I love the saying "some days you're the bug and some days you're the windshield". I love it because it's funny - we've all been driving down the road and had a aircraft-carrier-sized bug splat all over the windshield and cringed at the abrupt way that bug met his end - and I love it because it's true. Some days it becomes glaringly obvious by about 8:00am that you should have probably just stayed in bed. But unlike my college days, I'm a Mom now and rolling over, going back to sleep, and trying again tomorrow is no longer an option.
I've had a few bug days and a few windshield days thus far. Most of my bug days come from my own self-doubt - Am I good enough? Am I doing the right thing? Am I a terrible mother because I stuck her in front of Sesame Street for a second episode just so I can get an extra load of laundry done and will that second episode of Sesame Street cause her to become a less focused child who longs for the TV rather than the curious child always playing outside and exploring the world? (Yes, I am fully aware of the irrationality of that last question, but don't point the finger... you know you do it too.) But equally as emotional are some of my windshield days; the days when I feel like Super Mom, the days when A responds to a fun new art project and I can see the intrigue in her little eyebrows as she explores, or the days when I see the relief in my husbands eyes after a stressful day at work and all he has to do when he gets home is relax. Those are the days that I feel like I.GOT.THIS. And then, there are all those other days in between when I don't even think about my abilities or my flaws and I just live my life.
I was having a bug day the other day, and a pretty bad one at that. It's been a stressful few weeks with a lot of traveling and not a lot of time to settle into a routine during the week. There was a little bit of self doubt, which then led to more self doubt. Add in a dose of unusually cranky and overly clingy and emotional toddler and you end up with the "I feel like a failure" text message to your husband at 3:00pm in the afternoon.
Days like that are tough. They are few and far between, but still tough. I just want to be good at this.
Fortunately, I have found another amazing resource in The Power of Moms. This website is a pat on the back, a big reassuring hug, and a motivational pep talk all rolled into one website. It is a compilation of essays, thoughts, ideas, and resources to help you get through the ups, the downs, and the plateaus of being a Mom. The best part of their essays is that every one of them ends with a question and a challenge. Something to make you think and something to make you stronger. Every story has a purpose.
I first came across The Power of Moms several months ago when a Presidential Candidate's wife was criticized for decision to stay home and raise her children. At the time, I was still a working Mom, struggling with my own decision and with what my future had in store. I took the firestorm around this latest media blurb very personally. It bothered me that the age-old argument between working Moms and stay at home Moms had reared its ugly head again, and this time on a very large stage - a Presidential race. This essay from The Power of Moms was exactly how I felt, and I took comfort in its words.
On Tuesday, in the midst of my bug day, shortly after the "failure" text message, The Power of Moms released a new essay entitled "The Light at the End of the Tunnel". I would be lying if I said I didn't have tears in my eyes as I read it because it was so perfectly timed to how I had been feeling. As I finished the essay, I felt better. Not because I had the answers, nor was I magically stress-free, but I didn't feel alone or irrational any more. I realized that this job is not easy and there will be some bumps, but that so far I was doing pretty good. And as long as the good days outnumber the bad, everything will be ok.
If you need a pick-me-up, a pep talk, an 'atta-boy, or something to make you think, check them out. You will not be sorry. I will continue to post some of my favorite articles from them, but in the meantime, they are worth the visit.
So here's to more days as a windshield!