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It’s been one of those days.

If you’re a mama, you know just what I mean.

Baby has been crying all day. Kid’s are rambunctious and loud and needing some extra attention, all while I’ve woken from three hours of sleep, THREE, to sooth a teething babe, and started the day a wee bit too tired. Meaning, within the first ten minutes I’ve wanted to cry. Bowls have broken and too many things have spilled. Too many. And of course patience, what is that?

It’s not one of those days where I can chuck a checklist out the door either. Though I’m a firm believer that there are days where the to-do’s need to be ditched, this just isn’t one of them because there are deadlines. And so it goes, my phone rings, I’ve forgotten calls, texts roll in, emails ding, there’s a knock at the door… and I’m using animal crackers to quiet little ones for just a few more minutes. Though it’s not really just a few more.

Of course this is where the guilt rolls in. Piled high and mighty on a plate for me to devour, and for awhile I start to. I know I’m not being present with my family. I know I’m barely pacifying them while I stare at a screen… and the more I think this way, the more I actually have to stare at the screen because my thoughts drift and take me away from the project at hand. The vicious cycle copy

I know that it’s just a couple of days in to #PROJECTlipstick, I can’t wane. I need to post, and though I haven’t showered or even thought about brushing my hair let alone thought about makeup yet (and it’s 3:30 in the afternoon!) I swipe on a red and smile for a few quick “lippies” before I run out the door to take my girl to karate. And you know what? In those moments, those brief few moments where I dare to wear something bold and smile through the gritted teeth that started my day, I hear the sound of little voices dancing and echoing near me. I don’t mean the kind of hearing that happens when I’m half focused and those little voices have to repeat a question three times before getting a legit answer, but I mean I hear them. I listen to the melody their sweet sounds create as they sing-song through imaginative play. I hear the harmony of their laughter as it twists and intertwines around itself. I see the beautiful strokes each noise leaves on the canvas of our day… and I continue to smile, though this time it’s for real.

“… all appears to change when we change.” ~Henri-Frédérie Amielphoto 1

So to you other mamas out there, smile. Don’t be afraid to realize how amazing you are. Even on what we consider our bad days, we can change the way we see the day with a smile. We can listen to the sounds of good that come from a day we wrote off as bad. We can create a new canvas.

You, my friend, are a good mama, no matter where you are on your journey of motherhood. Maybe you’ve been waiting for that moment that makes it all real, maybe you’ve lost, maybe you’re raising a brood or maybe you’ve got that special one you’re blessed to call your own… You have it in you already. Yes, we yell (it happens to all of us). Yes, we cry. Yes, we mess up and need to say we’re sorry. Yes, we fail. And yes, we love, we love something fierce.

I needed that reminder today. I needed a moment to smile and see the day with a new perspective. Of course I was still busy, and rushing (and still sat in the car to finish a project while Aliyah began her karate lesson without me), but the change that began in me continued to change the day around me. If you want to see a change in your day, let it start in you. Go ahead and cry, or clean or whatever let’s you “get it out” and then just smile. Smile until it’s love