Toddler Blog | Lilladu Exchange
Today a good friend of mine invited my kids and I for lunch and a play date at a local mall. Despite never having gone to a mall with all three kids by myself, I said yes and off we went.
We finally arrived at the food court (a solid 10 minutes after we were supposed to) and met our friends there who had kindly saved a table for us all. My son sat in a chair next to his friend, my daughter in a high chair and my baby bounced somewhat happily in my arms, while I fed her mashed bananas, fed my toddler daughter her pizza, and carried on our adult conversation however possible.
Towards the end of our meal, a gentlemen walked over to our table and said, “I’m sorry to interrupt but I just had to say something. I don’t appreciate ... my wife enough. Seeing you here and what you are doing and going through is amazing and I never realized until this moment how difficult it really is for her. Thank you for that. I needed this. Thank you.”
I was completely taken back. In my mind I felt like a hot mess and imagined all the ways I could have been living this moment better. Yet, to this person, he saw quite the opposite. I turned around to say “thank you” back to him and realized he had tears in his eyes.
I needed that. I needed that lunch; I needed that comment. There are days when I wonder if I am the mom they need me to be and there are many moments that go by when I think “I could have handled that better”, or “I should have never said that”, or “Why couldn’t I have just compromised more?”. But this moment made me realize how hard I am on myself. The truth is, I am a good mom. I love my kids ferociously and would do anything - literally anything - for them. I may not be the best at it 100% of the time but every day I wake up and see their smiling faces and realize, I am actually better at this than I thought.
I shared this story with a couple friends and they all surprisingly had the same sentiments, which I considered ironic because all of them were parenting mentors of sorts that I strived to be more like. It made me realize that while being a parent is not easy, being a good parent is easier than we think.
So the next time you feel like a hot mess, showing up at preschool drop off unshowered and ten minutes late, don’t be anxious - your kids are thankful for a parent that allows them the opportunity to get an education and play with friends all day.
Try not to be so hard on yourself for how you look and allow picture to be taken of you with your kids. Your outward appearance may have changed over the years, but to your kids, you are stunning.
Every now and then your kids may not present themselves the best way towards others. Don’t worry - this does not mean they are not good kids and that you are not a good parent. Every kid has an off day, just like every adult. Talk about it with them, come up with positive solutions and don’t worry about what other people may say or think. Chances are, they have been in that position before too.
If you are worried about being too lenient or too hard on your kids, the fact that you are questioning yourself means that you love them and that you are on the right road in parenting.
If you don’t know every answer to all their questions, do not feel badly for asking Siri. Your “mom brain” is perfect and they do not think any less of you for needing a helping hand. Instead, what you are really doing is showing your child hat you care about their questions and interests, while teaching them an avenue to find answers for themselves which is a great life skill.
Finally, parenting is not easy; it changes every day, but always remember - you are an amazing mama, and don’t forget it.
Sarah Navin is a cofounder at Lilladu Exchange, an online thrift store for toddler clothes, focusing her efforts in marketing and communications. After a decade of experience in the marketing industry and completing her Masters in Business Administration, she and her husband celebrated the birth of their first child and she decided to take a new career path of a stay at home mom. Today they have three children, Zachary age 4, Alexandria age 2 and Victoria age 4 months. In addition to her efforts for Lilladu and being a full time mom, Sarah is also on two boards for nonprofits and volunteers her marketing services for several nonprofits in her community as well.