My husband’s grandmother told me I was doing a good job with my kids.
It’s a simple sentence really. One that doesn't necessarily have to carry a whole lot of weight or emotion.
But it did.
It was a warm sunny afternoon and we sat enjoying the summer breeze and a glass of wine.
She is much older than I and her life has taken her down a very different path.
But we have something in common.
We are both mothers.
That afternoon, with the sun streaming down on us, we chatted. And not like two people with more than 40 years between us but simply like two mothers.
She told me her own tales of motherhood; the mistakes she had made, the struggles she faced and where she found her victories.
I, in turn, shared some of my fears, the mistakes that I have already made and the ones that I am so terrified of making.
She put her hand on my knee, looked me straight in the eye and told me that I was doing a good job.
She complimented that my children are independent and at a young age are capable of doing so much on their own. “You did that.” she said.
She spoke to how kind, loving and affectionate they are and how they make friends easily.
“You are doing a good job,” she said again.
Truth is her words meant so much to me because a part of me always feared that she judged many of my choices.
We parented differently her and I.
Times have changed.
We made different choices with our parenting. Everything from daycare to sleep schedules to playing outside. We made different choices.
Her words carried so much meaning and they found their way into my heart where they have stayed with me. And sometimes in moments when I’m feeling unsure about my parenting I pull them out and remind myself that I am doing a good job with my kids.
We sat in silence for a while watching my children, her great grandchildren as they cartwheeled their way across the yard.
On that sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting on the deck in my backyard, glass of wine in hand, our different parenting choices were meaningless.
We were simply mothers. One of us having lived and learned, the other still trying to figure it out.
Neither of us having all the answers.