Moms of Littles, This Stage Does Not Define You

Do you ever get the feeling that you are a complete mess?

Like, take yesterday for instance. I made the bold decision to take all three kids into the store for a split second in order to purchase a ridiculously expensive ink cartridge for my printer.

We were in the store less than five minutes, in which time Jake had torn two secured printer pieces off of the wall, Ada had bumped into some angry looking lady, and Mya managed to knock all of the gum boxes off of the shelf in her quest to convince me to buy her something.

Sometimes, I just get so tired that nothing is ever easy, even running into the store to buy an ink cartridge. 

I really feel like it’s just me; I see other people’s children acting like normal, sane human beings in the store and I look at mine and think, how on earth did they get so dirty from the walk out of the car to here? What IS that on her face? Ohmygosh, where did Jake go??


And then I think about what’s coming in T-minus 5 months and counting and I am afraid, very afraid.

But the other night, my husband said something to me that made me completely reevaluate my life as I see it right now. Actually, when I think about it, I’m kind of impressed at how profound he is. 

We were at dinner, and of course, my kids were being their normal overall happy selves, but messy and loud and I made a remark that sometimes, I was embarrassed to go out in public with all of them and my big pregnant belly, just knowing that people thought of me as that lady.

You know the one, right? The one that’s always disheveled, with messy, out-of-control kids, that you suspect lets her children stay up to all hours of the night eating sugar? The one who must be crazy to have all of those little kids?

I sighed and Ben, to my surprise, shook his head emphatically at me.

“Oh, Chaunie,” he said firmly. “Stop it. You may be in this stage right now, but it doesn’t define you.

Who knew my husband was so wise?

I sat, slightly dumbfounded, amidst the crumbled cracker crumbs that Jake was currently reveling happily in, as the girls bickered for their uncle’s attention and I realized, holy crap, he’s right.

I may totally be that disheveled mother with slightly messy children right now.

And I may have trouble making it through the grocery store unscathed right now.

And I may wonder if I will ever sleep at night again right now.

But these things, this one particular stage of life does not define, just as, thank god, high school or the awkward teen years didn’t define me.

They are are a part of me, not just me, the mom, but me

The kids will grow. They will gain the ability to walk through a store without knocking 15 things off the shelf. They will not always require me to do a half-hearted job of wiping their faces after each meal.

I am in the thick of it right now, these crazy, messy, sometimes hard, always beautiful, mom of little people years.

But they are not forever.

So I can learn to laugh through them, accept them, and know that someday, eventually, we will move past them. 

Although something tells me–

I will most likely still be slightly disheveled even then.



  1. Melissa H-K says:

    I love moms like that. I was that mom. 🙂 But your hubs is right. This doesn’t define you.

    Forever, that is. For now, yeah, you’re kinda stuck with it. In public, anyway. 😉

  2. Your husband is so right. It doesn’t define you. It amazes me the judgey looks you can get out in public. From other moms even! I always try to show looks of support or help when I see a mom struggling and going through “one of those days.” We all have them and yes, they don’t define us. Great post!

  3. You go girl! I’m right there with ya… After 20 years of corporate life I’m now a stay-at-home (43-year-old) momma of 5, including 9 mo old twins! Make-up? Trendy clothes? A shirt without snot stains on the shoulders? Maybe someday… But I love it!

  4. Ugh. I’m not even a mom yet, and I’m already disheveled. Should I swear off having kids so that it doesn’t get any worse??

  5. This is so funny–my husband tells me this all the time. Especially because I am mentally “done” having children and he is SO NOT. He tells me I only say this because I’m in the thick of it, so intense right with the crazies and feeling disheveled and a total hot mess all the time. He’s like, “THIS WILL PASS” and for me I’m like “NO IT WILL LAST FOREVER!” He’s always the voice of reason. But there’s a part of me that just feels like it will be this hard FOREVERRRR.

    • Now that I’m thinking about this…it is easier for them to say this though, isn’t it? They aren’t really defined by any stage the same way we are, are they? 😉

      • Melissa H-K says:

        I think it depends on how much you care what other people think. My husband couldn’t have cared less, and he was probably in the same boat with most men there. I don’t care as much as a lot of women do.

  6. Great post. I’m going through many of these issues as well..

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