It was a normal Thursday morning and I was rushing to the grocery store to pick up a few things while the kids were sleeping and my mom was watching them. Right before I got to the checkout line, I saw my reflection in the freezer aisle and noticed a milk stain.
I don’t know why, but for some reason I began to crumble. I was infuriated and embarrassed all at once. I’m not sure if it was the hormones or the fatigue because of my 4 month old’s regression, but I was LOSING IT. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I actually had been walking on eggshells mentally for quite a few days and was bound to have a breakdown sooner or later (cue grocery store meltdown in Aisle 5).
Once I was able to get to my car and have a good cry, I realized two things:
- I was severely in need of a break.
- Milk stains are trophies.
Let me explain.
Earlier in the week, I was comforting a friend who is on her third round of in vitro. Just the thought of her was enough to dry up my tears. I realized in that moment, she would KILL to have milk stains all over her clothes. Now, this is not meant to diminish my feelings because they are valid too, but this thought did allow for some perspective.
Trophies are shiny reminders of accomplishments - that you did something good.
So, milk stains are my trophies.
They are my shiny reminder that I am showing up as a mom, willing to get in the knitty gritty of it all for the sake of my kids.
They are my shiny reminder of my beautiful (and exhausting) but mostly beautiful tiny humans who depend on me.
They are my shiny reminder that I am doing the damn thing.
Yes, I may show up with a few milk stains and 3 days old hair, but I am doing this, and no one can take that away from me.
I used to be so worried about the possibility of mom shames but in reality, I was dealing with something much worse. I was me-shaming.
Enough of that!
Today, I proudly embrace the messiness motherhood has to bring, milk stains and all. I count it as joy because I know it won’t be like this forever.