The quote “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.”Although the original context of that quote doesn’t relate to my situation, the words never rang more true than this week as I was trying to manage grocery shopping, my million worries about the house/life/family/etc., trying to ensure all my coupons were aligned to my purchases and, oh, lest I forget my lovely but bordering “three-anger” daughter.
I love her to pieces (as most moms do for their children) but this week I have felt I am constantly disciplining her and her refusing to listen (It’s literally like arguing with yourself). It then all boiled up as she did the exact opposite of what how you are to behave in a public place throughout the entire store. As we rounded the corner into the laundry aisle I asked her once again to walk next to me so she wouldn’t block the aisle. Instead of just moving she stomped off, shot me the ultimate of side-eyes, and declared “NO!” for all to see.
Or at least that’s how I felt.
As the final straw broke my inner camel’s back I tried to bury my head into my coat and cry it out. I didn’t want my daughter to see as that would only upset her more but being a human being, I also didn’t want anyone else to see and suffer the embarrassment. So underneath my hat and coat I let out the ugly cry as silently as I could. It wasn’t pretty.
And that is when a stranger approached me to see if everything was okay. This guy didn’t know me and probably had errands to do but took 5 minutes to let me cry on his shoulder and assured me that I was wrong in labeling myself a “mean mom”. Sometimes we are all so busy in life and we just keep going that it’s hard to recognize when we need each other, even if we don’t know one another. But the times we are able to are probably more significant than we give credit to. After he left I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I was able to comfort my daughter and start a new right next to the Tide. We moved on and completed our trip with minimal hiccups. Don’t get me wrong, in typical 3-year-old fashion my daughter still acted up. But the difference was I able to handle it improved dramatically because someone just took a few minutes out of their (just as) busy day to help me out.
I hope my thank you was enough to let that man how much he was appreciated and perhaps someday he will find this post (you never know). I hope to be a brief source of kindness for someone else who needs it someday as well. Most of all I hope I most moms, including myself, realize that it’s okay to lean on others and accept that it’s okay to feel down about your parenting but that doesn’t actually there is something wrong with it.