This Is Why Motherhood Feels Lucky To Me

by Hayley Runnels
Originally Published: 
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Today I woke up determined to be an awesome mom. I work a lot, and my little boy often gets stuck with what’s left of me after multiple jobs, which is the equivalent to a negative 6 on the mom scale. But today was going to be different. Today was our day.

This morning we got gussied up, then drove down to McKinney to see a car show, and hit up the petting zoo. That was cool, he loved it (as long as I held all 35 pounds of him in my no-muscle-having arms). Still, it was a success. I should have thigh-sized biceps when I wake up tomorrow. Sweet.

We drove back to Denison, he took a nap, and I was on a roll with owning the mom gig, so I decided that I would take him to The District in Durant, which is a huge arcade for kids. Cool, right?

As we were leaving for our date night, we stepped onto the porch and I turned around for two seconds to lock the door. I was mid-sentence telling myself that I was proud of the mama in me today (for the first time in ages), when Hayden decided that he suddenly knew how to fly. It went like this, “You are killing it today, little mama, you go gir–…. shit.”

I turned around just in time to watch my baby swan dive six steps down, straight to his head on the concrete. Awesome.

I have been working in the medical field for about six years and I’ve seen every kind of cut, skin tear, goose egg, and stage 4 bed sore imaginable. I love treating that stuff. When it’s my son? All medical knowledge flies out the window and I turn into a wide-eyed madwoman. He really didn’t cry; instead, he screamed bloody murder for about three minutes, which seemed like 30 minutes. I wanted to scream with him, but I didn’t because I had just used up all of my crappy mom allowance for the next month of Sundays.

Since this isn’t the first time I’ve failed him this way, I’ve learned that after a baby hits their head, you should technically keep them awake for a couple of hours, watch for caving in their skull, vomiting, and fever. Since I couldn’t let him go to sleep, we went on to the arcade. I thought it would cheer him up, and keep his mind off the accident. That was dumb.

He surely had a pounding headache — not to mention a case of the terrible twos, and the fact that there were hundreds of people running around acting like a mob of extras from the walking dead. The ones who weren’t running were spending their time giving me dirty looks for the way his battle wound looked, and asking questions that just screamed, “What the hell happened?” Good times.

Fast forward three hours, one cheap prize, (spend 40 bucks on tokens, go home with a tootsie roll), and 10 interrogations later, we’re finally home in the driveway. He’s napping in the back, and I’m taking 10 minutes to soak in the quietness that I enjoy about as often as I find four leaf clovers.

Though I have searched, I have never found a four leaf clover.

Luckily for me, even though I was a bad mama today, Hayden doesn’t think so. He thinks I hung the moon, and he’s getting really good at telling me to kiss his boo-boo, and then acting like it never happened immediately after. I know he still hurts — he just face planted into concrete after diving off of steps. Hello? Yes, he hurts badly. So how incredible is it that he pretends to be fine, knowing that’s what I need? How rad is it to have a kid who will put away his tears to assure me, the adult, that he’s alright?

I’ll tell you, it’s pretty dang incredible; he’s pretty dang incredible.

Some days, you gather every ounce of energy and strength in your body to be a better than average mom. And some days, no matter how hard you try, you’re still going to be an epic failure. However, all days, your child will still love you.

So here’s to the moms who strive to give their kids the best childhood humanly possible, even when nothing goes to plan. Here’s to the ones who spend two hours toiling over an old stove in the kitchen, just to watch their toddler spit dinner out, and throw it across the kitchen. Here’s to sweeping that mess up six days a week, and still feeling like you suck when you skip that step once and set them down, just to watch them slip on the eggs and roll around on the floor crying for twenty minutes. (Yes, that too happened this morning).

Here’s to the mountain of laundry that we never finish, the wet towel we accidentally left on the bed, and the pile of dishes we can only tackle if we use the more-precious-than-gold nap time hour. Here’s to doing that, only when the dishes no longer fit in the sink. Here’s to kissing the boo-boos knowing that we could have prevented it, if we were just a little better, a little faster, a little more mom-ish.

Here’s to the criticism we receive from people who couldn’t walk a minute in our shoes, and knowing that nothing anyone could say could top our own inner critic. Here’s to the exhaustion, the stress, the mess, and the more than worth it love.

Here’s to never finding our four leaf clovers until we had children.

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