Mama, It’s Okay~
I looked over at her and my heart immediately felt empathy.
She was flustered and embarrassed. We were on an airplane and here she sat trying to take care of two young children, alone. Her toddler seemed to be fine, but the baby in her arms would not stop crying. The worry on her face was visibly noticeable as she tried to soothe the baby’s cries and repeatedly apologized to the passengers next to her. I wanted to reach out and calm her anxious heart. I wanted to tell her it was okay. Flying was hard on infants. She shouldn’t worry about what anyone else thought, she should just take care of the tiny one in her arms.
Another day. Dinner out when I noticed her. Sitting at a table with four young children. The older two were fighting over crayons and placemats. The baby was crying. The toddler had ketchup all over the front of him. She tried to control the situation, but her mama heart looked overwhelmed in the moment. Worry about the other customers was written all over her face. I could almost hear her whispering~why did I even try? I wanted to get up and walk over. I wanted to wipe the ketchup off her son and sing sweet lullabies to her baby. I wanted to tell her that no one else in that room mattered at the moment, except her children.
Sunday services. A brand new mommy bringing her infant to church for the very first time. So many emotions going through her heart and mind. Just showing up was a chore. “Getting ready” for church held a whole new meaning. She was tired before she even arrived and even though the baby slept often during this time at home, she awoke with cries that rang through the auditorium. The mother’s heart fell. Her cheeks flushed and her countenance read panic as she picked her up and tried to shush her, eventually taking her out of the service. I wanted to get up and help her. I wanted to tell her it was okay. I wanted to comfort her heart with the knowledge that everyone understood.
I am that mother.
I am that mother on the plane,
at the restaurant,
I wish I could go back and tell my younger self those things.
The things that my older self now knows.
I wish someone had told me those things.
Another mom. A grandma.
But I felt alone, embarrassed, worried, anxious. At times I felt like a bad mom who couldn’t control her children. The worry over what others thought outweighed the worry over my children at the time, and what they were going through.
I wish I could go back and wipe away the tears and smile into the eyes of my crying baby and tell her it was okay, Mama was here. I wish I could’ve sung lullabies to them without caring what the passengers next to me thought. I wish I would’ve told myself that kids will fight, ketchup will be spilled. Babies will cry, and that all of that was normal.
Not just normal, but okay.
Mama. It’s okay.
I’m here to tell you, It’s okay.
Don’t you worry about a single thing. Don’t worry about what other people think.
You are a beautiful, wonderful mama.
Your children adore you. Shift your focus off of others and be in that moment with your children.
That moment of childhood and all it entails.
Don’t look back one day wishing you knew what I’m telling you now.
Choose to believe it.
One day you will be like me, looking over at your babies who are now all adults. Some with babies of their own. The memories of the chaos at restaurants and the crying in public places will only be a vapor in the overall picture of precious moments you had with them while they were still little.
And you will wish that you had known it was okay.
Stop and look at them mama.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing~
stop and look at them and tell your heart~
It’s better than okay.
It’s beautiful and wonderful and magical~ even in the chaos and the crying.
Don’t worry, and don’t wish for anything less.