Before I became a mom, I was highly organized and efficient. I was never late to a party. The house was always clean, the dishes always dried. The pantry was stocked, stocking stuffers were purchased months in advance. I had a self-sufficient system, and nothing was going to break it!
Then my daughter was born.
Flash forward three years, and that system has been dismantled. I’m often running late, or at least scrambling to get somewhere on time. Dust bunnies lurk in all corners of my house, and dishes are piled in the sink. I use UberEats more than I’d like to admit, and my wife and I have put any gift-giving to each other on hold (permanently?). I need help, and that’s hard to accept from this Type A, go-getter gal.
While I have sought out help for a variety of things, it’s the unexpected help that has me feeling extra thankful. Today I want to take the time to point out the ways I’ve been helped without even asking.
To the post-partum doula who folded my fitted sheets in the most perfect of ways (that I’ve never again been able to replicate): thank you, from a mom.
To the neighbor who hand-delivered two versions of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day – one with onions, and one without (because apparently onions and nursing don’t mix): thank you, from a mom.
To the far away friends who sent boxes – and I mean boxes – of hand-me-downs (I like to call them hand-me-ups) just when my daughter was having an unexpected growth spurt or had spit up on all of her clothing: thank you, from a mom.
To the passenger who folded the stroller for plane-side valet when my hands were full with a writhing infant: thank you, from a mom.
To all of the passengers who cooed at – or at least kept their thoughts to themselves – my crying infant on a full flight: thank you, from a mom.
To the Kroger clerk who always jokes with my daughter and calls her by pet names while I fumble with my purchases at the self-checkout: thank you, from a mom.
To the Trader Joe’s clerk to always gives my daughter an extra long strip of stickers to entertain her while my bill adds up: thank you, from a mom.
To the other parent at preschool drop-off who shared a knowing, supportive glance when both of our children cried for us: thank you, from a mom.
To the curio vendors at the crafts marketplace in a different time zone at an off time of day who gave my daughter a precious gem, necklaces, and candy to stall her upset: thank you, from a mom.
To my extended family member who walked up and down the same flight of stairs with my daughter umpteen times so I could visit with my dad who I hadn’t seen in months: thank you, from a mom.
And – this is the one that happened recently and got me thinking about how I’m so thankful for others’ generosity – to the other mom at the playground who carried my 12pm-first-coffee-of-the-day Starbucks and juice box to my car while I wrangled a thrashing and screaming toddler who didn’t want to leave: thank you, from a mom.
I am humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of family, friends, and complete strangers. If there’s ever a time to be thankful, it’s any time one of these unexpected moments occurs. It might be more likely to experience random acts of kindness during certain holiday seasons, but, anytime I experience one, I am saying “thank you, from a mom.”