Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thankful for Spilled Milk

About a month ago, during the hottest week of the summer, I was on the way home from the grocery store when disaster struck.  Cole, my 3-year-old, was screaming bloody murder because we only went to one grocery store, not two like we usually do.  It was the kind of scream that makes you wish you had an automatic shut-off button for your ears.  Distracted, I went over the hill of some railroad tracks a little too fast.  And by a little, I mean way too fast.  We were honestly weightless for a brief second.  But, as you know, we have this thing on Earth called "gravity", and that sucker brought my van, groceries and all, crashing back on land. 

When I got home and began unloading the trunk, I discovered the repercussion of my mistake.  An ENTIRE gallon of milk cracked right down the middle and spilled everywhere.  I mean everylastdrop.

After attempting to use two milk cleaning strategies suggested by the Internet, baking soda and vinegar (which, by the way, made our van smell like pickled sour milk and I'm pretty sure it did nothing but make the smell worse), we decided to let our van "air out" by leaving all the windows and doors open.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  WRONG!

Turns out flies like the smell of spoiled milk and vinegar.  They really like it.  It makes a nice little home for future flies, if you know what I mean.  That's as much detail as I can give on that because 1) I don't want to dredge up the horrific images I have tucked neatly away in my brain and 2) you might never read this blog again.

As I complained to my sister about this travesty that had befallen us, she gently suggested that I be thankful.  Thankful no one was injured.  Thankful I didn't pop any tires.  Thankful the axle of our van wasn't destroyed.  And she was right.  While this "catastrophe" stressed me out beyond belief, I am thankful it was just some spilled milk.  It was also a good reminder to keep my cool, even when my child is damaging my eardrums. 

In the end we did get the smell out of our van.  The thing that worked?  A Bissell ProHeat 2x!  Our neighbors were kind enough to lend us theirs for a week, and I now have a new item on my wishlist.  But most of all I am thankful for the reminder of what is important and how blessed I really am.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mommy Guilt

If you're a mom, I'm certain you've felt it.  

It creeps up on you when you're reading a blog, talking to other parents, or when you can't spend as much time with your kids as you want.

It makes you feel inadequate, incapable, insufficient.

It's called "Mommy Guilt".  

And who needs it?  Not this mom.

Last night, as I was feeding my 2-month-old daughter at 3:30 in the morning, I stumbled across an article about "bad" parenting practices.  It used phrases like "hinder brain development", "epidemic of anxiety and depression", and several other fear-striking words.

At first I felt sick about it.  I did almost all of the things that the article said not to do.  (I'm purposely not sharing what those are because I don't want you to feel the same guilt I did.)  Then I moved to anger.  Who are you to tell me how to parent my unique children?

But right now I am over the guilt.  I am over the anger.  Right now I want to encourage other mommies who have felt the same way as I have.

I talked to my own mom about this guilt we feel as parents.  "You will never feel like you have done it right, like you did enough for your children," she said.  Now you might think that downright freaked me out.  And maybe it did at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it gave me hope.  Do you want to know why?

Because I feel my mom did it right, that she did enough.  And she still does.

There is no "right way" to parent.  There are no perfect parents either.  Don't let "Mommy Guilt" keep you from enjoying the blessing of being a mom to the beautiful children God has given you.  :)