I took the kids to see a movie today alone. This was a brave move for me. I knew it wasn't guaranteed to be a smooth trip, but I forged ahead anyway. So many things can go wrong with getting a 5 and 2 year old into the theater complex, into the bathrooms, in and out of the food line, into the theater with the popcorn still in the bag, into the seats, and then have them want to stay in those seats for the duration of the movie.
Thankfully, today's adventure did go smoothly with only one minor popcorn spill. But, when did this type of scenario define the bravery in my life? Before kids when I had a career, being brave was speaking in front of 200 people at a conference. Or, sitting with a family while their loved one was dying in the next room. I still think I am capable of doing both of these feats, but at the same time I am intimidated by what seems like the simplest task - taking two kids to the movies alone.
I remember my first brave act as a new mom. My first born was two weeks old and I took him for a short walk in his stroller. I drove to the park, got the stroller unfolded and the infant seat attached correctly. And when we were done with the walk, I got the infant seat back in the car and the stroller folded back up again. I remember feeling such accomplishment! And just one month prior to this I was working full time, managing dozens of patients and systems. How does this happen? Why is Motherhood so intimidating?
Perhaps its because nothing about Motherhood is as simple as it might seem. As mothers, we learn fast how true this is and become wary of each new task set before us. The summer my second child was born we were spending our weekends at my family's beach house about two hours from our home. There were quite a few Fridays where my task was to get the two kids and the dog to the beach alone. I learned after our first trip that took five hours due to nursing and potty training stops, that this was a rather difficult task and one to be very afraid of.
I continue to take on these tasks however, proving my bravery in any situation. I've braved a cross country flight with a 1 year old, an overnight stay with both kids, and I have a couple of solo amusement park trips under my belt. And with each new situation I build my confidence that I can handle anything Motherhood throws my way. My friend recently told me about her weekend away alone with her four kids. My immediate response was "Wow, you're brave". She followed with "I know, right." Right.