I'm on team mom

Jul 31, 2014

The other day I took my brood to the wonderland that is Target for our weekly supply run. You know, diapers, wipes, pull-ups, a skip and a hop through the home goods section, and who can forget a speed walk through the beauty aisles? The kids were good and in the cart with lollipops in hand (my secret weapon these days). After spending not so much time in there we made our way to the check out. As we got closer we heard the oh so familiar screams of a toddler, this time not mine. As I was unloading our cart full of goodies the screams where getting louder, I kept doing a double take to see if it was one of my opera singers. But no, it was the tortured soul next to us. She looked young, she was frustrated. She had been trying all the usual mommy tricks to calm down a real rager. Nothing was working! The people behind her decided they simply needed to move to another line. She was having a hard time keeping her child from escaping the carts belt of death, while simultaneously unloading her Target treasure trove. The cashier was getting visibly annoyed which was only making this mama fumble. She could feel the eyes of others around her. As if in that moment they were breathing down her neck, judging her every move from here until she could escape those magical automatic doors.

I kept unloading my things, then waiting for Ace to swipe my card at the machine. And I just felt so bad for her. The whole time I was unloading my things I was hoping we would get done before her so I could at least help her get her things out of the cart. She started to push her cart off just seconds before we did. You could tell she was just defeated. Her son still kicking and screaming. Ace said "do you think he wants a lollipop?". I was kind of thinking the same thing. But she made it out of the store. Parked just two cars away from us. As I was unloading my bags into the back of my car, I stopped. I decided to go right over to this complete stranger, I looked at her and smiled and said "don't worry we have all been there". She looked long and hard at me and took a deep breath, she said "I didn't think I could get out of there fast enough, he has never acted like that before, I am just so embarrassed". I tried to reassure her that there is nothing to be embarrassed about and the good thing is that she will probably never see these people again. Tantrum negotiation is an acquired skill, it takes time and not one person has mastered it yet. I was not trying to give her any advice because look at me, that would be laughable. Just tried to show her that she is not alone, no matter how many strangers might make her feel that way in the moment. 
an incredibly blurry picture of Ace throwing a fit. 
only to prove we were novices in parenting and photography.

I could have just went about my business, unloaded my things and went on with my day. But in that moment I kept thinking about my 22 year old self and the many times I just wanted to hide in a corner when Ace would show a public display of dissatisfaction. Did I look clueless? Absolutely. I was. I even feel that way three kids deep and about 200 public meltdowns under my belt. You feel like everyone is judging you, as if they really matter anyway. As if in that moment they would be doing something different. They wouldn't. It is a lonely place to be! I would have loved for someone to come up to me and say "it's okay", even if they were secretly thinking my child needs a straight jacket. We all wish we could be as calm as Beyonce in an elevator when a tantrum erupts, but that is not always the case. You get flustered, your fight or flight instincts kick in, you even find yourself trying to count how many diapers you have at home and whether or not sticking it out is even worth it. But from one mom to another, and another, and another, it's okay. So instead of judging, because let's be honest no one really has a horse in that race, just pick the winning team. Team mom. 


19 comments:

  1. That was very thoughtful of you to get out and tell her that. I know in times like that if someone told me that I would have probably hugged her. You made her day I'm sure. You're a good egg.

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  2. Love this! I get the most nervous in church when my kids are being wiggly squirmy crazy messes. I always hope that the people behind those eyes boring into the back of my head are saying prayers for me to be patient!

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  3. I bet you made her feel so much better though!

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  4. You are amazing! I know what you did made her feel better.

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  5. Yes yes yes! You wrote this post beautifully. I think more times than not, moms are worried more about what other people think than other people actually care. If that makes sense. Nonetheless, its stressful! My dad always makes a point when traveling in airports to offer to help mamas who are flying with babies alone or he simply stops to tell them "you are doing a good job." A little reassurance goes a long way!! Great job :)

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  6. Good job! That is so awesome that you went over to her and encouraged her! Love it :)

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  7. I love you. This made me cry! Hormones? I always try to smile at the moms with the crazies. Because it's true. We've all been there and it sucks.

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  8. This is sweet. I love this. The other day, I was picking up a prescription at an extremely busy pharmacy. I was holding Mattis, and he was being a whole new level of CRAY. Everyone in line in front of me just kept looking back at me while Dannika was asking me a million questions about who knows what. Finally, the gentleman in front of me insisted I cut in front of him....even though it was just one person up, and there were still a million people ahead of me, I was SO thankful!

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    1. Aww I love when people are willing to help out a mama in need!

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    2. That's awesome, 2 thumbs up!

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  9. Love, love, love this post!! Been there so many times! If I see moms having a hard time I always give them a sympathetic smile and nod because, been there!! I'm sure you made her day. And when people say, boy you've got your hands full...NOT HELPFUL! ;)

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  10. I LOVE that you went over to her to tell her it's ok! That is so kind and thoughtful, and you are so right. We have all been there and will be there again :) Anyone with kids of their own surely wouldn't be judging! Yay Team mom!! Loved this post :) xo

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    1. Thanks!! I can only hope the people giving her the side eye do not have kids. Because in that situation how can you not empathize with a mama?

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  11. I love that you went over. I've so many times wanted to comfort another mom!

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  12. LOVE THIS. And the way you described how she was likely feeling is EXACTLY how I feel when the same thing has happened to me. It is so lonely and you just feel on fire and sweaty, just dying to get to your car and away from all the eyes. The other day Piggie was having one of his lovely tantrums in a museum and I kneeled down to talk to him and he smacked me in the face lol. I was not laughing then cause everyone had to stare like they'd never seen a kid act out before, but man...I could've used a friend in that moment! I'm glad you walked over and said something to her.

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  13. I love that you took the time to go to her, and you probably turned her whole day around. Good going. We all need to do this more often. Team Mom, Yeah!

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  14. Love it!
    Because we all need to be reminded from time to time what a good job we're doing!!
    Amongst all the insinuations and glances screaming what a bad one we're doing!

    I wonder how gracious we are when we see a parent totally loosing it too? Are we right their, judging them. Or are they just human, and we happened to see the 1 time in 100 when they just don't have the energy to be calm, collect and reasonable any more!?

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