Just a typical afternoon jaunt to the grocery store until I found myself deep in a situation I didn’t expect……I was standing there in the snack aisle cheering on a fellow mom STRUGGLING with her kids. Perhaps to the chagrin of the other shoppers, but with every fiber of my being, I had to. Admittedly, I was a cheerleader way back when so this came naturally to me; but nevertheless, it was simply the right thing to do. If you have kids, you’ve likely been there….Mortified in aisle 3.
But why do we care what others think so much? And the bigger question, why does this make us reluctant to do the RIGHT THING for our kids who mean everything to us? Do the stranger’s opinions matter more? The same strangers that we will likely NEVER see again? It’s illogical. We know it too…. yet, we hesitate, we give in, we veer so far away from what we know to be true. All the while ensuring that the strangers around us are “comfortable”; yet, we are losing credibility in the eyes of our own children. The hearts and minds that we are tasked to shape. This is so disheartening but perhaps you can relate, because it happens to the best of us….
Boy do I remember those days…. one child in the cart, one child in the front pack, and one, very spirited kiddo, on the loose (hand on cart of course – well some of the time) Similar picture here today, this mama was struggling and out numbered and I could see the desperation written all over her face.
Apparently, I was meant to be buying my hubbies favorite chips at that exact moment in time. Untethered and with nothing pressing tugging at my time, I was clearly supposed to be her supporter today. And I did so willingly. So, I cheered for her. I told her it was ok and that she was doing a good job! I told her to stick to it! I told her that she could do it and NOT to give up or give in! I aimed to impart that we as parents understand that raising good human beings is often messy, and loud. That struggle was public for her today but I am hopeful, that in some small way, my presence and whispers of encouragement made it manageable.
Parenting is down right hard. Like every single day-HARD. Let’s not judge each other!! Whether friends or strangers, lets choose to support one another instead….and let’s do it relentlessly! Maybe that looks like letting your kids throw a fit and scream “bloody murder”(as my parents used to say) but gosh darn it, we are not budging on our expectations! Why? Because the lessons we are teaching (even in aisle 3) are incredibly important!!
This is the small stuff that lays the foundation for the bigger lessons to come. Life altering lessons!! So, stand your ground and do the right thing for yourself and for your child. By all means, be the “mean mom” and I’m certain that, although it may not seem like it, you’ve got supporters in the crowd. What’s more, you’ve got a kiddo that’s learning about life from a confident, “no longer mortified in aisle 3” kinda mom.
Lastly my friends, next time you see this struggle going down in front of you, don’t just walk by and sneer. Be kind, be supportive, and darn it, BE HER VILLAGE. That may just be what you both need in that moment.
With Big Much Love,