A Letter to The Other Mom

Dear Mom Who Just Got Out Of Her Minivan at the Mall Park,

You see me here, sitting on a blanket with my 6 month old & 2 year old, sharing a healthy picnic of apples and carrots and raisins and peanuts and cheese, and you think I might be judging you, since your kids clamored out of the car with Happy Meals in hand to sit at the picnic table, boasting to us "It has a TOY!" as they walk by. I know I'm being self concious, thinking about what you think of me, hoping you don't think I'm parenting at you. Trust me, I'm not. Let give you a bigger picture.

What you don't know is, this isn't actually a leisurely picnic. This is me sitting with the kids for just-a-minute-until-dad-gets-here, when I'm handing off the toddler and running back to work. The food we're eating isn't because I feed everyone in our house whole organic foods and shun the drive thru, its because, for the minute I was home, these were the easiest, least-prep things I could find to throw in a container so the toddler wouldn't melt down from hunger. I threw together a lunch meat sandwich for the adults and sped out the door. Do you see any drinks? Nope, forgot those. To be honest, the blanket was an afterthought, to pretend like this outing was a fun picnic rather than Mom just heading back to work for a couple hours.

I overhear that it's your 5-year-old's birthday. I love that you & their dad let him pick his birthday dinner, and he and his brother seem pretty excited about it. The park is a great idea, too. In 2 years, I'll be where you're at, a houseful of big boys (and you have one more baby!), and I hope to being doing as great a job.


The Mom Also Having A "Picnic" With Her Boys at the Mall Park


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