February 25, 2016

It’s All About Us

When Carter was a newborn, we both experienced a terrible thing called thrush. For any moms out there that have been through this awful infection, you know just how terrible it is. It was in Carter’s mouth and we could...

Its All About Us

When Carter was a newborn, we both experienced a terrible thing called thrush. For any moms out there that have been through this awful infection, you know just how terrible it is. It was in Carter’s mouth and we could not get rid of it.

Well after weeks of medicine and many, many attempts to fix it, one solution that was suggested was using gentian violet. Gentian violet is a dark purple dye that you coat your baby’s mouth with, and it’s supposed to clear up the problem. It sounds totally crazy, and it is. (Google it and you’ll see what I mean.)

Desperate for anything that would work, I gave it a try. And it was horrifying. My newborn child looked like Barney meets the Joker. It was so awful and pitiful it couldn’t even be funny.

That weekend, we were supposed to go to a friend’s house for a party with all of our families and babies to get together.

And I didn’t want to go.

I told myself Carter shouldn’t go while he was trying to get better. (He wasn’t hurt in any way or contagious in any way.)

I told myself he’d look funny when everyone took pictures like we always did. (So?)

I told myself Carter would be embarrassed. (Seriously? He was two weeks old.)

The embarrassing truth is that I was embarrassed.

My feelings weren’t about Carter or even for Carter. They were about me.

We do that, don’t we? We feel like we need to have everything put together and perfect for our children for them, right?

But it’s not about them. It’s always about us.

I had a friend tell me that she brought her son to his middle school football game wearing the wrong color pants. She was mortified on the sidelines with the other moms while feeling (logically or not) eyeballs of judgment all around her. Meanwhile, her son trotted onto the field oblivious and completely indifferent to the fact that his pants didn’t match. It wasn’t about her son. It was about her.

And the other day I was in line at T.J.Maxx with Carter in the stroller. I noticed and smiled at a mom behind me with a little girl who was about two years old. She was toddling around the area with no socks or shoes on, and I knew in that moment that the mom was going to explain herself. I could just feel it. And sure enough, she caught my attention and said, “You know her dad picked her up from daycare and didn’t bring her shoes. I normally have shoes for her.” I just laughed and said I preferred being barefoot any chance I got. The child was fine of course. But it wasn’t about the girl. It was about her mom.

It’s almost never about our children, and it’s almost always about us.

So why don’t we just get over ourselves?

Let’s stop putting pressure on each other, and at the same time, let go of the ridiculous and impossible expectations we have of ourselves. Let’s take our purple-mouthed babies to parties and smile like the Joker in pictures. Let’s cheer for our mismatched son from the sidelines and let our baby girl feel the ground beneath her little toes.

I bet if we do, we’ll live a little more, laugh a little harder, and stress a little less. I bet we’ll start to realize that it doesn’t have to all be about us. And I bet at the end of the day, it’s all going to turn out just fine anyway.

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Leave a Comment

  • Dot says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Us Mom’s are so hard on ourselves. We still want to be perfect . . . still getting the understanding that Jesus was the only perfect person. May He continue to perfect us.

  • Linc says:

    U know…u r absolutely right!!!
    Blessed with five gorgeous little people I needed to be reminded of this! Let’s look,love and laugh at and with these blessings. They grow up waaaayyy too quickly to care about shoes…(sometimes :)… Lol

  • Karen Hobson says:

    You are so right about this. I always felt the need to explain why to “explain” my children. And now, I feel the need to explain one of my grown children. Both of my adult children are good people and are now self-supporting; however, one of them is always pushing my buttons and going against everything that was taught when growing up. I still feel the need to explain the choices even though I’m not responsible for those actions any longer. Human nature!!!

  • Kizza Racheal says:

    i am not a mother but i always feel the need to explain myself for my hair being untidy,not wearing the right color of shoes to match my outfit,etc.

    i decided to get over myself and enjoy life more.i bet when i am a mum,i will be a better person.

    thanks and God bless you.

  • Dana says:

    This happens with my kids, but also happens so many times in my business. I make handmade baby items and they are always custom orders. I make sure that I give a generous window of time for orders to be completed because I have 2 kids and a day job. I STILL feel the need to apologize for how long they wait for something, or give reasons or justifications, even when they get their order before it was scheduled. I’m usually good at seeing things from other people’s perspectives, but it really takes work to remember that no one really cares about all that stuff, they just want what they want, when it’s promised, in the quality of work that was promised. Period.