This Smile Hurts

Written by Shenise Gatson

This smile hurts.

It hurts because my smile is not genuine today. It is forced. Fake.

As colleagues pass me in the hallways, I smile and wish them a good morning. Inwardly, tears are falling and I am praying with all my heart they do not notice. It is one of those days where I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

What do I do now? When will this feeling go away? When will things work out and stay “worked out”?

I have prayed. I have cried. I have lain in meditation, trying to bring comfort to my soul. To no avail.

Maybe you have been in my shoes. Maybe you have had a bad day at work, received some unsettling news, or had a conflict with someone that greatly affected you. Maybe you received a bad doctor’s report or encountered a financial setback. Whatever it is, many of us have been in this place. This place of sadness. Of discouragement. Sometimes desperation, even. You want the situation to get resolved immediately so you can return to happiness and contentment, but then you secretly wonder…..

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I Want Cookies, Mommy!!!

Written by Shenise Gatson

Such peace. Such tranquility. Such freedom.

It’s 6:30 am. The store aisles are empty. As I push a squeaky shopping cart along, I smile inwardly. There’s nothing like going to the store….BY MYSELF.

Am I the only one?

The only one who dreads taking their three-year old to the grocery store?

One Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 6 a.m. While my husband and daughter were sleeping peacefully, I took a shower and put on my clothes. As I grabbed my purse and car keys, I tapped my husband on the shoulder. He opened sleepy eyes and mumbled, “Where are you going?”

“Hey baby,” I told him excitedly. “I’m going to the store!”

He glanced at the clock, then gave me a strange look. “At six in the morning?!” My head bobbed, “Yes! See you later.” I happily sprinted to the car, thinking, “I’m free!!”

If you are a mommy like me, you love your child with all your heart. But, let’s be real. Sometimes we desire child-free time. Time away from the temper tantrums, endless “why” questions, falling out, and embarrassing store moments. Even just for a moment.

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