A few years ago, when I was potty-training my oldest, I left him naked from the waist down so that he could go to the potty on his own. He had his own little potty in the bathroom, and with a 4 month old baby in my arms frequently, it was the best I could do at the time. He did well, with the exception of one afternoon, where he proceeded to poop on my dining room floor while I was exiled to a chair to feed the baby. I remember texting my husband a very exasperated and frustrated message with a lot of choice words. You can imagine what it might’ve said.
One time I ventured to the grocery store alone soon after Finn was born. I have only been to the grocery store a handful of times alone with all three since then. Literally everyone was crying by the end of that short trip.
Another time I was trying to get my son to finish his dinner, while he kept saying, “My tummy hurts!” To which I promptly said, “You’re just saying that!” And then he vomited at Walmart an hour later.
Just this past Sunday, my son Asa pooped in the potty for the second time since we started potty training, and I told him how proud I was of him. He gave me a high five. He then grabbed my face in his hands, pushed my hair out of my face, smiled. And he said, “Mommy, I’m really proud of you.” I cried like a baby.
It isn’t about perfecting our mothering, being flawless. It’s about moments when they love us back with just as much ferocity as we love them.
I’m proud of you, mommas. One day they’ll be proud of you, too.