These are the shoes I wore to work today. Not quite stilettos but pretty darn close and while wearing heels to work is definitely not a requirement it is expected and as such they have become a regular part of my working mommy uniform.
I don’t usually think much about it, until days like today when I realized first thing in the morning that I was down to my last four diapers and then completely forgot to run out at lunch. I had no choice but to go to the grocery store after picking up the children – stilettos or not. This could be a mother’s worst nightmare. Three kids who are tired and hungry battling the super-store parking lot, aisles and checkout lines that are filled with more hungry and tired people who just want to get home.
And of course, it’s raining.
But there’s nothing I can do. Diapers are one of those necessities in a baby’s and therefore a mommy’s life.
With three kids in tow we head into the grocery store and buy $100 worth of nothing (of which only $30 was diapers). We did however avoid meltdowns and anything with too high of sugar content. Just before we headed out the door, I handed Sugar Plum and Bugaboo one light bag each, swung Sweet Pea out of the cart and into my arms then picked up four more bags, my purse and the mega-box size of diapers. I bestowed “magic glue” onto my two oldest children and was finally ready to brave the now dark, wet and still packed parking lot.
Until I heard “Wow! That’s impressive”.
To my right is another mom, clearly having just gone back to work from maternity leave (AND wearing flats as if in revolt over having to go back at all) struggling with her own box of diapers and her daughter in the infant car seat.
I laughed and said “I haven’t made it to the van yet” and shifted Sweet Pea on my hip so she rested more comfortably right in the groove I swear was the reason women were given curves.
I could see from the other mother’s face that this wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She was struggling. Whether it was work, baby, hubby or a combination of all of the above she was carrying a heavy box of diapers and an even heavier load of stress, guilt and whatever else we shoulder as working mother’s on a daily basis.
I know all of those feelings far too well.
I looked down at my children still tired and hungry but so clearly knowing that they are loved. My hands are full of groceries, my arms are holding a beautiful baby, my legs have two amazing children clenched to them and my husband is waiting for me at home. My arms are full, my heart is full, my life is so very full.
AND I’m wearing stilettos AND I know I’m going to make it to the van without a problem at all.
I look back at the other mom, knowing all that she is shouldering, smile and tell her “don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it” and she smiles because I’m sure she wants to believe that what I’m saying is true.
But it is true. I know because I have the hang of it - most of the time. I wouldn’t change my life for anything in the world even if it means that I need to accomplish more than the average person on any given day – most of the time while wearing a pair of stilettos.