Up and Down: What Motherhood Feels Like

4 years ago

A spunky blonde stood in the front of our MOPS meeting, talking about food as fuel and eating plants rather than things that made in a plant.

"But what about goldfish?" I thought. We eat the tiny cheddar crackers in waves but seemed to be drowning in them lately. The blonde mentioned a website called Weelicious that had tons of healthy recipes for kids. I made a mental note and was excited when one of the first recipes I saw that afternoon was for whole wheat baked cheddar crackers. "Goldfish, smoldfish," I told myself.

10 nov

A few days later I actually made the crackers, and they were delicious. I started planning to work them into my routine. Maybe I could make a batch at the beginning of each week. I nibbled another cracker as visions of a whole wheat cheddar cracker-filled future danced in my head.

I felt like a good mom.


We pulled up to the visitor center and as Liv and I headed to the bathroom, we stopped to take a picture, smiling in our sunglasses with a great expanse of the Blue Ridge filling the space behind us. Duff and Eliza waited for us with the Moby wrap. He handed it to me and I grabbed it and started twisting and tucking it around my body. We were standing in the visitor center and I started to feel eyes on me. The wrap wasn't quite right, so I wiggled it down my body, stepped out, and started over.

I started to sweat.

"Um, let's go outside, I feel...I can't do this in here," I said. We walked just outside the door and I stood on a patch of grass and tried again. Around my waist, over both shoulders, cross in the front...or is it the back?

I wiggled it down and stepped out again. "I'm uh, going to have to do this by the car. I can't...I feel like people are watching and I can't figure it out," I told Duff. My face was flushed, not from the wind, but from feeling conspicuous.

On the way to the car, I tried to find a YouTube video I'd studied before our last hike, but with poor cell service I couldn't watch the part I needed. So I started over with the wrap, shielded by the car door. When I thought I had it, Duff tried to put Eliza in. It still wasn't right. He took her out, handed her to me, and I turned around and hit her head on the car.

Over her tears, I told Duff I didn't think this hike was going to happen. "I can't get it right, and we can't hike unless she's in this wrap. I think we have to turn around and go home."

We did.

I felt like an idiot.


These stories happened the same week.

The cheddar crackers lasted two days and I haven't made them again. We now have a giant, pour-spout box of goldfish sitting on top of our refrigerator.

We recovered from our failed attempt at a hike (and Eliza's little noggin bonk) by grabbing breakfast at a favorite coffee shop.

We're no worse for the wear, but I kept thinking this is what it feels like. One minute, I so totally have this. The next, how am I still unprepared? Caught off-guard? How am I still learning?

This is what it feels like to be a mom.

Thank goodness I don't have to be perfect.

Just faithful.


Cross-posted at www.table-for-3.com

Photo Credit: retrofemme.

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