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We all need a mom squad

Katie Pinke

WISHEK, N.D. — In my 20 years of motherhood, I've never felt like I'm in the cool mom's club. In fact, there have been times my husband and I made decisions in the best interest of our children that caused us to stand out. Cookie cutter parenting is not for us. Thankfully, our kids don't know the difference. However, there are times when we need help — and it's in those moments when we find ourselves surrounded by other moms that we realize the value of a mom squad.

In the spring, our schedules fill up more than any other time during the school year. This past month, Anika participated in pee-wee wrestling and Elizabeth in volleyball. They also take piano lessons, play on a traveling basketball team and compete in 4-H archery competitions together.

One night this past week, after a day at work and school, my girls rushed home with their dad after practices to shower, and I hustled back home after a civic meeting to help them get ready for their elementary music concert. As a mom, I felt like I was winning. We sat down for a quick supper together. I was exhausted from the day, but the girls had on clean dresses, and I even had time to curl their hair.

The music concert was my moment to soak it all in and listen to cute kids sing songs for an hour and a half from the comfort of a folding chair on the gymnasium floor. The fifth and sixth grade bands played and a few classes sang on stage before our second-grade daughter's class of 25, the largest class in the school, filed on stage. The microphone was being passed down the line of students singing lines in a song when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

A friend from church and fellow mom said, "Elizabeth is in the bathroom with a bloody nose and needs you."

I stood up and followed the mom, who was carrying her young son. The mom also has a child in second grade. She didn't stop to watch her daughter say her line. She left the gymnasium to take me to my daughter who needed me.

Inside the bathroom, we found Elizabeth with a bloody nose, which she gets from time to time. There was blood on her new dress and on her face. Another mom was helping her.

Every day, our kids need us in small and large moments. This situation was really another ordinary moment. But this particular moment of motherhood is one I won't soon forget. I scrubbed the blood out of Elizabeth's dress. One of the other moms found a box of tissues so we didn't have to use scratchy paper towels anymore. We tipped back Elizabeth's head, put some pressure on her nose and the blood soon stopped. Before her class went onstage, she was cleaned up and ready to sing, with a handful of tissues in one hand, just in case.

I have attended a lot of school concerts in my years as a mother. Twenty years from now, I won't remember the songs the kids sang at this particular one. However, this concert will stand out because in a seemingly small moment of need, I felt like my child and I were surrounded by a mom squad — moms willing to miss their children on stage to help mine.

Moms (and dads) with children of any age need some extra love and support in different stages of parenting. Thank you those willing to be helpful and share your love and support in the everyday moments.

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