She was walking down the aisle in all her svelte and confident glory. I think she could have been younger than me, and she may have had dread locks. She had on a form-fitting yoga outfit and that's all I can remember about her specifically. But at the moment I saw her, she became my idol...
For the aisle she walked down along was not a church aisle but a Target store aisle. She pushed forward the signature red, plastic cart containing two toddlers in it and groceries. Her hairstyle and exact yoga clothing style were blurred in my memory by the newborn baby in a wrap securely strapped to her body. She was a mom of three, simply going about her business and shopping at Target.
It was 2010, and I had just become a mom of one, and I barely had the guts to take my own cry-baby son to Target. I opted to leave him with the grandparents instead. A year passed, and now almost two and although my son has much improved, I still tend to plan my trips to the store, supermarket, etc. around whether or not Diego will be at my parent's house. It's just so much easier for me to do my errands solo. I tend to fall back on my family too easily.
How did my idol do it? Why did she do it? Could it be that she had no alternative and HAD to bring the kids to Target that day? Or could it be that bringing the children was second nature to her? From the looks of things, maybe her kids were naturally well behaved, calm kids and she had no problem taking them out to do small errands.
Whatever the case may be, I think back on my idol now and now more than ever I want to strive to be like her. As a mom of two now, I have already started failing miserably in this respect. I wait for my husband to get home or I drop Diego off at his grandparents house before I proceed to run my errands with just Mateo or no children at all. Deep inside my mind I struggle and I feel bad. I feel that's not the way it should be. My kids should be with me ALWAYS. Could this be the maternity hormones kicking in due to my newborn?
The last time I dropped Diego off, I watched silently as my father carried him away from me. My father's back to me, I watched my son as he woke up from his short car nap only to see the growing distance as he was being separated from me. He began to cry and reach out to me, and it reminded me of a scene in a movie where a child is being kidnapped or taken away from their parents forcibly. He's probably too young to have deep notions, but I wonder if he feels the distance growing between us in other respects as well now that Mateo is here. That is the LAST feeling I ever wanted to provoke out of my son. And yet, I see myself doing it consciously. I feel like a horrible mom; like I am abandoning my first-born son.
So the next time I had an errand, I vowed to take both kids - and I did. I got the car ready and strapped in the kids. This required several small, time-consuming trips to load the car which every mom knows ALL about. I tried to take only what I needed because we were just going to buy some vegetables. After that song and dance was finally complete, we finally made it to the produce market. I parked the car and looked over my shoulder only to see Diego in the middle of a heavy sleep and it would have been a pity to wake him just for some lettuce. I'll have you know, there was no salad with dinner that day...
Wondering how other moms handle more than one child and basic errands - Shirley