the VOLUME now and again! Needless to say, my mom cape is fairly dirty with three kids. It rarely gets a break from near constant use. You wouldn’t believe what is all over this thing. I never have a time to throw it in the machine and give it a good refresh and reset to sparkling new. The fabric never gets to breathe. It’s ground in, wiped on, dried off, stomped on, and smeared with any number of things that just never get quite clean anymore. It’s damp and heavy and smells sort of weird.
All mom capes are different. Depending on the number of kids you have, the amount of time you’ve been at the gig, boys, girls, your emotional state, financial state, illness or health of anyone in your immediate or extended family, deaths, faith or lack thereof, are there kids in your home? Is your spouse with you, traveling, away all the time, does it bother your kids, make them act up? Act out? Shout? Are they tired? Wired? Did someone give them sugar? Right before you need to take them somewhere? Are they just in a bad mood? Are you? What’s YOUR mom cape smeared with? When’s the last time you got a good…refresh?
Before you judge that mother, you know the one I mean. She’s in the supermarket, on the internet, in your church pew or play group. Her kids are running wild, giggling like mad. She’s sighing. She’s whisper-shouting while pulling the bag of chips (she feeds her kids THAT?) out of the baby’s mouth and says ‘no’, for the 5th time now. She looks like she’s going to lose it. In fact, was that her baby crying earlier? Humph. I see tears. They’re bouncing in the pews. Arguing over crayons. She’s complaining about her kids online. AGAIN. Doesn’t she know how lucky she is? Why won’t she take my un-asked for advice when she’s venting? I have the answer! Why does she breastfeed her baby in playgroup? Can’t she just pump a bottle and NOT do that in the library? My angels NEVER act like that!
Maybe she dealt with antsy kids at a funeral, her husband’s tears, arguments over leaving the house, spilled food, sick kids, shoving, screaming, exhaustion from not sleeping. In one day. Maybe her best day is akin to your worst–ever.
Before you judge her, consider what her mom cape is smeared with.