Motivation for moms comes in many forms. More and more, I’m trying to find power in the days that are a total mess turned upside down. (Which, for moms, happens a lot in the form of sick kids, change in work schedule, a sitter having to cancel…) I’ve always been vigilant about forging forward through fails, but some days are harder to bounce back from when there’s so much you-know-what flying through your world. Look up and you’ll get hit in the eye with $hit, you know?
Recently, I had a bit too much you-know-what flying through my world. I’ll break it down quick and dirty:
Saturday was planned to be a day of total organized fun: My girls were going to accompany me to actress Ali Landry and Beauty Momme‘s 5th Annual Celebrity Red CARpet Event to play and take pictures with mommy (me!) and then have a ball with the sitter I hired to meet us on site to watch them while I moderated a few panels onstage. I went to this event last year and was amazing — tons of families, great new baby/toddler products to peek at, tasty healthy snacks…
Except, on Saturday my girls woke up SICK. (Crap!) I cancelled that sitter. Loaded kids into the car to take to grandma’s house because my hubs was already gone at a conference all day (thankfully grandma was available last minute). Low fuel in the car — and I had a 45-minute drive ahead of me. My coughing ladies were breaking my heart. And today was supposed to be such fun. Now I’m worried and all mentally off.
Dropped off girls. Got gas. Also got hairspray at gas station and finished getting ready for the event IN the gas station’s bathroom (no joke). WHY? Well, besides being totally empty on gas, I was also totally empty on hairspray at home and only realized it as I was rushing to get ready in my own bathroom between giving my older daughter a dose of Motrin and trying to monitor my younger daughter as she insisted on running around with a cough-drop-lollipop. Of course I’d be out of hairspray on a day when I really, really needed hairspray. Did I mention I was already late and slightly panicky about making the 45-minute drive in time?
Arrived at event. Smiled big while standing on a rainbow. Felt absolutely self-conscious about my gas station hairdo and also worried about my daughter’s deep cough (and whether it’d be worse when I went to pick her up). I walked in and took in all the color and happiness in front of me. Is that the car from Ghostbusters?!?!
Immediately I went into overdrive with hugs & hellos to friends and colleagues. By this time my brain was fried. Beyond fried actually, because I realized I forgot to eat something before I left the house in the mix of getting sick girls out the door and my hair semi-done without any hairspray to rely on… The only food I could score on site before my onstage appearance was a single-serving bag of Skinny Pop (absolutely delicious, but not as filling as I needed for the moment). Tried to click my brain into gear onstage, in front of the always well-spoken Ali Landry, while talking about car seat safety practices with 3MD: three mommy doctors and UPPAbaby.
I kept hoping that no one could hear my tummy growl onstage and kept saying silent prayers to allow “the words to come out of my mouth and make sense.” (I’m doubtful that anything I said made sense on stage that day. Truthfully.)
A part of me was disappointed about how the reality of the day shook out — I’d been so excited to be a part of this incredible event for months! MONTHS. And here I was: A HOT MESS. Worried about sick kids. Sporting a Gas Station Hairdo. My tummy growling and eyes probably looking like those red-and-white swirly circles that those old Looney Tunes cartoons used when Bugs Bunny was being hypnotized or something… (Embarrassing. The fact that I just dated myself like that is probably even more embarrassing, honestly.)
But I kept smiling. Keep smiling, always! Smile muscles release some kind of endorphin that tricks your brain into thinking you’re happier than you actually feel at that moment… it’s true!
I finished the day with gratitude, dashed in my car, scooped up my coughing daughters from my mother-in-law and went home… at which point I found a message on Twitter waiting for me, from a kind stranger, about how she’d found my driver’s license on the ground at the event and would return it to me this week. (Bless that there are still good people in this world!)
It was a FABULOUS day, $hit-flying and all. I say that with honesty — because the best part about hot mess days that turn ridiculously upside-down is when you find yourself finished with them.
I made it. Everyone is fine. Bounce back and forge ahead.
Resilience is a be-all, end-all skill that all of us need to master in the Universe of Mom to make our lives happier. And, resilience is something we can all develop (as you’ll soon find out in my first book coming in April 2017, The Fab Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby).
Just like my college musical theater teacher used to say: All you can do is offer your best on any particular day — some days you have more to offer, some days you have less. Your only job is to offer what you have on whatever day you’re responsible to offer it. (Of course, he was talking about auditioning… but motherhood is pretty much the same thing, right?)
Cheers to bouncing back from gas station hair. Always.