Posted in #christian, Health and nutrition, Jesus, Mommy Stories

Tuesday Triumph

Passion is what drives me. I love Jesus. Knowing He loved me first and He is the only reason I am here. I love my family and want to make them proud. I want to provide for them. They make me want to be better…..every single day. My other interests come from a place of wanting to take more control of my health…..to learn natural ways of dealing with life’s little hiccups. To be able to share this with people so that they too can benefit and help those around them. 

It is never too late to learn better ways of taking care of the people you love. It’s never too late to change bad habits. Today is the day to look at the way you have been “treating” yourself and what you have been treating yourself with and say, “YOU KNOW WHAT!?! MAYBE THERE IS ANOTHER WAY! A BETTER WAY! A MORE HEALTHY WAY!” I use the phrase “baby steps” quite often because it takes time  to change 30+ years of bad habits. For every unhealthy thing you stop putting in your body, on your body, or in your mind you are taking the right steps and  being an example for those around you. Especially those little eyes that are always, always watching you. How will they know to do any different if we don’t show them? 

Posted in Daily Word Prompts, Jesus, Mommy Stories

Solitude

In response to a blog prompt titled “Solitude” my mind immediately went to my time at a women’s retreat at Pine Lake Camp in Eldora, Iowa. While I wasn’t alone the whole time I had many moments of Sweet Solitude. Which just happens to be exactly what I needed at that point in time.  

An early morning walk around the lake was just what this busy mom and daycare provider was longing for. Rarely do I have complete quiet or total aloneness:)

Ahhhhh! Only in Iowa can corn, grass, blue sky, and clouds look so beautiful! Of course I’m partial because this is my home. 

Total silence……just me and a kayak….I go back here over and over in my mind when life gets too loud and claustrophobic. 

I did meet these two. They did not want to be friends and were quite happy when I turned about and headed the other direction.  

Thankfully even when I’m utterly alone…..I know I’m not. 

Posted in Mommy Stories, The Daycare Life, Top 5

The Daycare Life~Top 5

While my days consist of the beautiful faces of children and the lovely sound of laughter and I love you’s there is another side of the daycare life that isn’t bragged about. We (daycare providers) don’t go around announcing these things or wearing them like a badge of honor. Why you ask? Well just keep reading….. For your enjoyment and to maybe make you feel better about your own “dirty” job I have compiled a list of the top 5 most disgusting/disturbing things when it comes to doing daycare.  

#1. Snot Surprise~

I am really not sure why I buy tissues. These lovely little snot producers don’t master the art of nose blowing until 3ish (depending on the child of course). Shoot my 8 year old still has tissue issues! So where does the snot all go you ask? Why it flows down from their cute little noses…they lick it or do the arm wipe which then smears it all across their face.  This is usually at the exact moment you are jumping up and running frantically to the tissue box; while dodging other kids and trying not to trip over or stub your toe on the toy land mines that cover the floor;  just to reach the tissues, pull a few out (you always need more than one), turn around and…..ALAS!  Too Late! Now you need a wet wash cloth because the snot has already made its way to their hair and in really bad cases…..they have shared it with someone else. 

AWWWWW! Look at that little toddle coming over, arms outstretched, ready for a big ole bear hug! NOPE! As that tiny tot gets to the point of “no way can you back away” you notice it! That gigantic goo monster that has collected just above the upper lip. It’s too late….your soft cotton shirt has become the best place to bury their sweet, little face.

Ok Ok this isn’t all the time so let’s talk about when the snot isn’t flowing and they have just reached that booger picking stage. You will witness every spectrum of booger grossness as the years pass.  So hear is a short run through of what to expect. Boogers…..wiped on walls, wiped on you, handed to you like a precious gift, flicked on the floor, flicked at you, flicked at a friend, and YES….EATEN! Don’t worry this stage does pass and I wish I could give advice on how to handle it but what works for one child doesn’t work for all.  

#2~The Mysteries of Poop~

By now you may decide to come back and read this when you aren’t enjoying a snack! If I still have your attention then great because we have arrived at my favorite subject….POOP! Why on earth you ask. Let me explain how much of my day is consumed with poop. On average I take care of 5 children ages between 1 and 3…..all in diapers….all eating regular food. During a normal 9 hour day I ask .”Ok, Who pooped?” at least once an hour. So if you are doing the math that means that on average all of my kids at least poop once a day. Do you smell poop every hour where you work? Unless you are a nurse, work in plumbing, or for a port a potty company I think probably not. So back to the Mystery Poop and this one is so good we need subheadings….

A. You smell the poop. You know that there is poop….somewhere. However you have checked all children and rechecked and there is no poop to be found. We are not talking about a gas smell. It is indeed a mystery. 

B.  It is an ordinary day when you turn around and see….GASP! a turd on the floor. (no you do NOT have a pet). You make the rounds. Check and recheck after you have cleaned and sanitized the area…..but nothing. No evidence. You think about consulting a private detective and most definitely go to your daycare providers’ facebook group to tell the mystery. You end up wondering and speculating about “ghost” poop for the next couple of days. 

C.  Just a few more Poop Mysterious~

1. How on earth can that much come out of something so little!

2. It gets everywhere except for in the diaper! (yes I mean everywhere and now you need a shower)

3. No poop smell whatsoever so you prepare for the “quick change”. Low and behold you  take that diaper off and…..SURPRISE! That’s not chocolate pudding! On these occasions you better believe you left the wipes at least 20 feet away.

4. All 5 of your kids have pooped at least twice in one day. AT LEAST! This is usually on a Monday and they have been with Grandma or Grandpa for the weekend. This isn’t so much a mystery as a……”What on earth did I do to deserve this!!” The top 3 questions          that run through your head on days like these…..”What on earth did you eat all      weekend?! Perhaps EVERYTHING!” and “Do you ever poop at home?!” and “Maybe I should start charging by the poop?”

I could go on about poop experiences all day since there is never a shortage of it at my house. So at this time I will give props to my garbage man! Sir or Ma’am thank you for your service and I do apologize for the smell of my can….especially on the 90 degree days with 100% humidity when the breeze is just right and your truck is at the perfect down wind angle. You are an unsung hero!!! 

 

3. ~ Barf’s Away!~

There will come a time in your daycare career that you will be covered in barf. Vomit, Spew, Upchuck, or throw up….whichever you prefer. You may say, “but wait a minute! you’re a mom with your own kids. A little spit up can’t be that bad.” First let me say that, just like poop, it is just different when it is your own child. I don’t know why….IT JUST IS. It doesn’t really make it better when it’s your own kids,  but dealing with others vomit is just all around unpleasant in every sense of the word. Thankfully this doesn’t happen a bunch but when it does you are never quite ready….nor are you ever quite the same. Case in point….It has only been twice in my 5 years of doing this that I had the pleasure of dealing with……hmmmm…..let’s call it a puke plague. Child #1 starts vomiting……they are little….they tend to freak out…..I am big….I tend to freak out as well. (1st lesson learned….don’t try to carry a vomiting child to the bathroom in the hopes of getting some in the toilet.( NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) What did happen was a lovely spew trail and both of us covered.

15-20 minutes later….Child #2 begins barfing….you have just finished cleaning up child #1, yourself, the spew trail, texted parents about situation, while also finding imaginative and fun things for the other children to do so they stay out of said spew trail and away from the quarantined child. (Ok I turned on cartoons….don’t judge!) 

Yes! There was a third and then the next day another. If memory serves me correct I think it was a good week before it went through all of us and life could go back to normal…..both times. In the end you have a great story to tell and I do feel like I am a puke pro which will look great on a resume someday.

4. ~Don’t Put That There~

 So this one isn’t really gross compared to the other three but it is one of those things that leaves you scratching your head. If there has ever been a phrase that has been said over and over and over and over again in my house this might be the one. At least a runner up to, “close the door” and “wash your hands”. There is just something about putting something in something to a toddler. I know, I know they are curious and learning. Keep in mind I have hundreds of toys to be played all within reach of said little toddlers……but the outlets (with the safety covers) or that little hole in the wall or vent is just way better than any toy. On the flip side of this you have them putting whatever random toy they find in their mouth, up their nose, in their ear, down their diaper (just pray this isn’t one of those “no smell” poop diapers today), or in their friends nose,  ears, mouths, etc. Just when you think they understand that “you don’t put that there” you turn your back and let your guard down and some one has a lego stuck up their nose. A fun example……they come to you with a cute little stuffed toy and say in the most angelic way “kiss baby” as they hold up that cute little stuffie……as soon as you “kiss baby” you realize you have been had, duped, set up……can they be this smart and devious….I just don’t know. What you didn’t realize is that this child has been over in the corner lubing up “stuffie” with a ton of saliva….getting it all nice and wet with their own “baby kiss”. You swear you won’t make that mistake again  but then you forget and they are so cute when they ask you to do something. Especially if it comes along with a “pwease”. 

 

5. ~Murphy’s Law of Daycare~

A short list- 

If one poops…someone else will be pooping soon.

 If one throws up…..someone else will be throwing up soon.

 If one has snot…..just tie the tissue box around your waste but don’t ever             leave it where they can get it. There is nothing funner than pulling out ALL         300 tissues from the box and watching someone else clean them up!

If something fits in a hole…..then something is going in that hole!

If they can pick it…….they will!

Everything gets licked at one time or another! 

Yes you will repeat yourself 5,492 times but at some point they will get it and         then you can bask in the glory that you taught them that!

 

Let me just wrap this up by saying some days this is indeed the grossest job ever….some days you are just not sure if you can make another meal that will most likely end up on the floor and some days you can’t believe that a 3 year old just lured you into an argument about if you really have a “real” job or not but most days you realize that you have the best and most rewarding job in the world and that all this grossness just gives you great stories to tell! Now go enjoy your little ones!!

          The grass is always greener……

Everyday is a good day to dress up!

               

 Exhibit 4A….the blocks fit on her toes so the blocks must go on her toes;) 

 

 

Posted in homeschool, Mommy Stories

Chapter 1- I’m just as stubborn as you and I’m not giving up!

I am 100% sure that by the time Noah is graduated I will be able to write a book on homeschooling your stubborn, argumentative, strong willed, and wonderful child! The good days are so good and the bad days are so bad but some days start good and end bad and vice versa. If anything this is teaching me extreme patience and how to let up on needing to be in control of every aspect of our school time. Here is some encouragement to you homeschool mommas…….don’t give up on that stubborn, strong willed child!!! God called you to this and He will see you through. Take a step back and look at how far you have come with your child and how much he/she has learned. What I have learned in our 2nd grade year this far………

1. I can not change anything that I may or may not have done wrong up to this point so quit thinking about it, dwelling on it, worrying or letting anyone else put those doubts in your mind. One day at a time, one subject at a time, and just keep.moving forward. The public school system has failed many children…..there is no way you are doing that badly. (That was supposed to be funny:)

2. Before I start our “school time” or what I like to call it now “learning time” I make sure he (my strong willed, stubborn, hates changes to schedules and will vent about such changes for a fair amount of time….child:) has done those few things he likes to do in the morning. This usually means eating something, listening to his favorite song, maybe even giving him a set amount of time to play in his room. However I have stuck to my guns that there is no “TV time” or “gaming” until all learning is done for the day. easypeasyallinonehomeschool.com has been a tremendous help this year. He can see what subjects have to be done for the day and can navigate the website easily.

3. This is OUR year! Emphasis on OUR because it’s nobody else’s! That’s right! I will not freak out because my 2 year old daycare child knows her alphabet better than my preschooler. I will not feel defeated because other 2nd graders are reading on a higher level than mine and in turn I will not make him feel defeated! We have all the tools we need to be successful and it’s OK if the way we do it doesn’t look like anyone elses.

4. If this was the easiest way to parent and educate your children then everyone would be doing it! That’s right…remember that mom or dad when your independent, smart, and a bit conniving child is in the throes of a major fit because he hates reading (poems, a certains story about a puppy, song lyrics, Bible verse) whatever he is supposed to be reading that day. The smarter the strong willed child the more ways they will use to make you feel like this will never work when in fact their main goal is to get you to give up for the day so they can go back to playing! No they wouldn’t do this with a teacher in a school setting…….WHY?…..the same reason they act better for others than they do for you. They are kids and they know what they can get away with and with whom. Don’t let them get in your head. A simple….”this is what we have to do today and when you are ready to do this and do it with the right attitude you let me know.”……has worked well for me this year. I step away from the area we are learning at and let him call me back when he is ready. I am steady seeing less of these moments this year and when we do have them they are short lived.

4. It will not be like Mary Poppins and I don’t not recommend a spoon full of sugar! Don’t belive the hype……or all those blogs you read that don’t speak of the negatives or hard times of homeschooling. You WILL have moments when you want to curl up in the fetal position and hide under the table and there will be moments when you feel like the best teacher in the world AND there will be moments when your child grasps a concept and you both celebrate. None of these moments would be experienced the way they are if your child was in “school”.  Search out those blogs or groups with “real” people that aren’t afraid to share all the moments….not just the glossy, pretty ones.

5.I no longer feel like a failure if we skip a day or don’t finish. Another reason I love easypeasyallinonehomeschool.com! I am one who loves to make a strict schedule and then beat myself up when I don’t follow it. This curriculum has Day 1-Day (whatever the end day is:). In the past I have written out Monday – Friday schedule and then when the inevitable happens I have to reschedule. The beauty of homeschooling is that it doesn’t matter!!! It really doesn’t…..catch up on the weekends……..keep a list of things you skipped over and incorporate them into your summer learning….or in our case we skipped over a couple of chapters in our pilgrim story so we are watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Guess what? It is telling the exact same story but he is much more attentive to this than if I am reading it to him.

So in short I just want to say you are doing great and don’t give up! That strong willed child inherited that stubbornness from somewhere…..right?!?! Dig your heels in momma(or daddy) and don’t give up!!! The holidays are right around the corner so plan a little break in your learning or let them pick some topics to learn about over Thanksgiving and  Christmas break. Bake cookies and pumpkin pie and let them lick the bowl!!

Posted in Health and nutrition, Mommy Stories, Whole 30

I made it to day 30!

​Day 30 of the Whole 30! 12 pounds down and thank you to my BFF,who when I expressed some disappointment over that number made sure to tell me that is 4 pounds a week and an awesome amount to lose. This is why you need, at the very least, one of those uplifting, positive, and motivational people in your life. (I AM BLESSED WITH A Few).  This month is going to be tricky for me. If I give myself an inch I will most likely go 10 miles. Translation….

If I go for that slice of pizza I just may have 5 and then find myself driving to 4 Queens to devour a peanut butter cup snowstorm to then cry myself to sleep with the guilt of going way beyond a little cheat. While a normal person can have a few bites of a dessert and be OK with that….. this girl just can’t.
This past month I have learned to be intentional and aware of what I eat. Eating to live not living to eat as the saying goes. I have had zero heartburn or indigestion and only minimal stomach trouble in the beginning as my body got used to all the veggies and fruit. (Think flushing your system) Come to think of it I haven’t had a headache in at least 3 weeks and am sleeping through the night like a baby. I do not have that, what I thought was normal, bloated belly feeling and clothes are fitting looser. There is also a definite increase in energy.
 I have some things coming in August….like a  vacation! My plan is to stick with this way of eating but give myself a little freedom…..just not too much. I am also adding in daily exercise. September the Whole 30 group is starting another round and I am in. I really believe that the first round is just the beginning and gives you the tools and success to change your eating habits for good! For someone who has lost all control over their food intake (like me prior to this commitment) this is really incredible. Once you get over those first few “withdrawal” days the craving for sugar and bad carbs fade and disappear altogether.  Maybe I was just determined this time….IDK. Pop on over to the website and check it out. Then join the Facebook group and go for it. I will update mid August. 

Posted in Health and nutrition, Mommy Stories, Whole 30

Day 25 of my Whole 30!

Fruit & Vegetable Platter

I’m in my last week of my 30 day commitment to go without any sugar, grains, dairy, and junk of any kind. I have drank only water and of course my morning coffee with almond milk.  I have been checking labels like a crazy woman. They sneak sugar into everything and if it isn’t sugar it’s some other form of man made junk! Ok this isn’t a lecture on additives and preservatives. Today I have hit the point of “not hungry”. WHAT?! Me?! I love to eat and I love food! One of my worst habits before doing this was not being able to read my “full” radar anymore(or maybe I just didn’t care). Years and years of indulging and I just would eat until I was uncomfortable. Especially if it was something sweet or fried or dripping in cheese. Today I find myself eating a banana for breakfast. A couple pieces of compliant beef jerky in between, a few bites of the omelet I made myself for lunch (I just wasn’t hungry!), and an apple. A short time ago I would eat a couple of helpings of whatever I served the kids for lunch and if it was something really good (pizza, tacos, sloppy joes) I would clean it up. This is an awesome feeling for sure. Could it be that food has lost it’s control over me?

Some of the biggest results so far besides weight loss are that my mood seems much more balanced. Not that I don’t get stressed or frustrated during the day but I do feel like I am more able to control my mood or brush off things that would normally irritate me. I have NO doubt that this has to do with not having those sugar spikes and then come downs from before Whole 30. I feel less foggy and have felt that way since the first week. I am sleeping better. Zero heartburn, indigestion, and I’m not bloated feeling all the time. In the first few weeks I was waking up to use the restroom twice (all the water and flushing) but that has since stopped. I can’t wait to weigh myself next week!

I have mixed emotions when I think about day 31. I’m a bit freaked out to be outside of the strict limits of the whole 30 way of eating. Of course nothing says I have to stop. However I do know me and just like any addiction I feel like one doughnut, 1 slice of pizza, 1 Big Mac and fries and I will go right back to bad habits. These next few days I will be reading up on the whole 30 website for support and guidance on how to tackle this next phase. If you would like to know anymore about Whole 30 here is the link….http://whole30.com/ .

I guess now is a good time to revisit my first 2 posts to jog my memory on why I made this commitment and why I should keep going beyond day 30!

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Posted in #christian, homeschool, Mommy Stories

Top 10 reasons why I love homeschooling my children

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My boys are still young 7 and 4 so while I feel I am still very much an amateur at this homeschooling life there are still so many reasons why I love it and how I know it is going to work for us all the way through. When people ask if I will be homeschooling the “whole” time I always wonder a bit where this question comes from. Am I all of a sudden going to not want to be with my children? In a moment decide I am not capable or do they think at a certain age my children are going to beg to be woken up at the crack of dawn to be ushered to a bus stop and then sent to a building where they have to spend 8 hours before they can come home and resume their own interests? I usually reply with something like, ” well we will see how it goes” or “for now that is the plan”. Maybe sounds a little wishywashy to you but since God led me to homeschool and indeed answered my pray with a very real “YES”, if in turn down the road He tells me to throw in the towel then I would absolutely do just that. So here are my top 10 reason why I homeschool, why I am 100% sold on it and why I know it’s best for our family.

#1-I run a daycare out of my home. Some days this makes the doing school work a bit harder but most of the time it just works. Our days don’t look like a regular “what you would see down the street at the school” day. We get done what we can during the day and use our evenings as well. Our emphasis is on learning to read. I feel once they grasp that the skies the limit and all knowledge is at their finger tips.

Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. —Tomie dePaola

Which then brings me to the 2nd reason…

 

#2-My children are learning Life Skills. Lately I have made the goal that my kids will be self sufficient by the time they are in the double digits…..around 10 years of age.  What do I mean by that? In my mind they should be able to do their own laundry (mainly folding and putting away properly) but I have no doubt they can also learn to separate it and use the washer and dryer. (not that I will make them do this or be able to give up control of the laundry entirely:) I watch my 7 year old navigate through an app on the tablet or play video games, build lego creations so  sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, etc should be a piece of cake.  They should be able to make small meals for themselves. Both of my boys love helping especially when it comes to cooking and admittedly I don’t ask them to help enough. Am I going to put them in charge of the house? Goodness No! However I have seen them light up when they feel they have contributed to the family and the household in this way. I love taking care of my family but all of us that run a household know the more help the better.  Having my boys home during the day gives us time to teach and learn these skills. I mean let’s admit it right here….kids aren’t learning to fold laundry, make beds, or even make a grocery budget at  a traditional school. My other secret prayer is that when they find that special girl someday and get married they will already know the work it takes to keep a home and raise children so they will never undermine it and will be more likely to jump in and help without being asked because they already do! So to your future wives….”your welcome and don’t you dare let them tell you they don’t know how!” 😉

#3-They are learning how to care for and teach each other and the younger kids. This is another plus of having other kids in the home of different ages. It isn’t all sunshine and roses because there will always be personalities that clash. Like two “little big dogs” under the same roof. I have watched both of the boys grow in this area. They try their best to be gentle with the toddlers and they love it when we have a little baby in the house. They want to teach them the do’s and the don’ts. They want to make it better when a baby is crying or a toddler is upset. They know that this is what mom does for a “job” but we treat the children and parents like family and that is what the boys call it…”our daycare family”. They are sad when a child moves on from our home but also excited when we have someone new join us.

#4-I know where my kids are and what is influencing them. OK Call me a helicopter parent or a smothering mother or whatever negative phrase makes you feel better. Guess what? I don’t care…why? because for all of history, before there was such a thing as government run schools, kids were either in the home working and learning from their parents or in a one room school house, with all different ages, learning together. Of course I let them out of my sight  and I am not hovering over them 24/7 and of course they have activities outside of the home….which includes…..gasp….other kids their age! So as they grow up they will flee the nest to pursue their interests and I will have to let go but there is no evidence that suggests children need to be away from the home or parents at a certain age or a specific amount of time to thrive and grow into well adjusted and happy young adults. I don’t have to wonder if they are getting the attention they need, falling behind, or bored because they are ahead of the rest of the class. I don’t have to worry about bullies. This goes both ways. I don’t want to be on either side of that call from the school.

#5-Absolute flexibility and control of our schedule.- YES I love having the illusion that I am in control of my days. When are you starting school this year? Oh sometime in August….or September was an answer I recently gave. Can we take that little trip in the fall? YES! Can we take a day to go to the pool or can we have late nights without affecting school the next day? YES ……this probably should have been the #1 reason because it doesn’t just sound awesome….it is. Much like when you become your own boss, you just don’t have anyone telling you what you HAVE to do. I also live in a great homeschooling state so I truly don’t have to answer to anyone. The rebel in me just smiles:)

#6-Stress free mornings:) Ok that is a lie but now that the boys are sleeping in later it really is great to let them have their rest and not have to rush around.

#7-The world really is a classroom. Kids learn from doing. All those  worksheets, lectures, apps, and videos are great but ask your child what their favorite thing is that they have done this summer. My oldest would say “when daddy and I took apart that cabinet in the garage!” to which he would add, “I got to wear safety goggles because you know….safety first!” My youngest might say something totally off the wall or made up (he is at that stage) or he may something like “when we went to the campground and swam.”  There is a reason kids long for summertime and a reason they dread going back to school. Summer means exploring, hands on play, running, swimming, and being with the people they love most….their parents! It’s what sticks in their minds. So wouldn’t it go without saying if you can teach in this kind of environment the information they learn would stay with them all the better?

#8-I am learning or re-learning right along with them. This really doesn’t need explanation but it is neat to learn together.

#9-It really does bring the family closer. My husband works outside of the home so he doesn’t get to see a lot of the teaching that goes on. The other night he heard Noah reading to me in the bedroom and afterward said how cool that was to hear. I think he forgets just how much he teaches the boys in their day to day interactions. He is their teacher too. We are a team.

#10-God will never be kicked out of this school! This year I am committed to include prayer and Bible study into our daily routine. Let me just add this as well……. because my kids do not attend a public school  I will not have to explain to my boys why a “girl” is using the boys bathroom or vice versa or why so and so has 2 mommies or 2 daddies nor do I have to worry about them learning a liberal version of sex education at way to young of an age. Yes I know these things will come up and No I will not teach them to hate someone who is different but I absolutely will teach them what God’s Word says about male and female relationships and that we need to treat others the way we want to be treated.

This is not to bring down parents who send their kids to school. These are just the reasons I am loving this homeschool choice so much. It seems that our society today has made it next to impossible for families to survive on one income but let me just say that if you feel led to teach your own children and to teach them your way it is definitely doable and your homeschool does not have to look like a traditional school at all.  Make it your own. As long as your kids are learning, happy, and healthy what could be better. If you put God at the forefront of this adventure everything will work out just fine.

                   Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

                                                 6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
                                        And when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

 

 

Posted in Mommy Stories

“Hang In There Momma”

This memory pops up from time to time. My worst grocery trip with the boys. There is no quicker way to feel like a failure than being a mom in a store with 2 kids melting down and a dozen people looking on. Oh the humiliation and defeat. Then four words from a stranger and a sympathetic look and smile came just at the right time. She didn’t stop and try to get involved. She didn’t look at me with that disapproving “get your children under control look” or the even worse “look at the mom failing at being a mom” look. You know the looks I am talking about and admittedly before I became a mom I looked on situations with that same “this is what I would do because she is doing it all wrong” attitude. So let me tell you about the time I was humbled to the point of tears….on my knees….with 2 boys crying, 5 aisles in and a full cart.

I had my list and I was focused. “Forty-five minutes tops,” I thought as I put Caleb (about a year old) in the front seat of the cart and had Noah (4 years old walking beside me). I was in a rush. No reason why I am just always in a rush when it comes to the grocery store. I want to get it done and not have to think about it until next week. It was busy. Of course it was. I was already getting frustrated because Noah wouldn’t stay by the side of me so I could maneuver him over and out of the way when people were coming up the opposite end of the aisle. Then Caleb started in. He wanted out! He wanted out now!! What felt like fifteen minutes later we were still in the middle of the cereal aisle, the most popular aisle in the store at this moment in time. Caleb is screaming and I told Noah to start walking so we could just go check out. Rounding the corner Noah stops right in front of the cart (where he isn’t supposed to be) and consequently the cart runs into the back of his heel. Now Noah is crying and yelling, “oh it hurts, it hurts so bad!” Caleb is still crying. I manage to get us in the next aisle and parked to the side. I get down on my knees and am trying to console Noah. Caleb is reaching over the cart still protesting his captivity. Now I am the mom who attempted murder on her child with the cart. My blood is boiling and tears are stinging my eyes. I am telling Noah to breathe and I am sorry and I didn’t mean to hit his heel but why can’t he stay beside me and we just need to get out of here. The sample lady who witnessed the whole thing keeps turning around to shoot me more looks.  Her face said I was failing at this mom thing. I am back up trying to keep Caleb from flipping the cart over and then  I crouch back down and hug Noah. Caleb is still crying. Having been a retail worker there was no way I was abandoning this cart full of groceries. Unless you have worked retail you have no idea just how rude this is. I look up and this lady is walking past us slowly. She was observing. I met her eyes and she smiled a sympathetic smile and said “Hang in there momma.” I smiled back through tears and whispered, “thank you.” In four little words that lady picked me up off my knees and got me moving. I took Noah by the hand and although he was still sobbing and Caleb was still squirming and fussing we made our way to the check out. When we got home I told my husband I was NEVER taking both of them to the store again! yeah right. Moral of this story and what it changed about the way I view other moms in public……you can be the one who casts a judging look at the mom who’s kids are melting down or even the mom who is melting down OR you can be  like the lady who boosted my mommy confidence with just four little words. I want to be the person who encourages with a look of kindness and a soft word. To all you mommas out there…”Hang in there!”

Now Noah and Caleb are almost 8 and 4 and I have taken them to the grocery store together. I am still always in a hurry (it’s just me) but to this date there has never been a meltdown of that caliber. In the moment I was mortified but when I look back I smile. These are the things that build our mommy character, build our patience, and make us better parents and people.

Being a mom is the greatest blessing God has given me.