The Night My Blessings Slapped Me in the Face

One night I was driving to a good friend’s house for an evening of “mom de-stressing”, an evening I really wanted needed, y’all. The 45 minute drive there was some of the only time I had truly had to myself in weeks, so naturally…I began drowning in my thoughts.

Soon I was wound up, worrying about all things life.

Medical debt it seemed like we were drowning in.

Two toddlers I was overwhelmed by.

A job so stressful, I hadn’t eaten in days.

And seriously–was my husband EVER going to help more around the house, or was I just going to keep doing it myself to ensure we weren’t walking on crackers on the daily? 

Why was this all so hard for me–all of my other friends seemed to manage just fine?

Half way to my friend’s house, I got rear-ended. Seriously, I thought, can I not just CATCH A BREAK? I pulled over, assessed the minimal damage, and ran over to another smashed up SUV– just in time to see a very distressed mama toting a toddler and a baby carrier over to the grass. As she collapsed next to them, she looked at me and cried, “I just can’t catch a break!” Freaky Friday, anyone?

The woman was visibly shaken, and knowing that I wouldn’t make her feel any better by becoming angry about the situation at hand, I encouraged her to talk. As I rocked her oldest little girl and played peek-a-boo with sweet baby sister, she began to tell me the events in her life which had unfolded in the last year.

They were terrifying.

She wasn’t telling me these personal things in order to get me to feel sorry for her, or to try and persuade me to not go through with an insurance claim. She was telling me because she just needed someone to listen; and there was nothing more humbling to me in that moment, than to be that person for her.

An hour later, pulling away from the scene, I was again deep in thought. This time, though, my thoughts were different. I was different. I began to cry as I realized how all that I had been griping about earlier…were all of the things I was actually most grateful for in life.

The debt will eventually be paid off.

I told myself this, as I thought about how the debt we were paying off meant that we were {now} all healthy. Not only that, but that the mortgage we sometimes struggled to pay meant I was driving back to a house I loved and couldn’t wait to decorate for Christmas.

A home that was nothing like what the woman I had just encountered would be returning to.

My boys are totally fine…and I’m doing a GOOD JOB.

Reassuring myself of this, I began to sob even harder. Not because I cared anymore about if I was handling my threenager’s current tantrums “the right way”, but because the baby I had just been playing with once had a twin brother…whom had passed away two weeks prior. Losing a child is my biggest fear, and that mama I had just listened to?

She only had 8 months with her son, while I was going to have a lifetime with mine.

I love my job.

Sure, there are kids with disrespectful attitudes, frustrating parents and overwhelming deadlines. Yet, I’m surrounded by fellow teachers who also love what they do and who inspire me daily. I have my dream job at my dream school, which means I get to do what I love, while contributing to our household in a way that makes me feel like I’m someone outside of my identity as wife/mommy. The mama I had just listen to pour her heart out?

She was struggling to get back on her feet, alone, and now would not have a vehicle to help her.

My husband is my knight in shining armor.

No, really. He is. He is everything I have ever prayed for, and I’ve done nothing to deserve him. We aren’t perfect, but the man that mama had recently gotten away from?

She was terrified of him, and if the worst thing he had ever done was forget to sweep the floor, well, I wouldn’t have had the true pleasure of meeting her that night.

Sometimes, our blessings can be so overwhelming, we start to question if they’re truly what is meant for us. Sometimes, we want to give up. Then again, sometimes…all it takes is a chance meeting with a fallen angel to put how wonderful it all is back in to perspective. Remember to give yourself mercy and grace, mamas. As quoted by the fabulous Tina Fey:

You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking ‘this is impossible, oh this is impossible’. Then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of DO the impossible.

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