One of my goals for 2017 is to blog more. I love blogging and sharing the journeys the Lord paves for me. I think it is important to share our experiences, it bonds us as human beings and we have so much we can learn from one another. My journey to become a Mom was nothing short of hope. It was much longer than I anticipated, but more perfect than any story I could have written for myself. God gave us our miracle triplets nearly 17 months ago and I am so blessed to experience such undeniable and unimaginable love as I grow in my role as their Mother and fulfill this truly remarkable and honorable role as a Mom.
I am not perfect. I make mistakes and sometimes I wish I could just hit the rewind button and start my day over. I love my kids, but there are days where I want to lock myself in the bathroom for 30 seconds and inhale a five guys hamburger and french fries. I am always on the go and my to-do list never feels accomplished. I am a Mom to triplets. I have the best life. My babies are my pride and joy. They have taught me a new meaning of love. Living life through there eyes is an absolute treasure and the fact that I get to share my days with three of the most darling little humans is undoubtedly the best gift I have ever been given. I wouldn’t trade my wild chaotic amazing joyful life for the world. However, being a Mother is not an easy job and sometimes we come face to face with some pretty shameful mommy moments that are accompanied by so many unwanted emotions and feelings that can truly drown our hearts.
One of the more humbling, humiliating, and frightening stories I experienced as a Mom recently was the day my son, Sawyer, fell head first directly out of the Costco cart. I am not sharing this so I can be judged as a Mom or Mom-shamed as we hear of so often. It takes a lot to even admit that this happened. However as I shared we all can take something from each other’s experiences. Hopefully rather than shaming me for there even being an opportunity for my child to fall out of a shopping cart, you too can see that there is something much greater that can be taken from this experience.
It was a normal Wednesday afternoon and we were making our usual and exciting trip to Costco with Grandma. The triplets love Costco, not only for the samples, but the people. They love the lights above. They point to them over and over and say “ball.” My little social tribe loves new surroundings and waiving to anyone in sight.
We were about 45 minutes in and there were people everywhere. Charlize had hit a wall and just wanted to walk freely through the aisles, which is pretty much impossible with triplets, who of course go in all different directions when given the opportunity to walk. My Mom had her cart completely loaded with groceries while I had the triplets in my cart. I told her I would pick up the photographs she ordered while she checked out so we could kill two birds with one stone because I knew all three of my kids were not going to last much longer. I went into “operation get done as soon as possible” mode.
My anxiety started to thicken. Jax was now feeding off Charlize and thought he might join the tantrum club and before I knew it two out of three of my kids were crying, whining, and screaming. To help alleviate the situation, I took Jax and put him in the center of the cart with Sawyer, while I held Charlize, who never stopped having a tantrum. She was now screaming in my arms and kicking her legs. If only she could understand, we really were almost done.
I gave the photo guy my Mom’s card and he brought over her pictures. My boys kept trying to touch the photo computer screen. Of course, I did what most moms do and said “no thank you” and sat them on their bottoms. I pulled the cart a bit further from the screen so they could no longer reach it.
It was just in a matter of seconds, Sawyer was back up leaning for the computer. It was like a slow motion film. I could see what was happening and there was nothing I could do to stop it and protect my baby from getting injured. Sawyer, right before my eyes, fell directly out of the costco cart head first on the grey cement pavement.
My heart was racing. I was so scared and worried about Sawyer. He was screaming, my poor baby. Everyone was staring. I managed to pick Sawyer up and hold him in my arms while Charlize was still in the midst of her tantrum. Sawyer is my tough baby, however, I knew a fall like that would definitely hurt anyone, let alone a one year old child. A storm of tears poured out of his eyes. I held him so tight. At this point all three of my children were screaming. I had to get out of there. I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. I kept looking for my Mom, but all I could see were strangers staring at me and my kids. And then it happened, as if the situation couldn’t get any worse:
“You know, if you would have had him strapped in right here, this would have never happened. What were you thinking?” The words of some lady who didn’t offer to help, just judge. As if I didn’t feel bad enough, this lady had the nerve to point out the obvious.
I was mortified, embarrassed, humiliated. However, at this point, my only concern was for Sawyer and making sure he was okay. Physically, he looked fine. He had a small red bump on the right side of his forehead. He was still crying, as were Jax and Charlize. I was finally able to connect with my Mom, who had no idea what had even happened. “I want to leave, we need to leave,” was all I kept saying. She took Charlize and we got to the car.
Everyone finally calmed down, and by everyone, I mean everyone, but me. Sawyer was doing well, and laughing. You would never have known he fell onto cement pavement several minutes prior. We got the kids loaded and I lost it. “It is my fault.” The guilt and shame of what happened set in.
We got home and we put Jax and Charlize down for their nap. I took Sawyer to the Doctor to make sure he was okay and that their weren’t any internal injuries… and there weren’t, but we wanted to be sure. And ultimately, Sawyer was fine.
It took me a few days to really take in what had happened and to process what I learned from the events of that day. I couldn’t get what that lady said to me out of my head. And it wasn’t just what she said, it was how she said it. I was mortified. I felt ashamed of myself as a Mom. “How could I let this happen?” Guilt poured out of my heart like an erupting volcano. Sawyer could have been badly hurt from this and it was so easy to tell myself what a horrible Mother I was.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it doesn’t help the situation, or yourself. It isn’t forgiving and doesn’t allow you to grow from your experiences. As I reflected more about that day, there were several things I learned from this horrifying experience. However, there is one thing that weighed heavy on my heart when fully processing the events that allowed me to forgive myself and move on. And that is grace. God has given us mercy and grace, but often times we forget how important it is to have grace for each other and for ourselves. Grace is the love of God. It is one of the outstanding gifts not deserved, but given to us from the Lord.
God taught me a lot about grace during my infertility. It was a truly painful time in my life and God taught me then how to have grace for myself and for others. And now, I am a Mom, still needing to learn to walk life with a gracious, loving, and forgiving heart. As a Mom, I don’t know what I am doing half the time…let alone a Mom to triplets. I have failed them over and over and will likely continue to fail them and myself. I may never know what the right answers are. However, what I do know is GRACE is the essence of Motherhood. It teaches you to learn and grow and love. To be a good Mom, I need grace. Grace for myself, grace for my kids, grace for my husband, grace my family, and grace for those around me. Our salvation from Jesus Christ when He was crucified on the cross is entirely by the grace of God. It was unmerited and undeserved favor. Grace is what we desire the most when our guilt and wrong doings are exposed. Grace is what allows us to look at impossible circumstances and view them with compassion, love, and forgiveness. Grace makes me a better Mother. I am not a perfect Mom, however, I am doing the very best job that I can in this honorable and truly remarkable role the Lord has given me. Even in the hardest, humiliating, and frightening mommy moments, I will learn to continually have grace for myself and rest in the grace of God.