Lounging at Dunkin Donuts

Purple Shoes ;) - Day 35, Year 2

Today, I took a few minutes to catch my breath at the local Dunkin' Donuts.  I went inside to place an order for my son's upcoming birthday party, then grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down on one of their comfy, leather "lounge" chairs to feed my youngest his morning bottle.  I still had a few more errands to run so I wanted to fill the little man up to avoid the inevitable meltdown that children always have on those days you try to be so productive as a mom.

Sitting across from me was an older gentlemen who looked about old enough to be my father.  He struck up a nice conversation with me about the age and demeanor of my baby boy. I felt inclined to quickly inform him that I normally did not spend my mornings "lounging" around at Dunkin' Donuts and drinking pumpkin flavored coffee as if this statement alone would inform him that my typical day as a "stay-at-home" mom included but was not limited to....

Being woken up at the crack of dawn by my four year asking if I'm ready to play, wiping bottoms, fixing meals, washing clothes, drying tears, teaching manners, enforcing rules, disciplining, playing games, teaching letters and numbers, cleaning and bathing, brushing teeth, potty training, assuring proper physical activity, middle of night bottle feedings followed later by middle of the night "bad dream" awakenings,  coloring, reading stories, loving, hugging, kissing and doing anything and everything in between that might ensure that my kids grow up to be somewhat normal, functioning, responsible, loving adults that will positively contribute to society.

Are we tired yet?

Anyway, back to the story.  The gentleman was very kind and being the father of four grown children himself, he quickly acknowledged that my days were busy as a young mom and assured me that a brief break for coffee was quite acceptable.  After I left the coffee shop, I asked myself why I felt so inclined to inform this stranger that I was NOT resting on my laurels.  If I want to go sip coffee for 15 minutes and relax a minute, I should feel free to do so without any explanation.  If anyone doesn't like it, well, they can kiss my grits!  After a few minutes of reflection on our conversation, I realized  I had become a victim of my own judgements.

You see before I became a mother myself, I thought "stay-at-home" moms woke up to singing bluebirds, dressed their kids in adorable outfits, headed to the gym for a great workout, hit the drive-thru at the local coffee shop, followed by a leisurely stroll through Whole Foods where they purchased delicious, organic food and returned home to a (clean and orderly) home to cook a wholesome, healthy meal for their sweet, perfect, beautiful families.  I also used to wonder why on Earth these mothers indulged their children with obnoxiously large grocery carts in the shapes of cars which monopolized the entire aisle at Whole Foods, forcing me to awkwardly shuffle aside in my perfectly polished five inch heels. I know, I was naive and ignorant and now that I'm living that life as a "stay-at-home" mom, I realize there is no reality farther from the truth.

Later in the day, that old saying, "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes" came to mind and I wondered what other areas of my life I might be inappropriately judging others or even myself. There are times when I'm my own worst critic, not the stranger in the coffee shop.  I have to remind myself that it's okay to take a breathe, relax, recharge, and even indulge.  I deserve it.


3 comments:

  1. Great post, Amy!

    Having the opportunity to have been a part-time working mom, a full-time sahm, and a full-time working mom at different times in my children's lives, I've become much more understanding and accepting of other moms' circumstances and lives.

    I have to laugh at the thought that you were "lounging" around at Dunkin Donuts...when you weren't! You were feeding and holding your son, and showing him another part of the outside world ('cause he's learning all about interacting with others from being around you while you do it). He's learning that it's good to stop and take a break from the daily routine, to strike up a friendly conversation with another person, etc. In other words, you were being a great mom :)

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  2. This was a great post! I really enjoyed it. I have been a stay at home (homeschooling) Mom for the past 13 years. It isn't easy. I think that if women didn't take a few minutes to sit in a coffee shop, or McD playland that one would go crazy. I'm one of those that would sit there and annoy everyone at Kohl's! :p. That's okay, because that's what I needed. Take care of yourself there, Mama. BTW, I'm an Atlanta girl too.

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  3. I told my husband we would NEVER use those "obnoxiously sized shopping carts", but guess what? William loves them and it keeps him quiet long enough for me to compare prices! HaHa!
    Great post!

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