To The Mother of the Screaming Toddler…
Hey there Mumma, you know I see you. Of course you do because everyone else is looking too. You’re just trying to do your grocery shopping and everyone is staring.
You can hear their hushed whispers and you can see their judging looks. You know you’re doing everything wrong in their eyes.
But I see you. Yes, you. Not your toddler screaming but that look of sheer exhaustion on your face, the desperation you have to just get in, get the shopping done and get out. And that look of hope that maybe, just maybe, your toddler will calm down.
I can see you debate with yourself because you want to scold your toddler for being so naughty but you’re too scared of what others will think. Gosh you’ve even seen people recording videos on their phone of other parents in this situation.
So you just smile a little, forced, and ask your toddler in a sweet voice to calm down. Which you know is a waste of breath anyway. And you know there’s a group of people who are watching who will be judging you for not scolding your child.
You can’t win.
But I see you. I know that this isn’t a matter of winning or losing. It’s a matter of trying to just hold it together.
Because I know your child was probably behaving fine 10 minutes ago, I know you’re probably running out of food in the house and need to go shopping at some point, I know your toddler is probably late to his nap and is acting out, I know your toddler is probably just playing the situation – knowing he can test the boundaries while you’re out. I know. I get it.
And I want you to know – I see you. Not your toddler screaming. You.
And I wish so much we lived in a society that supported each other more. Where I could come up to you and tell you it’s okay – taking your shopping list and help you out. Where you had family you could rely on to watch your toddler so you could have a nap, or a shower, or just 5 minutes to pee without it becoming a spectator sport.
I want you to know I’m not judging you. And I want to tell off all of these women who are (maybe I will one day). Because rather than their judging they should be smiling at you. Because I would bet my bottom dollar they’ve been where you are too.
So among all of these women looking at your situation, and your screaming toddler, please know there’s at least one who see’s you. Who understands you, and who wants to tell you it’s okay.
Hold your head up high Mumma and don’t forget that bottle of wine on the way out.
A fellow Mother of a Screaming Toddler