Saturday mornings are a bit crazy at our house. Both of our kids go to swim lessons. Anyone who's ever played a role in the schlepping of children to activities knows this ain't for sissies. There's so much to remember - suits for both kids plus Daddy, one adult and two child swim caps, a swim diaper, changes of clothes for all, a plastic bag, the usual diaper bag paraphernalia- you get the picture.
On a recent Saturday morning, my husband ran a race about 30 minutes from our home. We agreed that he would meet us at the Y, so I was charged with gathering our little humans and all their things on my own. I've done this before - two kids by myself - like, many times. But on that particular day, it felt extraordinarily stressful. The baby took a nice nap, and I let her sleep a little too long so that I could take a nice shower while our big girl was on the iPad (#parentsoftheyear). So, as it sometimes does, The Waking of the Baby To Go Somewhere coincided with The Toddler Tantrum Because Said Toddler Feels Rushed To Go Somewhere. We were already a bit late, so I called for a car on my app. Over the next few minutes, I strapped baby into carrier, got toddler into stroller, grabbed our stuff, and walked out the door. It was then that I noticed that I'd never clicked "Confirm" on the final screen of the app, so the car that I thought was on the way, wasn't. I called another one and rushed downstairs, only to realized I had no swimsuit for the baby, and her big sis didn't want to come back up to our apartment with me, so I asked her if she wanted to stay in the lobby without Mommy, and she said yes, but I had been joking, and my neighbor heard us and may have thought I wasn't, and so I got back on the elevator and schlepped them both back upstairs to grab the suit and rush back downstairs and hope and pray the car would come faster and then I noticed
that I had a LOT of noise in my head.
It sounded something like this, "You're late. Again. How could you be late? You had plenty of time. You totally suck. This is your fault. AGAIN. Now your big girl won't get in the pool because she'll be anxious about being the last one in, and your husband will ask you what took so long, and your baby will miss half her lesson, and your mama-friends will judge you, and -"
- at this point the voice in my head screamed at me - aka I screamed at mySELF . . .
No, but seriously - who cares? The only one who's judging you right now, is your own damn SELF."
And then I relaxed. Let my thinking shift. Chilled. The eff. Out. Because it just didn't matter - it doesn't matter. If our big girl refused to go into the water this one time, I could decide to support her and encourage her to try again next time. If our baby got in the pool at 10:12 instead of 10:00, she wouldn't even notice. My mom always says, "Will it matter in ten years?" This wouldn't even matter in ten SECONDS. And so I realized that the biggest problem in this whole situation, was in fact, inside ME. I was telling myself a story - an old, practiced story, passed down through generations of badass women who sometimes swam in self-doubt. My Judgy McJudgerself was, as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, "doing her little showoff dance." And I could get all wrapped up in her noise, but I could also choose not to.
So the next time you hear your own Judgy voice getting all loud, take a moment. Pause. Breathe. Ask yourself the question my favorite yoga teacher Erich Shiffmann encourages us to ask:
"What is happening in this moment?"
You may find that the answer is, "I'm okay. We're all okay." And, if you're lucky, your inner badass will remind you who you really are - YOU. Which is, my friends, enough.
You are enough.