When you have a baby there is a giant hoopla about who will be present at the beginning. Who gets to be at the hospital? Who will help the first weeks at home? How long is paternity leave? When can parents and in-laws see the baby?
Fast forward a few weeks out from delivery. You look around and quickly realize you are alone. I will never forget the feeling of being left alone with two kids – one very active, constantly needing attention 14 month old and an always hungry one month old. It was January in Maryland, which means cold and oftentimes snow, but staying inside all day wasn’t an option for my sanity. I had to get out of the house.
Since I wasn’t quite ready to try carrying my oldest to the car while juggling the little guy in the carrier on my own, I opted for a morning stroll in our neighborhood. I collected all the things and loaded them in the double stroller. Of course they each had a poopy diaper as soon as I strapped them into their seats. I decided even poop could not dampen my resolve for the outside world!
After changing them and successfully getting both into the stroller for a second time, we set out on our first solo adventure. Luckily at that point in time we lived in an amazingly walkable area community. All was going well and I was feeling so proud that I had made a successful trip happen on my own. I decided we would stop in our neighborhood Chick-fil-a for a celebratory sweet tea and a success selfie. We then made our way home. On the walk back the tiny guy was snoozing while his older brother was chuckling and smiling as we passed people on the street.
We made it up the outside stairs and through the door. I took my eldest out of the stroller and then turned to detach the infant carrier. I was ready start the hike up the ridiculous amount of stairs inside our townhouse with two under two. Smiling at baby because our stroll had been successful, I turn to pick up big brother. All of a sudden I hear a thud, followed by wailing. My 14 month old had tripped over his feet and hit his head on the base of the stair railing. In milliseconds my feeling of self-accomplishment and celebration-worthy success of being a rock star mom vanished as the rapidly growing bruised welt on my child’s forehead made me feel like the worst mom ever.
And this, this is mom life. About the time you think you’ve got it together enough to celebrate, you are reminded that there is no such thing. We are all hot mess moms. So drink the celebratory sweet tea for making it out of the house, have the ice pack ready…and maybe wait until everyone else is asleep to take your success selfie.