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Last night while I was out running errands, I bumped into a lady I used to work with for what seemed like so many years ago. She walked into Gap while I was walking out with my daughter, Ruby, and she was so perfect! She was this fit woman, with perfect makeup on, and perfectly straightened hair. She had on a clean white knit hat and a pure white puff jacket with knee high boots to complete her outfit. I’ve actually bumped into her a few times while out retail shopping and every single time she was perfect. And it got me thinking, “Wow! How does that mother of 4 get her shit together?” And I kind of felt stupid for even going out in public last night. Me. In my black maternity leggings that still fit like I was still 30 weeks pregnant. And my black T-shirt that had breast milk spilt all over. And my cream knit hat which has foundation stains on it. And to complete my outfit, my $5 dollar tennis shoes from Walmart- and I had no socks on because I was in a rush to get out of the house before my other kids started crying their heads off and then I would have had to delay my plans to get out of the house. I felt scrubby because I haven’t showered in 3 days and that day was crazy and I didn’t even have time to brush my teeth, let alone put on makeup. I felt raw and vulnerable. I was about to end our time at the mall when my daughter reached up to grab my hand and held on tight. She never wants to hold hands anymore (asserting her independence). And when I looked down at her and our eyes met, she gave me the biggest smile I haven’t seen in awhile. And it was then I realized that for her, it wasn’t running errands. For her, this time meant “mommy and me time”. It was just the two of us, like how it used to be. She didn’t have to be the older sister who had responsibilities of taking care of her little sister while mommy was taking care of baby. She wasn’t being told to just give up the toy or the seat to her little sister. She had all of my attention- and I was off somewhere else, worrying about how I looked to this woman who I don’t even talk to anymore. That was very silly of me. I smiled back at my little big girl and squeezed her hand tight. We spent almost an hour at the mall just having fun and spending quality time with each other.

And I realized something last night, the way you look doesn’t matter to your kids and the people who love you. All they need from you is your time and your love. This season I’m in right now in my motherhood journey can’t be compared to anyone else. It’s unique to me. I’m not the kind of mom who can have 4 small children and wear nice things all the time. I’m not the kind of mom who can leave her children in the care of someone else while she has a date night with her husband. I’m a SAHM and my kids have always been attached to the hip from day one. Maybe it’s me or maybe it’s just how my kid’s personalities are, but I can’t be that mom. And maybe some day, I will be able to have date nights with my husband again and I can wear nice clothes again but, for now my babies need me to be the mom who loves on them. They’re only little for a short time of my motherhood journey so I’ll enjoy it while it’s still here.

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