About two years ago, I was on my lunch break at work, driving down a fairly busy road to grab some fast food when a tiny toddler shoe came flying out of the car ahead of me and hit the hood of my Super Sexy Soccer Mom Minivan (TM pending). I just stared for a minute, a little confused at what had just happened, when a sippy cup came hurtling my direction. It was at that point I began to giggle.
This poor mama. Clearly it was a green day for her.
See, I saw that mom, with her arms flailing, eyes like daggers in the rearview mirror, trying to stay on the road and reach behind her to manage the situation. I saw the exasperation and the finger pointing and I could only imagine the threats being hurtled at the toddler who was having the time of his or her life going through the contents of the diaper bag, which were quickly leaving dings and dents on the hood of my van. But I also saw myself, a few years prior. I was that mom, just trying to manage, just trying to get us through. With a preschooler and toddler twins, life often took us through some crazy twists and turns. I had one friend who was incredibly upbeat and always said her kids were “thriving.” I am not so upbeat; my life motto became, “Surviving, not thriving” because that was truly my goal some days. So, when I saw onesie #3 come flying out the window and the car finally pull over, I just thought to myself, “That is a momma just trying to survive today.” I said a little prayer for her, because I was her. Who am I kidding; I still am her.
For me, this is a funny memory, but also a great reminder; I am not the only mom who goes through hard times. I am not the only mom who is just trying to survive the situation in that exact moment. And when I get caught up in my family’s struggles and tough times, I try to remember this situation because it literally took a shoe flying at my car to think about how we had gotten past those crazy toddler years. And now we have new struggles (3rd grade math, man!) but if I could conquer 3 kids under the age of three, I can do anything…right? Or at least continue on in survival mode for a few more years.