The other day I was at the park with a friend. We were busy keeping shoes on, slides unlicked and wanderers corralled as we sipped our coffee and had half finished conversations. I was eyeing my oldest on the monkey bars when a woman came up beside us.
"Um excuse me," she said, "I locked my kids in the car," her eyes filled with tears, "Can you help me?"
"Of course!" we said quickly.
I felt everything I imagined she was feeling, as I jogged with her back to her car. She swallowed tears hard as I helped her call 911. I could see how terrible she felt as she stood there waiting, and I reached for this stranger and gave her a hug. "It's okay, " I said, "I've done the same thing before."
"You have? Really?"
"Yes," I said. I watched her shoulders relax slightly as she tapped on the window and talked to two blonde babies strapped in their car seats.
I waited while the fire department picked her locks, and every once in a while glanced over at her and said, "It's going to be okay."
When the kids were pulled from their car seats one of the firemen smiled kindly at her, "Don't worry, it happens all the time."
I hugged her again and left.
It's moments like where the world gets smaller.
No one GETS IT like we do.
It's easy to roll our eyes and pick each other apart on the internet. It's easy to be harsh and jump to conclusions when we observe a kid who is out of control at the grocery store. It's easy to be on the defensive when someone is outspoken about a parenting method we don't agree with.
What's the point?
One time I sat on a bench in downtown as people meandered by upscale shops and my daughter screamed like a caged mountain lion. I held her while she kicked and writhed with sweat dripping down my face. A woman passed by, "Good job, mama! You're doing amazing!"
Another time one of my kids threw a tantrum in front of a theatre and a group of women applauded and cheered for me.
They upheld me in a moment where I felt so small and so alone, and I won't ever forget it.
That's sisterhood and that's how it's supposed to be, I think.
Who cares about parenting "methods" and bedtimes and screen times? Who cares if you let your kid use a pacifier until they're four? Who cares if you do private school, public school or homeschool? Who cares that we are all different?
I think we can all agree that being a parent is *so* hard and we are just doing our best.
I love when the world gets smaller and my life intertwines with another mama in the trenches.
In those moments it doesn't require many words; it's just a look.
We are moms and we're in this together.
No matter how bad your day was today, no matter what went wrong or what went right…
We're in this together.
If I could see you I would applaud for you and say, "Good job, mama, you're doing amazing!"
Originally posted on WonderOak.