I was tired. I was hormonal. I was postpartum.
I had just given birth to my fourth boy a few weeks before and was now the proud and exhausted mother of four boys 6 and under. This particular baby was adorable but slightly difficult. He wanted to be held. All the time. And when he wasn’t being held (or rocked in a stroller), he cried. Between caring for my other three kids, making sure they got off to school and playgroup on time, preparing or figuring out dinner menus (all the freezer meals I’d prepared during my last two months of pregnancy had paid off, despite my husband wondering aloud if I wasn’t “overdoing it with the food prep”), and doing all this with a baby firmly attached to my chest, I was more than slightly frazzled.
We went to the mall one afternoon for our first big expedition as a family of six. My kids had a great time, we ate pizza (which always guaranteed a great time no matter what else we do), and we made our way home.
I walked up to our apartment with the car seat and my 2-year-old, and I set the car seat down while I unlocked the door. My 2-year-old ran into the house, and I called down to my husband, who was following me, to grab the baby and bring him in while I went to the bathroom. I came out of the bathroom to find my kids running around the living room and my husband relaxing on the couch. I sank into the cushions next to him, relieved to be off my feet at last.
Then I heard a faraway baby’s cry.
That can’t be E, I thought to myself, snuggling deeper into the couch. It’s probably the neighbor’s baby. E’s cry is much louder.
Then I sat bolt upright.
Wait. My baby. Where was my baby?
I flung the front door open, and sure enough, there he was, bawling his eyes out in the car seat. Apparently, everyone had walked right by him, and one of my kids had closed the front door.
I beat myself up over this for weeks.
What kind of mother forgets her baby outside the front door? And doesn’t even notice he’s missing?! What if the neighbors had seen? What on earth would they think of me? Eventually, though, I forgave myself. And I learned a major life lesson. Even the most conscientious of mothers, of fathers, of people, make mistakes. We’re so quick to judge in this millennial age of social media and instant reactions.
Stop. Take a minute before you write that comment. Imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes.
And be kind. To others, but most importantly, to yourself.
My blog, about being a SAHM or WAHM and streamlining your home, family, and work, can be found at www.anorganizedmommy.com.
Have a funny mom fail to share? Submit one here and it might be published on our blog!