Last night I went to bed at 8pm, still feeling sick from food poisoning and having no idea that I’d wake up this morning to a terrible tragedy. I woke up around 6am to my husband’s first alarm, rolled over and grabbed my phone and the top text was from one of my best friends asking if we were all okay.
I Googled and it wasn’t hard to find — the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar mass shooting that had happened the night before.
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This is the community we live in. My husband went to Cal Lutheran and back in college, we attended that same bar. This community is “a top three safest cities to live in” and yet, this happens right here, so close to home.
I didn’t want to send Ava to school this morning. I wanted to hug her and kiss her and just snuggle her all day long. And in that moment, I felt so much guilt for all of the times I wanted a “break” from her. All of those days when I felt like I couldn’t parent her anymore. All of those nights when I couldn’t wait for her to go to bed. All of those days when I just needed that break.
So much guilt flooded through me.
As soon as I turned on the news, I saw the 50+ families waiting to hear news on their loved ones who were still un-accounted for. They waited all night long, calling their children, tracking their phones which appeared to still be at the scene, just hoping and praying they were okay. I saw a dad who spoke of his son and their last conversation just before he headed out to the bar, just hoping and praying he was one of the injured and that he would be okay. And later this afternoon, we found out he didn’t make it. Just devastating to see a father mourning the loss of his son.
Here I am at home, frustrated over a whining child, needing a “break” from her while these parents have lost their children forever and would do anything to have them back for one last kiss or hug or snuggle.
And today, I felt so much guilt over those moments I’ve just needed a break from Ava.
But do you know what?
I am only human. We are only human and none of us are perfect. We will all get frustrated, we will all yell at some point in our lives and we will all feel the need for a break (or many breaks) during our time as a mom. It happens to all of us and that’s okay. So we just need to give ourselves some grace.
We all need grace.
We need grace from others and grace from ourselves. We need to remember that we’re all just doing the best we can as moms and we’re all only human. We need to realize that everyone needs a break in life, everyone needs self care and everyone needs alone time. We all need it. So in those time of guilt, those times when she falls asleep and I let out a sigh and I miss her 30 seconds later and feel guilty for every wanting her to go to sleep, those are the moments we need to give ourselves the most grace.
We aren’t perfect and we never will be. And that’s okay, mamas. You’re all doing a great job, you’re doing the best you can, you deserve that break and you deserve a little extra grace.