Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not quite how I planned...

It was one of those days.  One of those "I'm going to control this day and not let it control me" kind of days.  

I decided that I was going to get up, get ready, and get out of the house.  A friend texted about meeting up at the mall for a quick lunch and playdate.  Perfect.

So I got up, got ready, and got out of the house.  Check.  I even remembered to pack everything I needed in the diaper bag.  Everything.  

As I pulled into the parking lot, it hit me.  The stroller.

You know, the one that was not in my car.   
The one that was sitting in my garage.  
The one I forgot. 

I shrug it off, think to myself, "You can do this."

I strap O into the Beco, grab Ellis and tote them both inside...feeling pretty confident.  

We go straight to the playground with our friends and all is well.

We even walked to the food court seamlessly.  (Well...besides the fact that we lost a shoe along the way and had to walk halfway back across the entire mall to find it.  No biggie.)  He held my hand without a fight, it was great. 

We ate lunch with only a few pieces of food thrown.  This is going great!

That's where I should have called it a success and went home.
I should have counted my blessings and not pushed my luck. 
My friend said, "I think I'm going to run into H&M quick..."

Go home, Kendahl.  Say no.  It's dangerously close to naptime. 

But instead I said, "Sure!  Let's go!"

I snapped this picture as we were walking in the store.  It was proof to my inner negative voice that I can do things like this.  I can take him into a store without a stroller for a quick browse.  My kid isn't always crazy.

Awesome, yes?



In a matter of minutes, I went from feeling like supermom to feeling like a complete failure as I literally ran through H&M with a baby strapped to my chest chasing my toddler as he ran away laughing.  It was a game.  I couldn't catch him and he knew it.  It was awful.
And scary at the same time.

What if we weren't in a store?  
What if we were out in the parking lot?  
What if he turns a corner and I can't find him?

I finally caught him, and sternly addressed the situation.  All at the same time knowing that the more upset I made him, the more impossible it would be to drag him through the mall to the other side where I was parked.  So, I made my point and walked to the back of the store again.  In attempt to calm him down and try some positive reinforcement...I gave him my phone to look through photos since he walked calmly while holding my hand back through the store.

And within seconds it happened again.  This time running and screaming.

I had to leave.  Immediately.
Embarrassed and overwhelmed.
And, selfishly, upset that things didn't go my way...the way I had planned for them to go.

I planned for a fun trip to the mall.
I planned for a lunch and a little shopping to catch up with some friends.
I planned for the little outing to refresh me and jumpstart my day to being productive and happy.

Instead I spent the rest of my day in a funk.  I replayed the situation over and over again.  What could I have done differently?  I replayed the last year and a half over and over...where did I go wrong?  Why is my child the one that everyone comments about?  Why is my son the one that can't sit still in church, or anywhere for that matter?  What parenting book are all these other moms reading that I am clearly not?

This is not how I planned it.

My kids were not supposed to be the crazy ones.
I never wanted to be the mom that had to chase her toddler through the store and reprimand him in public while strangers eyes are burning holes in my back.
I never intended to have to skip outings with friends because I can't control my own kid.

Have you been there?
Because I was there.  I'm still a little bit there now.

In the trap.  The comparison trap.  The lies.  It's a rough place. 

But I know the truth.
The truth isn't in the lies.  Or the comparison.  Or the why me's?

The truth is that I'm not a perfect mom.  And I don't have perfect kids.  And that's okay.

Because I serve one who is perfect.
And in my weakness, He is strong

And every time I ask "why me?" or want to give up, He taps me on the shoulder and gently reminds me that His grace is enough.

The next time things don't quite go as planned, remember...His power works best in weakness.
...breathe that in, friends.
 His power doesn't only work in weakness, it works best in weakness.

I share these things because I want the power of Christ to work through me.  I want to help others through my weakness.  I don't want to teach you how to be a better parent (though not taking your 20 month old into H&M without a stroller at nap time is a great place to start :) ) I want to tell you you aren't alone.  I want to drink coffee with you and laugh about all the silly parenting mistakes we made this week.   And about how loved you are.  


  1. My guess anyone looking on in judgement has yet to become a toddler's mom. Others looking on have been there and are replaying their own "day that happenend for me too" and their hearts go out to you. Good news is you are now prepared and have a plan in mind for the shopping trips/ parking lots to come and they will both outgrow this phase. Count this as a WIN because you also recognized the true source of a mom's super powers.


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