Last year around this time, at a Women’s Fair a young mom rushed out as one of her four kids throws the tantrum of the century, after having sat in the stroller like a champ for a couple of hours. Outside, in the parking lot, three of the kids run off. She rounds up two of them, leaves baby in stroller, & is frantically looking for the last one. Finally a female security guards asks her, ‘Is this your kid?’ The mom is obviously upset, embarrassed and tired. As she takes her kid, the security guard (around 60 yo) says, “Hey lady, take better care of your kid”.
The mom yells back, “Better care of my kids?! DO YOU NOT remeber what is was like when you had young kids?!!!” A bystander (in her 50’s) chimes in, “You should be grateful we found your kid, we could call the police on you”.
The Mom looses it and begins yelling at bystander, angrily…”WHY can’t you be supportive and understanding INSTEAD of belittling and shaming a young mother!?! NO, no! SHAME ON YOU!”
A few people walked by as the argument unfolds. The young Mom leaves, crying angry tears toward her car, with all four kids in tow.
Also this young mom is me.
This was not the first time this had happened. The year before, we lost M while at the beach with our whole family (five adults ‘watching’ all of the nieces and nephews) and one still managed to wander off. An older mom yelled at me half way down the beach seeing that I was the mom of the little boy she found, telling me I am an ‘unfit and a terrible mother’ and I just took in her words, silently crying in shame. I just took it. In fact, I even thanked her meekly and said, “You’re right, I am sorry.”
A mom is already flooded with worry/fear/anger/embarrassment when she loses a kid. And let’s be honest, it’s not terribly negligent to lose a child- they have a mind of their own. I find some older moms tend to forget how hard this young childhood phase of life was. The hate and judgement is rough. It took me many months to get back my confidence as a mom after the ‘beach incident’ because it shook me to my core.
I vowed to never let anyone berate me like that ever again. I had revisited the beach incident in my mind a thousand times and had rehearsed how that should have turned out instead. So when those women did the very same thing the next year, my usual meekness did not get in the way and the words spilled out with such eloquence, I impressed myself!
Motherhood is tough, don’t take on the rude or hateful comments from anyone: strangers, friends, or family.
When motherhood seems impossible, remember Phil. 4:13, I can do all things through Christ. Because you can & you are doing it!
By the way, the ‘bystander’ at the fair came to my car 5 minutes later after I truth bombed her and she offered me money and an apology. I accepted the apology, turned down the money, and asked her to please just leave me alone. She is hopefully more gracious to the next young mom she sees struggling.