But not in Bozeman.
The woman stuck her head out and said, "Way to go Mom! You're doing a great job!"
And I just smiled and mouthed, "Thank you," because I was afraid I was going to start crying if I actually spoke.
"Really awesome! What a good mom you are!"
And then she drove away.
She didn't see me yell at my kids in the car for dumping an entire bag of Goldfish on the floor.
She didn't see me tell them they could wear slippers to the store because I couldn't find two matching shoes. Anywhere. For anyone. (WHERE DO ALL THE SHOES GO?!)
She didn't see that they were wearing two different slippers on each foot because we couldn't find matching slippers either.
She didn't see me laugh when they threatened each other with being thrown in the "Fart Room" if the other one didn't play kidnap the right way. Yeah, kidnap. That's their favorite game. And the Fart Room is where you go to be punished with farts. There's so much wrong with that whole scenario.
She didn't see me let Tula eat only yogurt for 2 days because she was so dang cute when she said, "I Tuwa. I eat dis yogurt, ok Mom? It's super duper yummy. You wike it much and much?"
Much and much, you guys! I mean - c'mon! Who can say no to that?!
But she also didn't see me reading to the kids for hours on the couch.
She didn't see me giving them a billion kisses, or telling them I love them a hundred times a day.
She didn't see me let Addie stay up a little past her bedtime because she really needed time to just talk, just breathe near me without her sister or brothers interrupting her.
She didn't see me checking on Tula every hour all night long for several nights when she had a super scary and severe allergic reaction to amoxicillin.
She didn't see me take all four kids to the park by myself because the sun was out and they needed it. And it was so glorious.
So, how did she know I was a good mom? How did she know I was doing a good job, or that my kids were actually thriving and not abused into behaving in the parking lot?
I don't know.
I don't know that she did. But she saw me, and I happened to be smiling at my kids and maybe she assumed. Or maybe she's had kids and she knows the struggle is real. She knows that sometimes moms just need to hear that they're not messing it all up. That even though they yelled too much one day, or are probably causing yogurt-induced malnutrition, or that they can't keep track of clothes - they are still doing a good job. They are still being a good mom.
You shouldn't have to have validation to continue fighting the good fight of motherhood, but gosh darn it if that woman didn't make me day. She made my week.
Stopping and rolling down her window to tell me I was doing a good job. That will stay with me for a long time. That will keep me going. That will make me be a better person today.
Words are so amazing and so powerful. She could have just driven away and had the thoughts to herself, but she said them and changed my day.
And in return I said nice things to people I saw at Target, at the post office, at the library.
And my kids saw me do that. That's the best part.
Addie actually asked me, "Why'd you talk to that lady?" And I said, "Because it's nice to be nice to other people." And she said, "I know that mom. You tell me that all the time." And then she walked up to a homeless woman sitting inside the library, out of the cold, and said, "I like your scarf," and walked away.
Good, little lady. I hope that radiates from you in ten years, and twenty, and thirty like it does now. I hope you are just as positive and wonderfully happy when you're old and gray.
I hope you stop playing kidnap soon, because that's starting to worry me.
But that's a different post for a different day.
Today I am happy to be a mom. I am happy to be part of the whole thing. I am happy to be a woman who is doing a good job. Most of the time. And you should be proud of yourself too. Because it's hard to do - be proud of yourself. It's really f*cking hard. There's always room for improvement and there's always something you can nitpick, but honestly - you are doing a great job.
And so am I.
And so are my kids.
We have had some gorgeous days lately.
And some wild hair.
So thrilled to be allowed outside!
Sunshine! Heck yeah!
First haircut! Took of almost 5 inches!!!
Someone is super stoked to have her first board game!
Because this month is about women.