Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

When I was a newish mother, I used to marvel at the other moms on the playground who didn’t flinch when their toddler took a tumble or an applesauce pouch exploded all over their preschooler. 

I recently met up with one of my childhood friends so I could meet her baby and catch up. My third son is one year older than her sweet boy. So, she brought a pink-cheeked, chubby sweetheart to our meeting while I wrestled my 18 month old into his stroller. My son came complete with a fat lip (courtesy of him tripping over his own feet on our living room carpet) that made him look like he’d taken up boxing. He proceeded to squeeze an applesauce all over his jacket and scream until I let him down to walk around and explore all the things I prayed he’d leave alone. You know, the beautiful flowers, a water fountain, and, of course, the road.

My friend’s son sat happily in his car seat while he drank his bottle. This was her first solo outing with the stroller and from my perspective it went flawlessly. From where I was standing, though, my morning was less than ideal. 

After cajoling my son back into his stroller we walked and talked a little until he was definitely done. We said goodbye and made plans for a future meeting where I said I hoped my child would last a little longer. 

Despite feeling like this was another failed attempt at socializing, my friend texted me later to say she hoped she is as chill as I am when her son is a toddler. Complete with a “haha” reply, I said I’m beaten down, not chill, but I would take the compliment. 

Interestingly enough, I have recently been listening to a song about perspectives. I guess being the “Chill Mom” is in the eye of the beholder. While I told me friend that I’ve never seen her happier, she told me that she’s had a rough few nights of sleeplessness.

All these seasons have their ups and downs, but maybe if we can see the positives in someone else, just one day we can see it in ourselves? And, maybe, I’ve finally become one of those “chill moms” that I always thought had all her stuff together. Or at least maybe I look like that sometimes?