Being a mom is messy and hard and it's a gig that can sometimes leave you feeling like you're spiraling out of control. But then, there are those moments when you absolutely nail it. It might be something small that causes you to inwardly burst with pride, or a public display of amazingness that makes you feel like you've won the parenting Olympics. Either way, these flashes of brilliance are what propel us forward during the long days and short years of child rearing.
I recently got my three toddlers color-coded, monogrammed bathrobes, with color-coded hooks to match. I posted a pic of the robes on Instagram, calling it my #micdrop mom moment. No, the kids were not actually bathed yet (and were likely strangling each other while I searched for the perfect filter), but in that moment, when I hung the robes on those hooks, I felt like popping bottles of Champagne. Or break dancing. Or standing on a podium and accepting a gold medal.
Another time, when asked a question at the library, my 3-year-old daughter replied, "No thank you. Oh actually, yes please," in front of 20 moms during story time. If that's not a mic-drop moment, I don't know what is.
Let's face it: We all dropped the mic the second our babies were born. And in the days and months and years that followed, we've become hard on ourselves, quicker to criticize our efforts than compliment them. So, here, we've gathered anecdotes from 12 real moms about a time that they felt proud or happy or just plain f**king awesome for doing something mundane to others but life-changing to them.
"After tandem bottle feeding my twin baby girls for eights months, I was ready to be hands-free. I was going through 16 bottles a day—that's 96 Dr. Brown's pieces to clean, assemble and fill per day. After months molding their little hands around the bottles, many spills and thousands of droplets later, one morning at 5:00 a.m. they both finally looked at each other and held their own bottle. It's like they knew I had had enough. My hands were suddenly free to check Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and for a full four minutes I felt like my old self." —Carolyn Weissbard
"My son Liam was sitting on the floor—he had just learned to sit up—and while the adults were chatting and not paying attention, he fell backwards. I managed to catch the back of his head with my foot like a hackey sack before it hit the tile floor. I swear my reflexes are like that of Spider-Man now that I'm a mom!" —Janeen Boyle
"My husband is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, and we'd just been transferred to Jamaica. It's a tradition that the Embassy welcome new families with a party shortly after their arrival. There we were at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, travel-weary from our first move as a party of five with three kiddos three-years-old and under, when they called us to the stage. After a brief introduction, we were asked if we'd like to say anything. My then three-year-old says, 'Mom, I'll tell a joke.' She didn't just break the ice, she completely melted it. A year later, people are still talking about our confident (and funny) little girl. #proudparents" —Caitlin Bliss
"The first time I hiked Runyon Canyon trail with a stroller full of twins (two 20-pound babies + a 35-pound jogging stroller = 75 pounds), I got so many compliments and 'Go, Mama!' shout outs on the way up the hill. It felt like a million bucks to reach the top!" —Alice Dubin
"When my daughter Sophia was two and a half it was Christmas time. In a room full of other parents and family she was asked what she wanted for Christmas and in all seriousness she replied, 'I don't want any presents, all I want is love.' Proud mommy moment." —Jereann Zann
"Anyone who's potty trained a toddler knows that when they gotta go, they gotta go. I was at the park one day with my three-year-old daughter when I spotted a panicked friend—her son had to poop. There were no public bathrooms, and he couldn't make it more than ten feet without having an accident. With super human speed I raced to my car, grabbed our portable potty and returned just in time for little man to pop a squat in the middle of the park. Crisis averted." —Aimee Cooper
"I've saved the day at many a toddler party with my pizza scissors. There is nothing worse than cutting pizza for 20 toddlers with a plastic knife and fork on paper plates. When I break out my scissors—which are housed in their own little carrying case—I feel like they're my secret weapon." —Kelly Monks
"A few months ago my husband and I were heading to dinner with our two sons. It was later than we normally eat and everyone was cranky. I was rushing the boys through the parking lot and into the restaurant and when we got to the hostess stand, my six-year-old son Charlie wasn't with us. We looked back and he had stopped to hold the door open for an older couple coming in. They came over to say what a gentleman we were raising, and whatever we were doing, to keep it up. It made our night, our day, our year." —Katie Leahy
"I was recently flying solo with my almost-two-year-old and four-year-old sons to Florida. The baby was in my lap, my older son had his own seat, and as the woman occupying the third seat approached our row, she quickly flagged a flight attendant to switch seats. Another woman sits down and appears very annoyed to have won us as seatmates until my younger son decided to break the ice and said something to make her laugh. Both boys were quiet as could be during the flight, watching movies and snacking the whole way. When we landed, the woman sitting next to us loudly declared how precious and well-behaved my boys were, so that even our former seatmate could hear. It made me feel proud." —Jenna Jefferys
"I fell in love with the idea of getting two antique twin beds for my son's room, as one bed could be for him and another for his cousins or friends during sleepovers. After scouring estate sales for months I found the perfect pair and brought them home only to realize that antique beds are totally irregular in size. Soooo, I had to find someone who makes custom-sized mattresses to fit the frames. The whole process took two years, and when I first put the bedding on those sweet little beds, I swear I was having heart palpitations I was so excited. My vision finally became a reality and I still find myself popping in there at night to admire the most perfect pair of beds I've ever seen." —Tara Anderson
"We were at a festive summertime block party way (way!) back, and my oldest daughter was almost three. Kids were running around playing, parents were sipping wine. Around 7:30 p.m., just as most of the kids were ramping up on a sugar high, my daughter walked over to our group of adults and said, 'Mommy, I'm ready to go to sleep.' I think our friends were even more stunned when my husband took her inside to tuck her in and returned about five minutes later, fait accompli!" —Mitra Sorrells
"When my daughter Anne was about 8 years old, she bumped into an elderly gentleman in the pool at our athletic club and unbeknownst to me, apologized for doing so. That elderly gentleman came over later and told me that I was doing a great job raising my child. Later I found out that the gentleman was not always happy about sharing the pool with all the kids while trying to do laps, so really it was a huge compliment—plus he was Senator John Kerry's dad!" —Donna Di Lillo