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Boy were we excited. This was a date night we looked forward to for weeks. It was to celebrate many things; a birthday, a new baby, the holidays, remodels and our year of working on our marriage and finding a deeper love in our home. We were ready to pretend we weren’t parents for just a minute. Little baby was along for the ride, but he’s a good baby who sleeps quietly, and compared to the obnoxious toddlers, that’s nothing.
I found this fabulous romper to wear. Full of sparkles and lace because all of that is so anti-mommy, and that’s what I was gonna be that night. Not a mom, but a girl dressed up ready to hit the town.
Years if motherhood should have given me some inclination that things might not go as planned. I was too excited to give that inkling even a moments notice. We snapped photos and took video, then skipped on our way to the restaurant.
It was a Tuesday night about 5pm, and we were arriving for the early bird specials. In our minds it didn’t matter what time it was. We were out, dressed up and ready to enjoy each other. We sat down, ordered some delicious appetizers and took a deep breath. Baby started fussing, but no problem, he was hungry and ready for a nap, so I popped out my cover and fed and rocked him. He got fussier and fussier. I stood and walked and bounced, but it wasn’t working. Shoot, what’s wrong?
As I bounced around, swayed and sang songs, passersby stopped and chatted saying he was so adorable, etc. etc. This was not what I wanted. Where was my sweet sleepy baby tonight? Turns out he hated my scratchy, glittery, lacy outfit, and he was saying where’s my cozy mama?!
In that moment, I wished I had pajamas to whip out of my bag. I wanted to throw on my mom clothes and be his mother. I felt helpless, but determined not to give up on our night.
Out of the blue, a women walked over. She said, “I think he’s uncomfortable.”
I said, “I know! It’s my outfit he’s so mad at me!”
With no hesitation, she took off her soft black sweater and said, “Here, take my sweater. Wrap yourself in it.”
Time stopped for just a second. I was at that crossroad we mothers know well. Do we accept a helping hand, or do we attempt to handle it? In the past, I would’ve said, “no thank you.” I would’ve ended the night early and accept that I made a mistake in my mommy judgement, Tonight, I made a different choice.
“Thank you so much, I’ll try that!” We quickly wrapped me up in her cozy sweater, and Little One slowly calmed down, and he was soon quiet again. During the night, we had cut-off conversation, half-eaten plates and full glasses. Nothing was really enjoyed. No one was relaxed, but we tried, and soon after he calmed down, our car was coming back.
See, as new mother I wanted so badly to be able to do everything on my own. That’s your job – to do it all. But, sometimes you need another mother’s help. You need to borrow her sweater and it’s okay. Its okay to accept help in the moment from a mom who’s been there and wants to help you. Sometimes we feel guilty for putting someone in a position where they feel the need to help us. We take on guilt for leaning on them, but the truth is they want to help us. They want to hold us up and take some of the weight off, so we can rest. Its more difficult to surrender to not being supermom. But, if we want to be our best, to give our most, we need to allow other moms to help us get there. With their help we can reach higher than we could on our own. This lesson ed swirled through my mind in a matter of seconds, as she gave me her card and said,
“Call me tomorrow to meet up. You need my sweater tonight more than I do.”
It was true, I did and so did my baby.
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What a kind gesture from a stranger. There needs to be more of that in the world, particularly when it comes to people with babies!