Grace upon grace. That is what I needed this morning. Because before then sun hit the horizon, it was all aboard the hot.mess.express at the Hummel household…
Daddy was out of town for work, so Murphy’s Law y’all. Before we dive into the good stuff, here’s a little rundown of the first four hours of our day…
Little woke up like clockwork for her 5:30 AM feeding. She typically ALWAYS goes back to sleep for a couple of hours after this feed. So this mama was planning to have a solid hour of independence before big sister’s 7 AM wake-up call – which meant big plans for real clothes, fixed hair and at least one cup of coffee circulating through my system. N-O-P-E. Lakyn Lee had no interest in going back to sleep today.
The rock-n-play pacified her for a moment – almost long enough for me to wash my face. Which, thanks to @msrachelhollis, we all know is important right?!
Then it all broke loose. Baby wailing from the living room. Big sister calling out for “MAAAAMAAAA…” from bed because baby was being “too noisy” for her. I glanced at the clock…6:30 AM. I didn’t even get to brush my teeth in peace.
Very, very contrary to my belief system surrounding screen time and meal time, I appeased said toddler at the kitchen counter with a bowl of cereal and PawPatrol on the iPad. Desperate times, friends.
Much to big sister’s dismay (because it was clearly a distraction from the adventures of Alex and Chase) I let the little continue to cry just long enough to pull on yesterday’s stretchy pants and a sweatshirt. So much for making myself semi-presentable for school drop-off…
Got baby changed and dressed and put in the carrier. Screaming continued.
Argued with toddler about her clothes (see picture below). Argued with toddler about her hair (see picture below). Argued with toddler about watching another PawPatrol (Ummm…that’s a no).
Lopsided pigtails. High-water overalls. But she looked exactly like she wanted, and to a three-year-old that’s all that matters.
Meanwhile…baby still screaming.
Got everyone out the door and realized it was 35 degrees and no one had a coat. Opened the car door for toddler to get herself loaded into her carseat and buckled the baby into hers before heading back in for coats…and more coffee.
Got halfway down the driveway and realized I had not a) taken toddler to the bathroom or b) bushed her teeth. Kept driving because…baby still screaming. And there was a potty and a toothbrush at school…she could make it 30 miles.
Pulled out onto the highway. Toddler yells, “Mommy, LOOK!” While she had done the top clip of her seatbelt as she always does, I had neglected to buckle the bottom part. Probably my biggest #momfail of the morning. Pulled over. Got her buckled.
Got to school. Baby asleep!! All the praise hands. Unloaded everyone and got to the classroom. Toddler had a meltdown. Ran out the door and wrapped herself around my legs screaming. Teacher pried her off and I walked out the door with her yelling for her mommy. The definition of pure torture.
Got the baby in the car. Got myself in the car. I started crying. Then baby started crying. Every Hummel girl at that moment was crying.
Drove to Target. What else was there to do?
Baby cried all the way back to the nursing room, but after her mid-morning snack, all was right in her world again. Mama got herself a latte and headed to amble aimlessly through the throw pillows, blankets and candles…because can you really have too many?? For a brief moment, all was well…
Mama’s happy place.
The tranquility was short lived. One of us was crying again. Surprisingly, it wan’t me. Defeated, I walked toward the exit. But on my way out, a chance encounter completely changed my attitude and outlook for the day. A friend was walking in with her now 8-month-old daughter. She took one look at me and my screaming babe, wrapped her arms around me and said, “You’re doing great mama.”
It took everything I had to hold myself together. Four little words brought such reprieve and solidarity with another human. Another mama. Another warrior. She didn’t just say it, she meant it.
The details of my day are really irrelevant. The point is, one kind gesture…one moment of grace…completely turned my day around. The rest of the day wasn’t easy. But the five minutes I spent with that friend reminded me that even in the moments I feel like we’re all falling apart…I’m still doing great at this mama gig.
So give a little grace. To yourself, and to others. Because a little grace goes a long way.