Every single night the last thing I do before going to bed myself is one last check on all four sleeping babes. Often, I sit and stroke each of their heads for a few minutes, pray over them and revel in how sweet and peaceful they are when they're sleeping (all while praying they don't wake up). Last night, when I walked into the girls' room, I was greeted by a familiar smell (if you're a mom, I'm sure you know the smell well). This wasn't the first time I've been poised with this dilemma and the age old adage to "never wake a sleeping baby". Last night however, I knew there wasn't a chance I was going to let my daughter sleep all night in a dirty diaper so I did what any mom would do. I grabbed a fresh diaper and the wipes and went to work. I'll have you know, I changed my daughter's diaper, in her crib, in her sleep, without waking her. I thought to myself, "wow, there should totally be a mom badge for this and I should really be eligible for a promotion in rank".
While my thoughts were definitely just ramblings in my sleep-deprived, sanity-seeking mind, as I lie awake later on, with tons of thoughts and ideas running through my mind, I couldn't seem to get the image of "mom badges" out of my head. I mean, what would life be like if motherhood worked like girl scouts or other organizations where for each meaningful achievement/step in motherhood, you earned a badge which you got to wear with pride? Can you envision all the mothers of the world comparing their "mom badges"? "Oh...you got sleepless nights for 4 months straight"! "Look, she survived terrible twos and threes"! There's the "I manage to take all my kids to extra-curricular activities" badge. Then there's the "I'm a working mom badge". There's a "I'm a stay-at-home and I just want to talk to someone who's not pint sized mom" (this could be me on more than one occasion in the past month). "Oh my! She survived her entire living room being covered in baby powder" (you know you've seen the YouTube video) or the "I grocery shop with six kids badge"! Then what about the mothers who had the "I lost a child" badge. Or the mothers who have the "my child has cancer badge". What about the mothers who've struggle with motherhood in their hearts but not in their hands yet?
In the crazy world of high-order-multiples where I suddenly live, some of my best friends are women that I've never met IRL (in real life). The bond we share with one another is strong. We have laughed together, cried together, celebrated and mourned together. Sometimes, we may have disagreements among us and we may annoy one another occasionally. We've watched out for one another, prayed for one another, counseled one another and even come together to help in times of need. Just as I am thankful for all of my IRL friends and the valuable advice and support they provide, these women are able to relate to me on a different level and have probably saved my sanity over the last two years or so. One of the most valuable lessons they've taught me is that while we all share something in common, we're all different too and what works for me, may not work for you.
My point is, it's probably not a good idea for us to wear our "mom-badges" on our sleeves yet often, it seems like that is exactly what we do. Motherhood is a tough job as it is and comparing ourselves to one another will not make it any easier. We're all doing our very best with the resources that we have and what works for one person, may or may not work for another. Like so many other moms, I'm guilty of comparing myself to others and feeling as if I lack even when I know I'm doing my best. While it's always good to be able to turn to other moms for advice or even to vent, be careful not to take everything personally. And always remember that you never know everything that person is going through in their life or the battles they are fighting. No matter what, if you're a veteran mom, first time mom, mom in the middle of it all, a mom battling a fight you don't know if you can handle, a mom who's suffered loss, a mom at heart, or any other kind of mom, know this: you're amazing and you are loved! Make today a great day!