Earning My Motherhood Stripes

This season of motherhood is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.
The challenges, the exhaustion, the tears of frustration..
but also the joys, the laughs, the pride, and pure happiness of being a mother to Jolie, Parker, and Baker.
Yesterday was one of those days.  It was definitely a motherhood first for me.  One of those situations that I just had to laugh about to keep my sanity. 
Jordan was working, and I decided to brave a trip with all three kiddos to the mall to grab a coffee with my sweet friend, Kelly and let our kids play in the mall play area. 
With how warm its been outside lately, it seems like the safest place to wrangle my babes and let them run off some steam- especially when I am home alone with all three kids by myself for most or all of the day.  
It is easy for the walls to feel like they are closing in..and its only been an hour since we all woke.  
So, the mall.  Its typically a great idea.
The mall we like best is about 45 minutes away, so making the trip takes a little more effort than just a quick car ride up the street.  I loaded the girls up, breakfast smoothie in hand, and headed out to meet our friends.
All was fine and dandy – I exited the for the mall and started my way into the mall parking lot when chaos hit.  It felt like chaos, anyway.  I hear Parker in the back start to cry and I look back in perfect timing to see her spew chocolate smoothie all over herself, her carseat, and all the baby dolls and accessories sitting in her lap. 
What.  What is happening.  
This is never happened to me before, and at two and a half I don’t bring an extra set of clothes for the twins.  I did have some spare pantie and a handful of baby wipes to clean her up. 
Side note: panic texting your husband does nothing for your sanity in a situation like this.  
Thankful that Kelly was already inside waiting on my circus to arrive, she came out with paper towels and promises of a bath towel we could use in her car.  When I asked Parker multiple times if her tummy hurt, she replied ‘no’ and kept asking about going to play.
‘I want to play, mama’
Well, child, you need some clothes.  And a bath. 
So, taking full advantage of using the mall bathrooms I wrapped her in the towel and headed inside.  
It was everything I had not to just breakdown in tears and drive the 45 minutes home.  
Instead.. I laughed.  And made Kelly snap a photo before we walked into the bathrooms to basically bathe my Parker girl. 
Much to the dismay of this photo, Parker wasn’t as miserable as she looks.  I’m not that terrible of a mother.. but seriously,  I casually walked by a woman very pregnant with what I can assume would be her third child and toting two other kids a little older than the twins, and the look on her face was priceless. 
So this is what happens when you add another baby to your life – towels are the logical clothing choice for heading to the mall. 
 a n y w a y
After we cleaned her up I had all intentions of going home, but after repeat assurance from Parker that her tummy didn’t hurt.. and insistence that she wanted to ‘play‘.. I walked into H&M to find something cheap and decent for her to wear.  But not before I stopped at Starbucks for a coffee.
I needed coffee.
And my sanity. 
Of course Jolie was not going to allow Parker to get a new dress without her getting the same one, too.. so.. I pulled the tags off right there in the middle of the store and dressed them both.  
I walked to check out and handed the young girl the tags and tried to explain what I had been through  in the last hour in hopes for some explanation as to why I was sweating like a pig.. but she was all of about 18 years old and didn’t care.
After we were all clothed again and coffee in hand, we headed down to the play area. 
I was thankful for my sweet girl to seem to have been feeling better.
I knew we were in the clear when she started asking for lunch- telling me she’s hungry over and over.
So, we lunched.
Being a mama to these girls is always so much fun. Even when the day’s events don’t go as I would have hoped. 

Motherhood is not always rainbows and unicorns – its tough.  Having three to deal with is near to overwhelming – even when my third is a teeny sleeping baby strapped to my chest- but nothing I don’t feel like I can’t handle.  I have a feeling this won’t be the last time I have a kid randomly puke in my car..
because sometimes..
kids just puke.
I’ll just take that as a couple more stripes earned in this journey of motherhood. 


August 4, 2015

  1. Liz Joiner says:

    I don't know how you do it mama with three girls, I'm usually losing my hair with one. You're a great mama and handled that so well. I think I would have been crying with frustration.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  2. Samantha says:

    Great story! You handled it like a champ.

  3. Lavakels says:

    Ugh, puking is always my worst fear. We have just a couple weeks left until our 3rd arrives and I'm praying for a smooth transition!! You are a great mom! We all struggle with days and decisions like that!

  4. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the picture of you 4 in the mall. I laugh because I can relate. It's hard…I know. You are super mama. Sounds like you handled it well. πŸ™‚

  5. Ashley D says:

    Jo's faces ??????

  6. Bailey L. says:

    I hope I'm this graceful with three! I have a one and two year old boys with the third on the way in March and I'm scared! Also getting through early stages of pregnancy (tired and sick) is so hard when you have two toddlers to care for. With my husband gone long hours it takes all I have to not cry every minute between bickering and feeling like a human jungle gym. At the end of the day when they crawl in my lap to read their nighttime story I'm just thankful πŸ™‚

  7. A big, empathetic A-men from over here! G had one of those incidents at around 1.5 years old and I've brought extra clothes ever since lol.

  8. Cassie says:

    Sounds like you handled it beautifully, mama!

  9. Darcy Potter says:

    This story just made me smile this morning πŸ™‚ oh the joys of motherhood and all it has to offer!much love and props to you Mama Bear for sticking it out yesterday!

    Hugs and kisses, Darcy

  10. Kristina says:

    Amber, I can't believe you feed your kids SONIC! What kind of dietician are you??? ???? (surprised none of those comments have come up yet)

    Girl, you rock this motherhood thing like a pro. A natural! All you can do is laugh. Lukas choked himself with a straw last weekend on a 2 hr car trip and threw up a mixture of strawberries and whatever else it was and it STUNK so bad being stuck in the car with him, even after cleaning it all up. So bad. That was a first for us and like you said, sometimes kids just puke! Lol love ya, girl!

  11. emily says:

    poor kiddo!!! glad she was feeling better! (and I'm cracking up at the last comment about feeding your kids sonic and being a dietician… my two best friends are dieticians and together we consume plenty of pizza, chick fil a & taco bell!) but i loved how you tried to explain to the H&M girl what happened and she totally didn't care…. i get those looks all the time from the young kids πŸ™‚ you handled this like a true mama! go you!

  12. I'm dying! "trying to explain why I was sweating like a pig" Love this "real life" post and your stories. We can all relate. Love you!

  13. Emily says:

    I love this. I love read life messy posts. Car seat puke is a very important motherhood badge. When my son first puked in his car seat, I said to myself, "Yes, this is it. I have earned my stripes."

  14. Golden Hill says:

    I'm so glad you were able to laugh! Motherhood is HARD work! Thank goodness for awesome friends who can support and help in times of need! You are doing an awesome job of taking care of those 3 girlies!!

  15. Oh man, Mama! Great job for laughing it off and chugging on! I salute you!

  16. Krcat says:

    This is so something that would happen to me! I have a 2 year old and 4 month old twins… All girls! I have yet to venture out alone with all three so I give you lots of credit for even leaving the house!

  17. And that is why you are SUPER MOMMA!!! Well done lovely lady – taking it all in your stride and poor little Baker looks like she slept through it all πŸ™‚

  18. Erica Braker says:

    I don't have kids yet but I love following the highs and lows of your motherhood journey! This blog had me laughing out loud. I think it's a good reminder that when we see something strange like a naked child wrapped in a towel at the mall we shouldn't judge because we have no idea what the story is there. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your exciting and overwhelming mom stories.