I Just Don’t See It

I Just Don't See It | Twin Cities Moms Blog

A friend came over for a play date the other day with her son and newborn baby. The first thing she said when she walked in the door was, “Sorry for my greasy hair.”

But I just didn’t see it.

We hosted a group of friends for dinner. I made a variety of kid-friendly foods including my daughter’s beloved chicken nuggets with a side of mac & cheese. The kiddos sat, ate two bites, and went back to playing as their food turned cold. My friend grabbed me by the arm and utters under her breath, “I really apologize. I feel bad they didn’t eat anything!”

But I just didn’t see it.

I’m in line behind a mom at the grocery store. She’s trying to wrangle three littles around one, overstuffed cart as her baby screams and she fumbles for her wallet in her gigantic tote bag. “Sorry you’re stuck behind me,” she mumbles.

But I just didn’t see it.

The car next to me in the mall parking lot has all their doors open, making it impossible for me to back out. I watch two parents simultaneously buckle their babes into their respective car seats. There are hats flying and shoes being thrown and coats coming off along with two clearly exasperated parents. “Bet you wish you weren’t next to us right now!” the father bellows from the backseat.

But I just didn’t see it.

You see, motherhood has made me blind. Blind to the little things in life that just don’t matter. I don’t see the Goldfish smashed in your carpet or the fact that you’ve worn a hat for four days to hide the hair that hasn’t been washed or the text message you forgot to send me because you were just so tired you went to bed early. I don’t see the play date you forgot about because your schedule is just so full right now, your kid’s pants that are two sizes too small because you haven’t had the chance to get to the mall, or that your gift wasn’t wrapped for my kid’s birthday party because throwing it in a paper bag was so much easier.

Now listen, I’m certainly not always optimistic and I do get irritated from time to time. I’m not perfect when it comes to believing the best about others and I definitely have days when I’m less than positive. But if motherhood has taught me one thing, it’s that I need so much grace. I need people to forgive me. I need people to excuse some of the areas I fall short. I need people to love me when I hardly look like I’m making an effort to love them. It’s out of this realization that I realize if I need so much, I need to be able to give the same.

So. You know what I do see?

I see a mom who chose to forgo her to-do list to snuggle her babies.
I see a parent trying to create a fun family outing even though they know craziness is bound to ensue.
I see a woman who knew a shower wasn’t going be as valuable as an hour longer of sleep.
I see a friend who desperately needs relationship more than she needs a clean house.
I see people that are simply just trying to do the best they can in this crazy journey we call parenting.

Can we collectively agree as moms to a few things?
Can we just agree to give one another the benefit of the doubt?
Can we stop saying sorry for things just out of feeling obligated?
Can we quit feeling like we need to justify all aspects of our parenting?

Let’s agree to not see where we and other parents fail. Instead, let’s all make the conscious choice to let each other off the hook every. single. day.

Here’s to changing the world, mama. One extension of kindness at a time.

40 Responses to I Just Don’t See It

  1. Doreen McGinty February 3, 2017 at 12:04 PM #

    Beautifully written from the heart my dear.
    It was so fun watching you kids grow up, but to watch you beinging a parent makes my heart ❤️ smile. Keep on seeing and watching and realizing that it takes a Village my dear and most of all Patience and Love. You are amazing !
    Hugs n Love
    ~Doreen McGinty

  2. Jess Vento February 3, 2017 at 7:01 PM #

    YES!!!! I love this!

  3. Gladys February 3, 2017 at 10:15 PM #

    This is all I needed after a crazy week at work,trying to stay on top kids of homework and still keeping a straight face.Thanks you for sharing☺☺☺

    • Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 6:39 AM #

      good for you Gladys its not easy balancing everything. .i had 3 girls in 3 years. having my girls so close togethe rit hwas a challenge for sure keeping up w everything.

      • Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 6:41 AM #

        this post is awesome for all moms. its the hardest job in the world and people take it for granted that we just get it all done.and still try and look perfect:-)

  4. Kristi February 4, 2017 at 11:04 AM #

    Loved this. My twins are now 12 and Iooking back this “blindness” was one of the biggest surprises and blessings of being a mom. Thanks for sharing your perspective and story.

  5. Mom2jnjmoreno February 9, 2017 at 12:19 AM #

    So perfectly said! Thank you for the reminder and for sharing a little piece of your heart!♡

  6. Rachael February 9, 2017 at 9:34 AM #

    This is perfect. So perfect.

  7. MaineMom February 9, 2017 at 4:01 PM #

    My ‘little ones’ are now adults. At one time my mom gave me grief for a dusty, sometimes messy house – I had been sledding with the kids after school. Now I look at those moms living through the parenting of small ones and say, ‘it doesn’t matter, you will all come out the other side. The more memories you build, the better.’ I know I have a different point of view – I only had 11 months of memories with one of my little ones.

  8. Jessica | Ava Grace Fashions February 9, 2017 at 5:16 PM #

    I am absolutely in love with this post. I have been like this for years. People will point out someone’s shortcomings & I say “Oh I guess I didn’t notice” I love that you equate it to a deep seeded realization that people need grace, they need kindness. & I know that because I need it too (& probably first LOL)
    Beautiful post~I will be sharing it all over!

  9. Amy February 10, 2017 at 6:32 AM #

    Beautifully written. We mamas gotta stick together. I can totally relate to “not seeing it” anymore.

  10. Diane February 10, 2017 at 7:10 AM #

    Thanks for this I really needed it! Wonderful!!!

  11. Megan February 11, 2017 at 7:41 AM #

    Thank you for this post! I’m a single mother of two and i really needed this right now.

  12. Janice Judd February 11, 2017 at 10:38 AM #

    This story touched my heart. I have been the caretaker of a very sick 82 year old very ill husband. Lot of the same things apply. He is like taking care of a child. I need to learn to quit saying I am sorry. Janice

  13. Ara February 11, 2017 at 9:11 PM #

    This was so lovely. – today my grands called and said “Sweetie come play!” I looked in the mirror and thought “it’ll be ok”, my white thinning hair needed some help and my wrinkles could of used some cover but my four oldest (ages 5,4,3 1/2, 3) were playing without me – so I changed into my paint shirt because we needed to complete a project for their parents and headed up the hill. The youngest (1) joined us a little later toddling amongst her siblings and cousins it was a beautiful bright day here. We played for hours,they are my sunshine ! I will tell you my hair needs a hat but my face it’s had a natural lift and sunshine facial. The project will wait till tomorrow. So will the house and some of my friends. Anyone else I hope they just don’t see what should be done and look at the most wonderful accomplishments of my life – my family. I married young – I was a good wife, better mother and lousy house keeper I’ve improved in all areas and today I’m a fabulous grandmother and I don’t care what others see because when I look into the faces of my Grands I see all I need LOVE.

    • Melinda February 19, 2017 at 8:50 PM #

      I love this!!! The world needs more grandmas like you!

  14. DPearsall February 12, 2017 at 5:15 AM #

    “Take all the time you need, I’ve been there” is my usual response to harried young parents. My husband was career Army and I took my kids around the world and back, usually alone, in the days before cell phones. Ponytail, dark glasses and red lipstick got me through many bad hair, no sleep days. My kids grew up to be flexible and kind.

  15. Kaff February 12, 2017 at 8:03 AM #

    So true. Just a shame most of my friends aren’t mamas yet and I think see all of it! X

  16. Rachel February 12, 2017 at 3:19 PM #

    Amen! 🙂 <3 I'm not a mother but I've learned that mercy and kindness and love is the best choice always. To show this to everyone. When we look at someone with love, they see themselves as worth something, beautiful and full of more potential than they thought possible. I learned this from Jesus and from growing up in community at Rose Creek Village.

  17. Shannon February 12, 2017 at 11:34 PM #

    I love this and I needed this!

  18. Brittney February 13, 2017 at 12:18 AM #

    So so so true!! and WHY do we apologize for so much!? Thank you for this- such great reminders. I need grace all day every day.

  19. Amanda February 13, 2017 at 5:40 AM #

    It makes me smile to see parenting happening anywhere I go, and I try to give a smile when it seems like the whole world is judging you. Thank you for these words.
    And totally can’t see it most of the time, because I’m well in the thick of it.

  20. Old school thinking February 13, 2017 at 1:49 PM #

    My mom (I’m her son) shared with me the advise her father gave to her. Pretty simple really; Never apologize for your kids or your house.

  21. Mamabux February 13, 2017 at 3:52 PM #

    I Just Don’t See It either….but we should also stop apologizing for doing what we should be doing. Kids cry. No sorry needed. Car seats are necessary. No sorry needed. Nobody REALLY wants to go to the supermarket with 3 kids. No sorry there eitner. Let’s stop thinking that we are inconveniencing others with our very important work.

  22. David February 14, 2017 at 1:38 AM #

    Hey, can we dads get some of this too?

  23. Cathy February 14, 2017 at 9:37 AM #

    Now that my “baby days” are far behind me and the overwhelming sense of “I’m sorry” has shifted to elder care I can totally identify with your insight. I truly was blind to most of the pressures of childrearing and was happy to make allowances to others in my boat; I need to find that same sense of grace again and understand that I am doing the best I can.

  24. Ginger February 14, 2017 at 12:26 PM #

    So good! Thanks for this perspective!

  25. Donna February 16, 2017 at 11:23 AM #

    Lovely! My children are now adults, and I am a grandmother. I was an obsessive cleaner until I had kids. Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, I saw a license plate that read, “Women with clean houses are boring.” It inspired me to prioritize being interesting, over being tidy. I truly do not see messes in others homes, or cars. A friend apologized for the clean laundry pile on her couch, only then did I notice it. Though I no longer feel obliged to apologize for looking disheveled, for clutter, or noisy children… I am sometimes compelled to do so, because too many of today’s young people don’t know how to apologize. To me, it is a good habit.

  26. Daniel February 17, 2017 at 2:56 PM #

    Great article!!! I loved the part were your asked “Can we quit feeling like we need to justify all aspects of our parenting?”

    Moms have no need to justify there actions, just being a mom and trying is more than enough.

  27. Erin February 22, 2017 at 7:42 PM #

    Great article!!! Love the compassionate message!

  28. Kate February 23, 2017 at 6:08 PM #

    I love this.. I will soon visit your twin cities and will look out for you and other mum’s just like me, getting by and prioritising the kids fun over the washing up!

  29. Amber February 23, 2017 at 10:27 PM #

    Just found out I’m pregnant with my second today and definitely feeling the need for some grace! Thank you so much for your beautiful words, mama. xoxo

  30. Sara February 24, 2017 at 2:35 AM #

    Thank you! This kind of attitude, instead of a judgmental one, makes the world a BETTER place to live in. It’s all about having charity towards one another. Beautifully written.

  31. Christy February 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM #

    I love the sentiment of the article. Show empathy. Be kind. But there’s no point in pretending, because thing is, I DO SEE IT. Your dirty hair. Your messy house. Your screaming kids. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t. And if someone said to me, “oh, I didn’t notice that your hair looks like a rats nest today” I’d know they absolutely did and felt like they had to pretend they didn’t.

    I just don’t judge it.

    I see all of it, because I’ve been there, too. Your half-assed attempt at cleaning your hair. Been there, sister. The pile of baby toys I almost tripped over in your living room? I saw it and dodged it because I’ve twisted many a guest’s ankle on my own toy stacked house.

    I See It All and I can laugh with you, because I know you’re doing your best, but we’ve only got so much time in the day and so we have choices to make. I’m just glad you like me and want to hang out.

    And I’d say, “Girl, your HAIR. I know you’re dying for 15 minutes alone to shower, get prettied up and feel human again. I’ll watch the kiddos. The wine will be waiting when you get back.”

    Because I Do See It.

  32. Rachel March 9, 2017 at 3:45 PM #

    Really well said- we shared it with mamas on our site: mamabare.co

  33. Samantha April 17, 2017 at 11:10 AM #

    I loved this…. I feel like I’m apologizing all the time for just being me.

  34. Gigi May 2, 2017 at 2:44 AM #

    Beautiful! Just wondering why we all do this and my theory is that these days not as many people are having kids and the ones that do are having kids so much later, so they’re just not used to kids. They complain about kids and post FYI’s to parents about how to manage their children so everyone else can enjoy themselves, they always have something negative to say about kids at restaurants, traveling, shopping, almost everywhere except a school or a playground, so moms find themselves apologizing for their babies existence, possibly even remembering how annoyed they were by kids themselves before they had their own and finally understood. Just a couple generations ago people expected to marry straight out of high school and start popping out babies, barely adults themselves, many with younger siblings, especially in the baby boomer households of 7+ where the siblings have a 15 yr age gap, they understood how kids are much more. Kids are thought of as a nuisance nowadays, it’s even acceptable to say you’re not having kids because you are selfish, or don’t like kids, or enjoy your social life, or too much work, etc. which is great that people are being honest and feel accepted when saying it, but I think a side effect is moms apologizing left and right for their babies existence and all that goes with parenting, like not having time for a shower because so much more takes priority.

  35. Tanya June 1, 2017 at 8:53 PM #

    Yes – mothers should stop apologizing for their messy houses etc. I don’t care what their house looks like. I don’t go there to look at their house. In fact, to be honest, even if it is a mess, I’m probably not going to see it – I just came from my messy house and can no longer see mess. I’ve had to develop that way or I would go insane with the mess around me all the time.

    And if my friend hasn’t had the chance to shower in two days – well, good, at least I’m not alone in my slovenliness.

    And if their kids are misbehaving! Excellent – because kids who behave themselves all the time often are not happy. They’re not model kids because it’s natural (some are I’m sure)’
    , but because they’re being coerced in some way.

  36. Cat June 10, 2017 at 6:45 AM #


  37. Liz September 3, 2017 at 7:55 AM #

    As one of those moms with greasy hair wrangling two screaming kids in the grocery store checkout, this is just what I needed to hear! ☺ very well said!

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