Target is a wonderful place. Honestly, I’ve always wondered what all the stay at home moms do during the day and today I found my answer.
They raid the aisles of Target.
This morning I got up at 7:30am with baby, had breakfast and decided that today was going to be the day I would tackle grocery shopping. I’ve been putting it off for weeks simply because it is HARD to do, especially with a four month old.
Trying to navigate the pram, entertain baby, and carefully pick out your items is not a task for the faint of heart, and especially more so at Target.
So we get there at around 930am. From the drive over and her screaming the entire way, I can already tell this is not the best idea.
I made sure to feed her and change the diaper before we left but I guess I forgot about the fact that she had been up since 730am, without a nap, so it was getting to be that time.
Nonetheless, I was determined to get my shopping done. No turning back now, so we would just have to make do.
I quickly take out the pram and strap her in. Still screaming. I start my shhhing to try to get her to calm down and I fast walk towards the entrance.
I’m already catching the attention of the workers outside repainting the fire lane curbs.
::Winces:: I promise I am a good mother and I did feed the baby, so no, she’s not hungry.
I quickly move past them and inside.
I pull to the side for a quick wellness check on the little and already spot the stay at home moms.
There’s always a few types that stroll the aisles of Target.
The strong-willed, take no crap mom.
She is the one that gets in and gets out. She has a list and you better believe she’s determined. I don’t know how she does it with three kids trailing her and a baby in the shopping cart. One wants ice cream. The other, a new toy. One wants to go home, and the baby just in it for the joy ride. And somehow she manages, lassoing them all together as she throws another box of cereal in the cart. I sympathize with her for taking on the challenge, but she is one strong-willed mama. She’s been through the trenches, and she’s not taking anything from anybody.
If anyone would understand my crying child, she can, because she’s been through it before. She quickly gives me a nod as I move past her towards the snacks.
Finally little one seems to calm herself. I decide this would be the perfect time to gather all the things I need before time runs out. I quickly grab my eggs, rice, beans, yogurt, frozen veggies and other essentials I use throughout the week.
Got everything on my list. Check!
Time for a bit of “me” time, since baby is now asleep.
I head towards the book section. If you’re a reader, like me, don’t you love how Target seems to have a great book selection? They always have the most amazing picks, kind of like a mini-version of Barnes and nobles.
Next up, I quickly browse the baby aisle where I run into pregnant mom.
Oh she is so full of hopes and dreams she is ready to burst figuratively (and literally, I guess). She seems like she is almost due and picking up a few last minute essentials before baby’s arrival.
I want to stop and give her a bit of advice, you know, mom to mom. I want to tell her that having this baby is going to be tough, but worth every bit. That there are going to be plenty of sleepless nights, moments of crying – her and baby, and days where she feels like she isn’t very good at this whole mother thing. But there will also be moments to complete bliss with her baby, smiles and coos that will melt her heart.
I see her looking at the wipe warmer and I just want to warn her not to buy into all the gadgets and gizmos that they try to sell you. That most for the loads of baby clothes you will get from others, won’t ever be worn because they outgrow them so fast. I want to tell her to buy a lot of diapers, because really diapers, wipes, blankets and a lot of patience and love is all you will really need. And most importantly, I want to tell her that she is going to be a good mom, and not to worry.
But I just keep going. I’m not the type to make conversation with strangers. I’m better at writing out my thoughts instead of saying them out loud to others.
I pick up a teething mitt for little one. It’s so cute with little cacti printer on the mitten part and the silicone shaped like a cactus. She’s teething right now so I’m sure it’ll be perfect for her since she can’t quite fully grasp the other teether I bought her. I have to still hold it for sometimes.
I browse a few more things and then make my way towards the active wear. They always have such cute things but working out is far down my list of things to do. I do my walks daily but yoga or anything more is kind of out of question right now.
Then I turn the corner to the women’s clothing section.
And there she is.
“Has it all together mom” With her fancy pram, designer sunglasses, hair perfectly done, cute outfit and Starbucks. She strolls around with her perfectly behaved child that plays quietly by himself. No crying. No fussing. She has all the essentials packed in her cute leather diaper bag – snacks, wipes, extra diapers, you name it. She probably doesn’t work. You won’t find her scrambling around and looking like a hot mess.
She’s intimidating, but deep down I know her secret.
She’s not as perfect as everyone thinks.
And her child isn’t either.
She may look like she has it all together but really she’s just the same as all of us moms.
She probably struggles with something. Maybe her baby is well behaved right now but in an hour he will be screaming on the car ride home. Maybe she feels lonely or sad. Maybe she puts herself together because she is trying to feel like herself again, trying to feel beautiful especially after all the changes her body just went through.
I look at her and behind those sunglasses I know she’s just the same as me.
I know she’s experienced the kind of meltdown I just had prior to coming inside the store. Her child has probably screamed their head off in the parking lot while construction workers turned their heads wondering what is wrong.
She’s probably felt moments where she questioned her own sanity, or where she didn’t know if she was a good enough mother or whether her husband still thought she was beautiful.
I passed her by and I just smiled, speaking to her with my eyes as if to say, “you don’t have to pretend that you have it all together.”
I realized that deep down inside we are all that mom.
We are all trying to pretend we have it all together in some form for the sake of proving that we are good mothers.
But good news is, we don’t have to.
As long as we are loving our children and taking care of their needs, then we are good moms.
That’s all we really need to have together and the rest will just flow how it flows.
If moms supported one another, encouraged one another instead of placing each other in different stereotypes, then maybe there would be less separation between us all.
Maybe it would be easier to get out of our postpartum depression or let go of our anxieties. Maybe we could bounce back faster and feel more confident about ourselves.
Maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to pretend to be something we aren’t. And that pressure to be perfect will be off.
What mom was I today?
The hot mess mom.
The one who has the screaming child. Who can barely find time to shower, let alone do her hair. She’s the one that has the completely unorganized diaper bag and when she pulls out her wallet from the mess, everything else falls out with it. Her child is always missing a sock, or hat, or something. She forgets the blanket at home when it’s cold or an extra pair of clothes when the one her child had on gets soiled. She’s terrible at diaper changes on the run. And when confronted for conversation, can barely remember her name.
In truth, aren’t we all of these moms at some point?
What if we created a new type of mom.
The perfectly imperfect one.
The mom that is perfect just the way she is. The mom that is doing a great job because she’s really trying. The mom that loves her kids so much. The mom that does her best everyday no matter how hard it is. The mom that is beautiful inside and out.
I want to be that mom.
How about you?
Mama with Grace