So often, motherhood is about looking bad in public.
It's about kneeling in the rough playground sand, the kind that leaves an imprint on your knees in twenty seconds flat, to play tic tac toe, because your kiddo is having a tough afternoon after Day 1 of his new preschool class.
It's about getting down on your haunches to try to hold him, even though you're wearing a skirt and you know you're probably showing your polka-dot underwear to the other parents in the park.
It's about snot on your shirt, and crusty bagel crumbs in your nursing bra.
It's about sticking to your Mama guns about the no-sugar-when-you're-being-obnoxious rule, even when a popsicle would cure the tantrum.
It's about being okay with the other parents staring, the children stopping their play to watch, as your child completely and totally melts down at the park, screaming as if you're beating him even though you're several feet away.
It's about doing what you need to do, what's best for your child, and you, no matter how bad it might make you look.
One of my friends told me once: "In our house it's all about avoiding the tantrum at all costs."
That is not my strategy. If it were, my kid would be a total monster. The kind you'd never want to come over to your house. He's too strong-willed for that. Except on planes. On planes, I do try to avoid the tantrum at all costs. I employ a double-standard while in flight, and I'm okay with that.
I loved this post by Andrea on this topic (and she quotes me too, I'm honored). The comments are fabulous too, lots of funny, touching stories of how humbling parenthood can be. Read #21 from Lara, it's especially raw & open (and relates to aforementioned airplanes with children).
Even a superhero needs a little help sometimes...
And his Mama too...
Elan, September 2011