“You’ve got this, Mama”…..these were the 4 simple, yet magical words a complete stranger said to me this morning that transformed the course of my day with my littles.
It was 10am and our morning had already consisted of a handful of arguments with my strong-willed (ahem I mean… “passionate”) 3 year old daughter, trying to work from home on my laptop with my 6 month old daughter in my lap, learning there was a 12” long lizard IN our garage, and then getting all 3 of us dressed (ok wait no….THEY were dressed to the 9’s and I managed to at least change into different yoga pants). Eventually, we made it out the door to find ourselves at the WRONG dance class on my oldest’s first day of ballet. Rather than drive home just to turn right back around for her class to start an hour later, my girls and I headed over to a coffee shop down the street so I could nurse the baby (who at that point was approaching the hangry stage), grab some much needed caffeine for myself, and get a snack for our 3 year old.
As we’re sitting on the couches with my screaming infant fighting the entire breastfeeding experience as a whole— you know, when they’re starving but yet so mad that they have to work to eat? She was attacking that nursing cover in the most aggressive, Lion King-like manner to the point where the cover was full on flying (if you were there and I flashed you…I’m sorry…mama tried). Between that and my toddler next to me using the chair as her own personal jungle gym, I try to slowly sip my no longer hot coffee to stir up some kind of energy for the day. At that moment, a mom with her 2 small children is walking out the door back to her car, takes one look at me, and says “You’ve GOT this, mama”…not with a pity tone or a sweet smile, but totally serious with the expression of your personal trainer at the gym when you don’t want to do that last set.
Just like that, I was able to take a step back, remind myself that she’s right, and really choose to embrace the chaos rather than endure it. It got me thinking…how many times do we talk about showing kindness and encouragement to other moms we DO know versus the moms we DON’T know? That split second of an interaction from a total stranger was so meaningful and reminded me to really look for those moments of opportunity where I can pass that same little bit of strength to someone else. Too often, we get caught up in “but what could I do” or “how could I really help” and nothing seems to happen. But see, it’s those small moments we can look for that can make the biggest difference. Things like holding the door open for a mom trying to squeeze in the store with her Buick of stroller and is totally stuck (you guessed it…that would be me) or asking the mom of a newborn if she’d like any help when she’s clearly having a difficult time figuring out that complicated baby wearing contraption of a wrap (again….me)!
So today, I'd like to encourage you to make it a point to find one other tired, busy mama at the grocery store, the gym, your child’s school, etc. where you can offer her that same little, simple boost of “You’ve got this, Mama”.