I Nearly Lost My Mind Over the “Perfect Mom” in the Grocery Store. Here’s What I Should’ve Done Instead

You see her in the super market, perfect hair, fresh make-up, kids dressed to perfection, and a matching diaper bag and car seat. Surely that adorable bag cost a small fortune. She must have an amazing husband too. He probably makes a lot of money and she can buy anything she wants. It’s not fair. Who has time to get herself looking like a supermodel to go grocery shopping? And those shoes her kids were wearing, they looked brand new. Does she even allow them to play outside?

Feeling totally invisible next to her, I swiftly pass by hoping she doesn’t see me. Right at that moment I run over my oldest’s toe with the shopping cart. With a loud excruciating scream she hollers, “Mooooooooom! My toe!” If no one had noticed us before, now, we were the center of attention. As I try to calm my screaming child and tell her to quiet down, all in the same moment looking around to see who is watching us, and hoping not to see anyone from church, one of my other children starts up with questions about what happened and then my baby starts fussing. I was mortified. How embarrassing. Could we please just get out of here? But I needed groceries. I mean, we cannot eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner again tomorrow. We have to at least get milk since we had to eat dry cereal this morning.

Thinking of only the necessary items that we can’t live without, I rush the children through the aisles grabbing what I can before any more embarrassment, promising them a lollipop if they will just hush up and stick together. We get what we need and hustle to the check out. As I dig in my black hole of a purse sifting through Cheerios, half eaten Nutri-grain bars, and goldfish crackers I eventually find my wallet. I open it up and realize my debit card, which I always pay with, is missing. Of course I don’t have cash and we had recently decided to cut up all credit cards.

With my cart full of groceries I had just gone to combat with the world to collect, I had no way to pay for them. I closed my wallet, looked up, refrained from screaming at the top of my lungs, and then I saw her. There she was, Mrs. Perfect playing peacefully with her adorable, silent children, smiling patiently as my crazy crew chomped at the bit fighting back the urge to touch everything in sight, remembering a lollipop awaits if they will just behave. I calmly told the cashier I would have to come back at another time because I had somehow misplaced my debit card. Oh dear me.

I walked out of the store defeated. Defeated as a mother, a caregiver, a shopper, a wife, a homemaker, a woman. I had always thought of myself as quite a shopper, but today grocery shopping wasn’t my strong point. I couldn’t seem to get anything right that day. It was official – I was a failure. And I really needed a nap. No, seriously, I was exhausted by 10am in more ways than one. All of my energy was sucked dry and I had no idea how to muster up any good vibes to make it through the day with a hint of a smile. I needed an attitude adjustment, a mind makeover, a literal makeover and a big hug.

Maybe you too have had a few moments that drive you to an irrational screaming fit or maybe you can just look over my shoulder at my chaos and chuckle.

If you happen to find yourself struggling for your sanity, SLOW DOWN! God never says, “Rush! Carry all of your children to the grocery store. Freak out when they aren’t perfect. Compare yourself to every mom in sight and before you go out in public make sure you look amazing.”

He does say,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

What’s a mom to do when she’s going to combat with the world for her sanity over a box of cereal and a carton of milk?

1. Slow down. Maybe your schedule is too hectic for your season of life. Consider minimizing your extra responsibilities.

2. Don’t compare your rough day with anyone else’s good day. All moms have moments they would like to redo. Mrs. Perfect does not exist so don’t try to be her.

And watch out for toes as you push the shopping cart.

Love & Blessings,

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Micah Maddox
Micah Maddox is married to her sparkly, blue-eyed, high school sweetheart, and they are raising three rambunctious, amazing kiddos. Her husband, Rob, is the Worship and Missions Pastor at Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They have been in full-time ministry for over 10 years! When Micah is not tending to children, laundry, dishes or the next meal, she loves to write, decorate and chat with friends! Although small talk is great, she loves to dig deeper and discuss the stuff in life that keeps us up at night. If you are discouraged and need encouragement, visit Micah on her blog .