After a particularly difficult stay-at-home-mom week, I managed to escape to the grocery store ALONE. Solitude at its finest. I ran so fast out the door, I didn’t even look down to see how filthy my shirt was. The ride to the grocery store was filled with silence, tears, and prayers. I wasn’t in a great place. Self-care wasn’t on the top of my priority list; I was in survival mode. I made my way to the store successfully, despite my teary-eyed prayers. I sat in the parking lot, trying to get myself together enough to exit my car. I looked down at myself. Wow. What kind of hot mess express was I and how could I walk into this store? 

Ironically, my shirt was white with big sparkly gold letters that read “Not today, Satan.” Boy, did I need that reminder. I said the words out loud. Then again and again. I put my hand to the handle and exited the vehicle with trepidation. I didn’t want to be seen. I wanted to be invisible – but I am not a person who easily walks in anywhere and is invisible. I have a presence that precedes me, and I often feel pressure to live up to that presence, even when I’m feeling too low to do so. The longer I was in the store, the more stains I noticed on my shirt. Every time I saw another stain, another memory flashed through my mind. Peanut butter and jelly smeared here, the bright blue remnants of the Play-Doh that was smashed into my shirt, there. 

Then someone caught my attention and chuckled. “Great,” I ruminated, “they are going to have some stupid comment about ‘mom life’ or some other ridiculous way to point out the stains on my shirt.” But to my surprise, the chuckle was followed with, “I love your shirt!” 

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