I saw you with your two kids at Target the other day. You were down one of the many makeup aisles. Your toddler was throwing a massive tantrum while your baby was crying, no scratch that, screaming! You were so patient trying to calm your baby and toddler at the same time. You looked a little frazzled trying to keep your cool, but you were very gentle and loving with your children. My oldest daughter made a comment about how “crazy” your child was acting. I reminded her that she acted that way while getting ready to leave the house that day.
As we walked passed you I wanted to tell you, I too have been there and you’re doing a great job, but I didn’t. I was worried that I would embarrass you, or that I’d upset you for getting involved.
I bet you went into Target to grab a few things thinking that you’d be in and out in no time. You looked a little tired, probably because you have a toddler and a baby. I remember those days. I’m sure you are not getting much sleep and at this point getting out of the house at all is an accomplishment; let alone getting through your Target run meltdown free.
As we continued our shopping I kept thinking about you and how although I don’t know you, we have a lot in common. I can relate to that exact situation you found yourself in. In fact, it happened to me one aisle over when my youngest was 3-months-old. It was horrible, overwhelming and embarrassing, and I will never forget it! I felt like a terrible mother. Both kids screaming, strangers staring at me, I wanted to cry and scream right along with them. But I didn’t, I stood there trying to calm my baby and toddler at the same time, just like you did.
While walking to my car I wished I had stopped and said something to you. I thought about going back in to see if I could find you. But my kids started to get restless and I knew if I went back in, I could quite possibly find myself in a similar situation.
While loading my bags into the back of our SUV I heard a familiar scream. When I looked up I saw you and your kids coming towards us. You stopped at the car next to us and I could tell you were frustrated. When you put your toddler in his carseat he started kicking and screaming louder than before. Once you finally got him buckled in you shut the door and went to load your bags. At that moment I said to you, “I know how you feel. I’ve been there too. You’re doing a great job!” You looked at me in surprise, your eyes filled with tears and you thanked me. I wanted to give you a hug but I didn’t want to be too pushy. As I went to get in my car you yelled over to me, “Thanks again, I really needed to hear that.” I smiled and said, “We’re on the same team. We need to support one another whenever we can.” We both got in our cars and drove off.
On the way home I couldn’t help but think about you, hoping that your toddler and baby calmed down so you could get a little peace. I also thought about our brief interaction. I really meant what I said. I wish more moms would band together. We are on the same team and all go through similar trials. I would have appreciated it if someone would have said something encouraging to me when I was in her situation, instead of giving me death stares.
After that day I decided that I am going to give words of encouragement to other moms as often as possible. Being a mom is a tough and thankless job. We give so much while expecting very little to nothing in return. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an outpour of support from our fellow moms? No matter where you’re at or what the circumstance, to know that you’re not alone? I think it would be amazing. All it takes is one person to make a difference. So be that person and make a difference in the day of a fellow mom!