If You’re A 2020, 2021, 2022 New Parent, Remember We’re All Still Learning

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“After two years of being closed, the local toddler gymnastics center recently opened classes back up.

The first time I took James, we both cried on the ride home.

He (well, we) got very overstimulated.

There were so many other littles.

He was excited but overwhelmed.

Happy but confused.

Wanting to run but wanting to cling to me.

It was rough.

Really rough.

A mom and her toddler son in a stroller out and about
Courtesy of Kelsey Pfleiderer

During the lesson, he grabbed a ball out of another little’s hands and started playing with it.

I took it back and gently gave it back to the other little, apologizing to him and his mom.

‘I’m so so sorry. 2020 baby and 2020 mom…we’re still learning how to socialize and share and just…everything.’

‘Hey. Aren’t we all?’ the Angel Mama Human said back with an ‘I’m On The 2020 Parenting Struggle Bus With You But We’ve Got This’ smile.

Anytime I push through a gymnastics lesson, play date meet up, longer than usual grocery store run, etc. with my Very Much Still Learning 2020 Mama Self and a Very Much Still Teaching Mama Everything 2020 James, I remember this woman offering these bits of hugs in word form.

A mom kneels next to her young son who stands on a dock
Courtesy of Kelsey Pfleiderer

If you too are a 2020, 2021, 2022 new parent, let’s *try to* remember together:

Don’t apologize for your little one.

Let your real life bring a smile to someone else.

We’re all still learning.

Most everyone will be far more gracious than you think.

(Save for the lady James so kindly ran up to and gave a friendly butt pat at the local bookstore…she was not. havin’. it.)

Maybe we should give ourselves the same space and grace to grow and learn and navigate it all as we do our littles.

And maybe we should, baby in tow or not, offer the same grace to everyone everywhere as we all step out into the newly reopened, New To Us experiences, with newborn deer legs.

Because we’re all just learning together, after all.”

A mom walks with her young son on a boardwalk
Courtesy of Kelsey Pfleiderer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kelsey Pfleiderer. Follow their journey on Instagram and FacebookDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your journey. Submit your own story here.

Read more stories from Kelsey here:

‘I know how much you loved him.’ I very much, actively, presently, LOVE him. That hasn’t stopped. It never will.’: Woman shares thoughts on grief after loss of ‘Papa’

‘I called her, sobbing. Her response? ‘I’m driving you. Do you prefer me beside you or in the waiting room? What can I bring over in the meantime?’: Mom shares true meaning behind ‘it takes a village’

‘I packed away my son’s newborn clothes last week. Tiny onesie by tiny onesie, my heart ACHED with thankfulness.’: Mom of rainbow baby will ‘never be sad’ when watching son grow

‘Someone commented on my postpartum appearance. I cried instantly. You have a choice, every day. Will you heal or will you hurt?’: New mom receives hurtful comment, ‘It did a number on my heart’

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