So there we were. Just a few moms huddled together in a cozy little cafe on a cold January morning. We came bearing iPhones, two babies, a few hours of sleep, a lot of under-eye bags and things to confess...
"I realized this morning that my kids haven't had a bath in six days."
"I spanked somebody today."
"I locked myself in the closet and cried."
"I threatened everyone in the house this morning. Even the dog."
"We had the morning from hell."
"My boys were up late last night watching Rocky IV."
We weren't discussing anything out of the ordinary. Really, it was just an average Tuesday morning. Albeit a bit more rough than usual, but a regular 'ol Tuesday nonetheless. The babies were surprisingly quiet and occupied with their snacks, and we moms sat back and chugged our coffee. And laughed. At each other. At ourselves. At anyone who might think we were nuts. An unspoken acceptance existed around that table. We didn't whisper. We didn't explain anything or make excuses. We didn't edit the truth, worried that someone might judge us. The coffee and the confessions flowed.
"This time of year I have to call in for some medicinal reinforcements."
"My van could be condemned."
"My kitchen sink could be condemned."
It sure feels good to get things off your chest. What feels even better? Not having to apologize or make an excuse for any of it. We all know that we love our children more than life itself and we put our families first, no matter what. There is no question about that. So, the rest is just life. The dirty van, the unused tub, the empty bottle of Xanax. The kids are happy and healthy. They are safe and loved. Does it get a little ugly ensuring that they feel like this? Oh yeah. Real ugly sometimes. But they won't know it. We moms do. So we gather around the table with our buttered toast and our tales of horror. We "laugh" each other up instead of putting anyone down. There is nothing to explain. We know.
Another thing I know... I don't really do a "New Year's Resolution." I just figure I am sort of a year round work-in-progress. I already have so many daily resolutions that I don't think I can handle adding a bunch of new potentially unattainable goals. Most days, I try to focus on little things like... Provide meals for offspring. Remember, the laundry pile is not trying to suffocate you in your sleep. Do not check work emails at 3 a.m., but Bravo shows on the DVR are totally acceptable. Keep the children alive. Wear shoes. Instead of some sort of official "resolution," I think I am just going to go with this new flow... NO EXCUSES. I mean... I am not making excuses for ANYTHING. My kitchen doesn't look like a Food Network set? Hmmm, maybe it's since people actually live here. You see me pumping gas while eating lunch (yes, it happened). I multi-task, okay!? I promise that no matter what I do, I have put my children and family first. And my dignity second. Well, not entirely, I rarely leave the house without makeup. Shoes missing, maybe. But not makeup.
And I would like to extend the same courtesy to you, whoever you are. Don't explain anything to me. Don't make an excuse for why your 2-year-old is laying face-down on the sidewalk. I already know. And I don't mind one bit. You can look at me in the grocery parking lot and shrug, I get it. I will offer you a smile or a hand with your bags. Next time, the "gravel muncher" will be one of mine. If you are a mom, I just go ahead and assume you are just like me. Often a bit of a mess, sometimes a rock star, occasionally barefoot. But always, without a doubt, 120% of the time, doing it all for the love of your little ones. So, no apologies, no explanations, no excuses. The only excuse I will possibly entertain... is the kind where you lament why you are 15 minutes late to meet me for coffee. I get it, it's called life. So, get your cup filled and tell me all about what happened this morning.