Dear fellow combat veteran,
Yes, you, in the trenches, pressing on through the grenades and fire fights. I’m with you. I’ve been at this job for a little over seven years now. I remember in the beginning thinking that Motherhood might magically get easier over time, or that one day I would wake up and feel like I had it in the bag. I envisioned the day a second child would come, and that would be even easier since I was no novice to rearing children. I would continuously get better at Pinterest projects and my kitchen menu would expand to meet the needs of my beautiful family. That was my expectation. If you are laughing at me, I don’t blame you.
Six months after Grayson was born, I found myself going through a divorce. Enter single mom life. All of a sudden I was away from him more than I was with him. I needed food stamps and WIC to keep food on the table. That first Christmas, I could only afford to spend $10 on him. Sometimes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse babysat so I could shower.
Fast forward a couple of years to when Grayson and I moved out of state, and then later found out we would abruptly be moving back. I was in pieces. I was so angry at myself and consumed with guilt for feeling like I never knew the right answer. I felt like I had made all the wrong decisions. All I knew for sure, was that I loved him more than anything and I wanted his life to be perfect.
I had a therapist named Ann, in Iowa, before I moved back to Georgia, who told me something I will never forget. I was so stressed, asking her if Grayson would be ok with the move and the changes. I was verbally worrying about every tiny detail of what we would do, how it would happen, and how I needed to prepare for the worst. She stopped me and said:
“Katie. Children are resilient and they can handle a lot. Children have made it through tumultuous times without a mark. There is no proof that change will damage a child psychologically. The only thing we know for sure that matters, is the happiness and well being of their primary caregiver.”
In that moment, I realized that it wasn’t about perfect decisions. It wasn’t about spending a fortune on Christmas, fancy Pinterest projects, being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, or zero screen time. I was already #doingood and I didn’t even know it. The key to #doingood is knowing that you already are.
That’s why I’m so pleased to be partnering with Minute Maid for their #doingood campaign. To remind myself, and other parents, that we are #doingood! It’s about celebrating the everyday things we do – big and small – that make a positive difference in our children’s lives. Even if we don’t think we are #doingood in that moment, we are!
I started to think about my own childhood. I didn’t remember the little details. I remembered the security that no matter what, my parents were there for me and loved me. It wasn’t complicated at all!
Here I am, two kids deep. It never got easier. My menu never expanded. I still make the same 3-5 things for dinner. The second child turned out to be a bigger challenge than the first, and I have yet to make a fun craft with them this year. But, guess what? I am the same exact mom I was seven years ago. I love my kids no less than I ever did.
What I want you to know is that no matter if you are working 24-7, you never cook, you haven’t always made the best decisions, or your wallet never allows your kids to have everything they want, I want you to know that you’re still #doingood. It’s just that simple. (It really is.)
All my love and caffeine,