Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Know Why You Pinch Your Kid in the Grocery Store

Mothering, I have found, is one of the broadest and most difficult areas of study a woman can take up.

In the moment you think you have found a solution for one “mommy-problem,” another one arises. What works for one child doesn’t work for another. What works for another child may only work for a single day. Or a single hour. Or thirty seconds.

The role of a mother has to be so flexible that it can bend over backwards, touch its toes to its shoulders, change a diaper with one hand and simultaneously prepare dinner with the other.

Honestly, I sometimes feel like I will break.

And I know this is nothing new. The internet is chock full of the sarcastic rants, emotional stories, and heartfelt suggestions of mothers in all walks of life these days. I am a quiet voice in a noisy crowd when it comes to this blog. But I am a voice that wants to reiterate something to you:

I hear you.

I know how you feel.

I understand that in the moment you pinched your child in the grocery store you were feeling angry, tired, and a little out of control (or a lot). But, for just a moment, you didn’t really care.

And guess what? I think that’s okay.

I’ve been there. Soooooo many times. And it is hard to admit how imperfect I really am.

Because we are so overloaded by pictures of perfection on social media that we feel that there must be something we aren’t doing right. And we contribute to that dishonest media flood, hoping, perhaps, that we will “fake it until we make it,” all the while wondering: Why are all those other moms playing and cooking and crafting with their children when I can hardly manage to serve mine breakfast without feeling overwhelmed? Why does this mom or that mom seem to be able to juggle homeschooling, sewing little dresses, running twenty miles, and making a fabulous meal all in one day when all I want to do is lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling?

I’m going to make a little bit of a suggestion here, mostly to myself, but also kind of for you if you’re nodding your head as you read this.

Stop checking your Facebook feed every few hours.

Stop scrolling through Instagram every night before bed.

Stop searching Pinterest for crafts you can do with your kids and following links only to find yourself sucked in by another “perfect mom” blog.

Stop reading the blogs of relentlessly optimistic people who turn every misery into a “there’s a reason for this.” Sometimes maybe there really isn’t a reason. And it is 100% okay if you want to wallow in your pain, your sadness, your misfortune.

Stop trying to be something you’re not.

Because you may not be the mom who has the patience to homeschool.

And you may not be the mom who has the skill to sew little dresses.

And you’re certainly not the mom who likes to run twenty miles per day.

And fabulous meals only happen maybe once a month. Maybe.

Smiling through chaos since 2008.

But you are a mother. A mother who loves her children. A mother who loves to read and do all the voices. A mother who loves to dance in the living room and sing really loud. A mother who tries to listen, answer questions, and give honest explanations. A mother who snuggles, kisses, hugs, laughs, cries, and strives to understand.

Fill in your own blanks.

You are your own kind of mother. Perfectly imperfect.

And you’re so good at it.


  1. amen! one of my pet peeves when mothers get together and talk, they seem to boast and brag instead of just share experiences without one up-ing each other. am i guilty of doing so...yes. i have now stopped, because i realize how it affects others. one of my favorite quotations i've come across recently is "motherhood is not a battle against other mothers. Motherhood is YOUR journey with YOUR children." it's hard to feel you may be doing something wrong when people start comparing. honestly i have finally had it, and stopped giving a crap about what others think on what and how i should parent. we were given specific children to us, and it is our own journey to learn, discover and grow from our own children, not others.

    and sometimes when you are in public that not so discrete pinching keeps you from beating that child! "...ouch stop pinching me!!" ha ha!

  2. Hi Kayla! We're related. My mom and your mom are cousins. My grandma Eulalia and Your grandpa Ormond are sister and brother. I'm a little younger than Sharena and Chene. I just wanted to say that I saw your blog come across FB because your mom shared it. I have read most of what you've written and agree so much! I've just never put it into words. You have so many of the same thoughts I do, but you're almost half my age. You are so mature. I just love what you write. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Thank you so much for your heart. I seriously cried just reading this. I needed to hear it today. I am a new SAHM. It is a privilege and a burden all in one. Thank you so much.