Friday 3 March 2017

An open letter to the stranger that stopped me in the restaurant..

To the stranger that stopped me on the way out of the restaurant..

You probably have no idea how much I needed to hear your kind words today.

After a few rough days with the baby, a few rough days with mum guilt at it's highest and a few rough days of questioning my parenting skills, I was feeling deflated.

Our morning had started at 5:30am with screams and continued to spiral into 'one of those mornings'. I found myself shouting more than I wanted and just needing to get out the house. We had no real plans so aimlessly wandered shops, looking at toys to distract and entertain the kids. 

I couldn't face spending the afternoon at home so I decided to stop with the girls for lunch. I'm not going to lie, with the morning I'd had, I was kind of dreading it but I was hopeful for at least a large hot coffee to help cheer me up.

We ordered our favourite foods, I got my coffee & the girls ate well, despite making the biggest mess as usual. As we were finishing up, that sense of dread came back over me as I knew it was time to go home. I could already picture the protesting of getting in the carseat, the tantrums when we got home and that low feeling started to drift over me once again. I felt the weight of parenting on my shoulders and the self doubt creeping in. How would I get through the rest of the day? Why am I feeling like this? Do my kids just hate me? Am I not enough?

As we were leaving, you stopped me and honestly? My initial thought was you were going to say something negative.. about how I had my phone at the table, about the mess my toddler had made or the fact I let me kids play with the ice from the jug of water. I braced myself. I forced a smile through gritted teeth.

'What lovely children you have, it looks like you've done such a good job with them. It's lovely to see such well behaved children'

You probably have no idea how much I needed to hear your kind words today. That forced smile turned into a genuine smile and I was suddenly hit with a feeling of pride.

You stopped the self doubt and mum guilt (if only for an hour..) and put things back into perspective for me.

"It's just a bad day, not a bad life."

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