I did it. I survived. I can’t believe I’ve been a mom for well over 3 years and this is the first time I’ve ever had to accomplish this task but it is. And. I. Did. It.
I went “to town” with both boys in tow and no other adult presence. Yeah, I’ve gone to the tiny local grocery store where we all know each other, there is no traffic, and I don’t for a second worry about anyone stealing anyone…or anything for that matter.
But I’d never gone big. I’d never gone through a place of strangers and crazy drivers, a place of “I want that!” temptations and loading and unloading kids and groceries all at the same time. Until last Monday. On Monday, I did it.
Living the lifestyle we do (basic Middle-of-Nowhere style), a weekly grocery trip to Smith’s just isn’t in my cards. It never has been. In fact, I only go to a big town for stock up stuff once a month or less. I’ve always been able to either take my husband with me or leave my children with my mom.
Well, my parents went and moved to Las Vegas to be missionaries so there went my favorite babysitter! And my husband’s boss had just gotten back from a trip which meant Austin couldn’t very well come with me either.
I dreaded it for days! Ok not days because I didn’t plan that far ahead. But as soon as I realized I was going solo, I started dreading.
I went into ultra focus mode (which is actually a common occurrence for me). I won’t think past the next few minutes. It’s how I get laundry done. Because if I spend time thinking about having to get up and open the dryer and clean out the lint and open the washer and move ALL the wet clothes over to the dryer and turn it on and load the next batch and measure out soap and on and on, I end up too exhausted to ever make it off the couch and actually do everything my brain believes it just did.
Enter ultra focus mode. I focus on getting up. And then I do. Then I think about walking to the laundry room. And I do. Then I focus on opening the dryer and cleaning out the lint. And I do. And on we go until I’m done without thinking so much about it that I’m in pain. This is how I conquered last Monday.
And can I just say, it wasn’t so bad as my pre-focused dreading brain believed it would be. (Honestly, neither is switching laundry!) I discovered a newfound respect for all you mamas out there (or dads!) that do this type of thing alone all the time but I also discovered that I can do it. And that was liberating. And exhilarating. Because as silly as it is, I’ve always felt like I was a bit lacking since I couldn’t grocery shop without my husband or mother or someone helping me. My mom used to take 7 of us for crying out loud! And I couldn’t handle 2?? Well. Now, I can.
I know grocery shopping is a little thing to some of you but I bet every one of you parents out there has something you are afraid to try. You might think it’s too hard or maybe flat out impossible. Maybe you can’t logistically figure it out. Maybe you just don’t want to even try. And people probably don’t even know and might think you are a lightweight parent because it’s something so simple to them. I get it.
But here is my challenge to you.
Tackle it. Try it. Make it happen. Whatever it is you are avoiding and however long you’ve been avoiding it, it’s time to beat it. Because I felt like Super Mom. And it doesn’t scare me anymore. Do I necessarily want to take them everywhere with me all the time? No. But I could. Because I’m not afraid anymore.
Besides being great for me and my self esteem, I also discovered how many truly kind people exist. Everything from helping me grab things to giving stickers to my boys to taking my cart and putting it away for me. It was amazing. The world isn’t as bad as the news wants you to believe. Maybe conquering your challenge will teach you something meaningful about the world and the people in it. But if not, at least you will still learn something about yourself.
Just remember, focus mode.