Be the Mom That “Gets It”

White and purple Flower - Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

 

Yesterday was “that day” for me in this, life of the mom of three kids ages 6 and under… The kind that I’m sure most moms can relate to in some way.

It had been entirely too stressful of a week. G’s birthday was on Monday. There were treats for school, birthday parties x 2 to plan, and a bunch of other things that may not seem like a big deal (and in retrospect they weren’t), but they were overwhelming at the time. It was a week where I felt like I was treading water (and sinking) the whole week. One where at no point did I feel like I was ahead, and one where I felt like I was struggling on all accounts to be the mom that I strive to be. Now, I have felt totally and completely overwhelmed before, but usually it just ends with a weekend to recoup. This was a little bit more…

Let me say that C and G are SO easy at this stage in their lives. They honestly are just the best kids ever. Not that H is not, he just happens to be 18 months old. Anyway, Saturday we had my nephew’s First Holy Communion. H and I went to the service while the rest of the gang hit the T-ball diamond for practice. Let’s just say that we sat in a pew at the church service for all of 120 seconds. That was it. He wanted to run, so I played outside with him while he fought me on holding my hand, and pointed and motioned towards things sans words, and threw himself down on the ground temper-tantrum-style at least 100 times in that hour.

But that’s about par for the course for this toddler, and all was good – we made it through. I was glad to be there even for just those 2 minutes because I adore my nephew and he was excited for the day.

Then we had the party after. Let me set the scene for you…an 18 month old in a non-baby-proofed house with no nap at 2 o’clock. Not a very happy sight. Thankfully Ben had gotten there with the other two and was taking over on H chasing duties. Of course, H gets hungry at the party, and though I had brought all the snacks in the world, I didn’t bring a main course for him. The event’s caterers were so nice and knew all about what was peanut allergy-friendly and not, so I chose a few items, made a plate for myself and headed out to feed him. I should have known what was going to happen next because H tends to be a very stubborn lil’ buddy and has a fairly strong temper, but I sat down and attempted to get him to eat on my lap. That is when it happened, the culmination of the week. H grabbed the glass dish and chucked it all over my brother’s beautifully paved patio, and the gorgeous wicker porch furniture as well. I jumped up and didn’t even know where to start. Hummus, chicken in a red sauce, guacamole…perfect. My brother rushed over to help with white linen napkins and assured me (tears streaming down my face at this point) that it really was not that big of a deal, that he had a hose and a dog and it was absolutely fine. While so incredibly nice of my brother, it wasn’t the plate, it wasn’t the embarrassment of splattering food over that previously spotless patio. It was just the week, the day, the chasing, the constant redirection, the frustration, and the nervousness of what my 18 month old could and would do to their beautiful house.

Then something else happened. Something small, but unexpected and wonderful. There was woman, a mother, standing not more than 10 feet away eating with her older children and husband at the table next to us. She sprung into action, looked at me and said, “It’s all right.” She grabbed napkins, took over, cleaned up. As her daughter offered to chase H around for a bit, she gave up her seat so that C (who was eating with us at the time) and I could sit down. I started chatting with C, calming myself down, and she came outside with a plate of food made up for me, because I need to eat too. She got it. She didn’t have to say a single word, she just got it.

At that moment, I knew that I wasn’t “just crazy”, that she at some point in her motherhood had felt this too. It felt good to know that I wasn’t alone. It felt good to know that she had my back even if it was just through a look. And it meant the world to me in that moment.

This wasn’t the first time that mom power came into play and rescued me from my emotional self.

There was the time in Disney when another mom came up to me as I was nursing H, cowered in a corner somewhere and said, “You are doing a wonderful job and if someone even looks at you differently, you tell them to go to hell.”

Or the time when I was grocery shopping and 9 months pregnant with G when C decided to throw a tantrum just as we walked into the checkout line. The woman behind me gazed at me with that we have all been there look.

And the time when I called a friend just to hear that she too knows exactly how I feel, that we have all been there, and that is what she told me because she knew that is what I needed.

But…there are also times when I have been in a situations where just the opposite has come through. Times where I have felt completely judged. Last year G started screaming at the pool because he asked me for a chocolate popsicle and after I got it for him, he decided that he wanted an orange one like his sister and proceeded to scream at me, saying how mean I was and that I was the worst mom ever. As I silently packed everything up to leave, balancing an infant in my arms, every single person in that pool stared at me as I walked out as if those things my son had just said must be completely true. And this year I got the death stare from many patrons of a local grocery store because I shopped with a screaming toddler in the cart because I refused to give him the toy he wanted that was hanging vertically in one of the isles.

I strive to be the non-judgmental mom. The one that is giving the looks of understanding. That mom that “gets it”. We have all been there, each and every one of us. We have all started off motherhood thinking that we had it nailed before we even changed our first diaper. While our first was in utero, thinking that we knew exactly how we would handle situations when it was our child having a fit in public. We have all been terribly wrong. We have all been there.

I can’t say that I always know what to do or say in a situation where a complete stranger is having a difficult time with their children, particularly when it is a behavioral issue, but I can say that not staring, or if appropriate, giving that look of understanding may be nice. It may be just enough to get them through their day, the day that probably started much before the incident at hand.

The next time your friend has a bad day, listen. Offer something, even if it is just a story about your worst day. Make her feel that she isn’t the only one. Because she isn’t

Be the mom that doesn’t judge, be the mom that “gets it”. We need more of those moms out there. We are hard enough on ourselves…we don’t need it from everyone else too.

Because I love connecting with other, this post is linked to Thoughtful Thursday.

I am finding Motivation Monday incredibly inspiring and motivating! Started by Barb Hoyer from A Life in Balance and Stephanie from Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom, I have enjoyed reading this link-up for a long time now. It is a great way to start the week!

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Please link up your post here! A post that motivates you to be a better you, a better person. This inspiration is different for all of us, some are on a physical journey, some on an emotional one, either way, share your motivation with us…we would love to read! Read through some others that are linked up. You never know where you will find some words of wisdom or even an encouraging idea.



 

About Lauryn Blakesley


A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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Comments

  1. I love those parents that give you the “we’ve been there, just breathe” look. Thank goodness for them! Hope this week is off to a better start!
    Becky recently posted…April 2013 Garden UpdateMy Profile

  2. Great post! I try so hard to be that mom that helps. It means so much to someone who feels like she, in that moment, is dropping all of the balls. That look of knowing goes such a long way.
    stephanie recently posted…VTech InnoTab 2 Baby {review}My Profile

  3. Great post, Lauryn! I totally relate. It’s funny you mention the supermarket- I swear, you will get looks from people if you DO give in to the screaming toddler and just as many looks if you DON’T give in! You can’t win!!!
    Lindsay recently posted…Wife Guilt!My Profile

  4. Those moments seriously mean so much, don’t they? I hope to be that mom for the rest of my life. That mom has saved me from numerous meltdowns myself. From standing my ground against a temper tantrum in Walgreens to dropping things as I’m carrying the baby and groceries to my car. Moms have stepped in. Thank God for Moms!
    carrie recently posted…A Nautical Baby Shower and Giveaway!My Profile

  5. Love this, and I try really hard to live it. I know when I’m in public and see another Mom struggling with a child having a tantrum, I always try to help or at the very least offer a “I hope your day gets better.” When you’ve lived the public autism tantrum, believe me, you “get it” when you see it happening to other families.
    Lisa recently posted…Don’t just survive~thrive at your next IEP meetingMy Profile

  6. Thank you for this post. We all need the reminder that we are not alone in having “those” days. Also, not to judge other moms because we certainly have all been there.

  7. You know, I have tried to be that mom in public sometimes, when a younger mother looks like she’s about to jump off a bridge — and sadly, they act like I should mind my own business. I’m glad you had a positive experience!
    Nicole @ One Punky Mama recently posted…Childhood Obesity, We’re Lovin’ ItMy Profile

    • Well, whether they appreciated it then or not, at some time they will look back and realize your intentions were the best I hope! Keep being that mom though because at some point, one of those young moms will be so happy you were!

  8. Every mom has been there at some point and I think we need to support and encourage each other to get through the rough spots!
    Jeanine @MommyEntourage recently posted…Wal-Mart’s White Cloud Diapers are Cottony Soft and AffordableMy Profile

  9. Isn’t it wonderful when we can appreciate each other and offer one another some compassion? That’s how it should always be…
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted…Which One Is The Good Mom?My Profile

  10. Jeanine said exactly what I wanted to say! I loved hearing about the mom that helped you, and her daughter, too. Hugs!
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted…motivation monday: time for re-assessmentMy Profile

  11. Please oh please be the nonjudgemental mom!! As the mom of a child with autism, and another witha different learning disability, I can’t tell you what I’ve been through – almost all of it with family, so we stopped visiting them for a number of years. The time my kid got blamed for a cat pee incident; the time my kid put her unfinished chip back in a bowl and got “the Look”, while I got the stink eye; the time my kid was entirely too rough with teeny, micro-sized dogs. (Shih tzu’s, I believe they are called.) The time a couple next to us called me a “bad mother” because my daughter was making happy sounds in a loud restaurant. ALL of that pain was made up by getting treated with dignity, respect and kindness just ONCE in a blue moon, so I always smile at the parents who’s kids look to be a handful for whatever reason. You have the power to TRULY make a mom’s day.
    Gina B recently posted…#Mamavation Mondays: The Fast Metabolism Diet #adMy Profile

  12. This is sooooo true to my life on any given day. A fellow parent chipping in and making you feel like you are not completely failing in the moment makes a huge difference. Those people with the parental stink eye – I have no words for them.
    Heather S. recently posted…A Walk in the Park with the New Graco Jogging StrollerMy Profile

  13. I can TOTALLY relate! I still feel like a NEW parent even with a 2 month old and an 18month old. It is hard not to feel judged but then I get other mothers who encourage and agree that they have all been in my spot. Thanks for such a thoughtful post.
    Noelle (@singerinkitchen) recently posted…A Blogger and Family Weekend in Lancaster CountyMy Profile

  14. Love it….and you know that I know. Moms are warriors. Godspeed to all. xoxox

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