I see you at the park with your nose in a book or your head down using your thumb to scroll through your phone. I know you read articles telling you to put your phone away and enjoy your kids, stating that your kids need you and trying to guilt you into devoting every second of the day to them.
What those authors don’t know is that you brought your kids to the park solely so that you could have a guilt-free break, a moment where your kids entertained themselves long enough for you to zone out while mindlessly scroll through Facebook. A moment to sit where your only job is to make sure your kids play safely and are nice to the other kids.
I see you at the grocery store looking straight ahead, ignoring the chaos happening all around you. You have one toddler screaming to get out of the cart and another child asking for the tenth time why they can’t have a piece of candy. I see the dirty looks you are getting. People are wondering why you aren’t doing something. Some assume you are a bad mom or at the very least ill- equipped to handle two children.
What those judgmental bystanders don’t know is that although it is only 10 AM you have already lectured both your kids several times. You have dealt out time outs and taken away toys. You thought they could handle a quick trip to the grocery store but it turned out you were wrong. You’ve explained to your toddler why they have to stay in the cart and told your older child that they are not getting candy. You tried to lecture and threaten but the chaos continued. So you decided to ignore it all for a moment. Just one small moment of inner calmness before your lose your sanity.
I see you at McDonalds for the third time this month because you needed a break from the cooking and cleaning and from the children complaining that they no longer like spaghetti.
I see you allowing your kids to watch TV for hours because you needed a moment to relax and not sit Indian- style on the floor playing My Little Pony or break up fights over which child gets to have the red car.
I see you at the library during story time not singing along like all the other parents. At the school bake sale with store bought brownies. I see you half listening to your kids tell you a story and asking them to go play.
Some will judge you. But I hope you don’t let that stop you. I know you’re a good mom and I also know good moms need breaks.