Humbled Yet Proud.

I woke up this morning and discovered Toby couldn’t move. His back had given out. He spent the better half of the morning hunched over the table, pale as a corpse, groaning into his bowl of uneaten cereal. He spent the hour before that fighting nausea while perched over a toilet bowl.

I had to hit the ground running. I made Em breakfast while he played in his closed, safe quarters. When I turned around to put him into his highchair, I discovered he had been playing in cat vomit.

“It’s organic.” I thought and washed his hands.

I left the apartment at 8:30 first making sure my husband wasn’t going to die. I left him lying flat on his back, still pale and unmoved, groaning. I told him to cancel work and our reservations for tonight. He was in no position to move. Of course, he refused.

I headed to McCarren Park to meet the other mothers for a weekly workout. This was my fourth session. I had missed it all last week. I wasn’t going to miss it again. Plus, I want Em to hang out with other kids. He must get tired of looking at me all the time. I know that I do.

Five of us showed up today, plus our trainer. It was hot but that didn’t stop us. We did push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and tummy work. We jogged and talked, all the while exchanging stories about motherhood.

I’m not one for all-gal groups or groups for that matter. I haven’t ever been one for all-gal groups. (Except for soccer!) There’s a reason we gave up two R.E.M. tickets in order to have a quiet dinner out instead. That’s why I don’t go to BlogHer; I know I’ll clam up, expose a less than attractive side of myself, a side I have grown to despise but am forced to live with.

But this all-gal group feels different. I’m feel comfortable with the women who attend these weekly workouts. I enjoy hearing them talk. I can’t put my finger on why they’re different from, say, the women I met in the park a few weeks ago. But they are. They’re very different. Perhaps coupling group meetings with physical activity allows for more easygoing conversations?

I don’t know.

But I feel positively wonderful right now. Sure, I’m lightheaded from having only consumed one of my 21 allotted WeightWatchers points for the day. (Did I just write that?) But I feel great.


I had not one, but three adult conversations and all of them took place before 10 AM. I had them with other mothers. And I let myself relax while doing so.

(Maybe I’m different?)

I know I probably don’t say this enough, especially on here, but I have a really great life. I have a caring husband whom I trust and love with all my heart. I have a son who makes my heart ache and whose smile and eyes I discover for the first time every day of my life. I have a family that is hilarious and weird and I feel very close to them even if some of them moved all the way to China.

I’m a mother. And sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s downright lonely. Sometimes I want to sob into my hands and feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I leave the house, both shoulders draped in baby vomit but I wear both stains like war medallions—motherhood medallions of war.

All I know is this: today, I feel happy and hopeful. I love that I found at least five other mothers willing to laugh out loud—in public—because someone else just nonchalantly admitted that they caught their daughter digging through (and sampling!) their rabbit’s litter box.

Humility and motherhood go hand-in-hand. And I think we’d be a whole hell of a lot happier, mothers of the world, if we’d just admit it.


  1. Dearest Michele,

    I think it’s about time you go back to work. Postings like this make it all too apparent.

    What in the hell are you doing with your life? You could… no wait, you SHOULD be putting all this down into a book and getting it published.

    You’re a wonderful writer. Screw design. Start a new career writing those motherhood and familyhood books. You can do exactly what you’re doing now—except get paid. And there will actually be good content for once on those shelves in the bookstore.


  2. I’d buy any book you wrote in a second, and I am a picky reader. DO IT!


  3. I know what you mean, I wasn’t a ‘all-girl-group-kind-a-girl’ either, but since I had my son in Nov I felt that I needed to get him some interaction with other children and I needed to get out of the house as well. The first few times was awkward and weird for me, but then something funny happened – I actually started to miss the meetings and the people. I had family visiting last week and I couldn’t go to any meetings and I missed them. I’ve met some great moms in my group and have found some friendships there as well. Like you say it is humbling to be a mom and share your experiences, paranoia and fears with complete strangers who is going through exactly the same things as you. I’ve learned so much going to this group and my son watches the other (older) babies and tries to keep up with them which in turn is great for his social development.

    I second Jonathan’s suggestion – you should put all of this in a book. It will be a bestseller.


  4. You are too sweet for words.

    I hope he’s okay tonight.


  5. Sounds like you’ve turned a corner! You sound so much more confident in your motherhood. You’ve got such a cute little guy, it’s no wonder!


  6. I loved reading this. In fact, I should bookmark this post and read it when I’m having a lousy day because this is inspiring. Must go out and find cool mom’s to socialize with now. :)


  7. I can dig it. You have to be able to laugh at yourself if your going to make it in this crazy world of motherhood, otherwise you’ll just go nuts. it’s good that you found a group that can laugh right along with you. I hope you get to enjoy your dinner!


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