Back ? Home = happy place (physically & mentally)
Bridges = help us get there
There I was, minding my own business in the Pasta aisle at Walmart, deciding between Vermicelli and Capellini, when I experienced the creepiest encounter ever… like a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past.
I heard her behind me. And before I even saw her, I was transported 17 years back in time.
She was desperately trying to soothe her fussy infant in the grocery cart as her 10 and 4 year old were peppering her with non-stop questions, requests, demands and poking each-other.
She looked exhausted… Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.
There was a spit-up stain on her shoulder and yesterday’s mascara was faintly noticeable… adding a deeper shade to her already dark circles.
Our eyes met and communicated the words we didn’t need to speak.
I so badly wanted to validate her pain, so I smiled gently and softly said:
And that’s when this poor young mother lost it.
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she choked out the words…
“It’s SO HARD.
I wish my husband realized just how hard it is.
But he’s never home!
He works late hours, so I can stay home with the kids… and I never get a break!
I’m totally drained……..
It’s just SO HARD!”
And then she looked at her kids who were obviously her pride and joy and as she wiped away her tears she smiled and said…
“But, it’s worth it… It won’t ALWAYS be this hard… when they grow up it’ll be much easier”.
And that’s when I lost it, and as tears streamed down my cheeks, I choked back the words I wanted to say and turned away so she couldn’t see my reaction. As I stared at boxes of pasta through blurry tears, I felt an empty pain deep in my heart .
I wanted to tell her… “Oh my dear, you have no idea just how much harder it can get. Years after you’ve given Everything there is to give, your husband just may happen to come home after “that business trip” or “working late” one night and ask you for a divorce.
He will walk away with his high paying job, executive level earning power and retirement fund, while you walk away with the job description of ‘Housewife and Mom’ added to your resume.
And then he just may drag you through the family court system for years, constantly trying to negotiate paying less and less in child support until he manipulates the legal system to eventually pay you nothing at all… and along the way he’ll cause you to pay thousands and thousands in lawyer fees.
Then just when you thought your heart couldn’t break anymore… Your kids will see you as the Crabby Complainer and their dad (who, by the way, was busy “working late” their whole childhood) as the go-to parent. He’ll hold all the cards, and bribe them with promises of buying them a car when they turn 16….and…
And when your teenage daughter strikes the final blow, by telling you she’d rather live with her dad because you’re barely scraping by and he can easily afford to buy her whatever she wants… including a generous makeup and clothing allowance, you’ll wonder if it was really all worth it.
And then after living under his negative influence for a while, she’ll be blinded by the illusion of his spin on reality and there will only be a glimmer of your sweet little girl left behind. She will gladly align with him and forget who you are.
But, instead I chose to wipe away my tears and simply wished her a Happy Mother’s Day and she wished me the same.
Little did she know, this Sunday, my Mother’s Day will be far from anything I’d dreamed of or hoped for.
There are many moms who may not receive that Hallmark moment of recognition and gratitude from their children they long for.
There are many different reasons why this Mother’s Day may be filled with disappointment, heartache and sadness for many moms.
Remember, sometimes simply knowing you’re not alone makes it all much easier… along with a dish of delicious pasta and a nice bottle of red.