We’ve all seen it.
The mom in the middle of Target with a cart full of screaming kids who looks like she wants to run away.
The mom trying to cross a street with a toddler whose little hand escapes hers for a moment, inciting pure panic.
The mom juggling groceries, diaper bags, and a baby, oranges spilling out from the bottom of a broken paper bag.
They’re painful to watch.
I saw one of those moments just last week, leaving CVS with my (in that moment) very peaceful, smiley baby. A mom struggled to get her two screaming, fighting children into their car seats on a very hot, humid day. She yelled, “STOP IT!” and slammed the car door. Then she crossed her arms on top of the roof of the car, and put her head down. I watched, feeling incredibly sorry for her, and then even worse as I noticed her shoulders start to shake.
Being a mom can be really, really hard. And the thing is, most of these women you see aren’t just stressed out because of their kids. I mean, some are for sure. But you never know what else is weighing on their minds in those moments. Maybe they’re sick. Maybe their kid is sick. Maybe their credit card was just declined while they were trying to buy milk. Maybe they fought with their spouse moments before. Maybe they were laid off from their job today. Maybe they were up all night with a teething baby and then had to work, completely exhausted. Maybe they haven’t had a moment to themselves, outside from a 5 minute shower, in a good, long time.
It doesn’t really matter what it is they are dealing with, whether life changing or seemingly trivial… because in that moment, when you are just DONE, it can feel like the walls are closing in.
The funny thing is, moms can also be the most critical of each other. We try so hard to juggle babies and jobs and cooking and cleaning and friendships and schedules…and yet, we are constantly pointing fingers. We point them over social media. We make passive aggressive comments in person. We give “helpful” suggestions.
JUST STOP IT.
Here’s a thought – I want to start a mama love movement. I want other moms who are struggling to know that I see them, I feel for them, I support them. I BELIEVE IN THEM. So I’m going to carry a card with me that I made this week, and I’m going to give it to a mom I see who looks like she needs someone to lift her up. It’s going to feel awkward, because I can be awkward and shy (I know I give off extrovert vibes, but it’s true). But I’m really going to commit to it. And I’m going to see how it goes. And maybe that mom will do it for another mom. And maybe we will start some cool, quiet revolution of moms who are committed to being supportive of each other instead of critical. I urge you other mamas to do the same… it doesn’t have to be the exact same thing as me. But get creative and see how you can show a little love in your own way this week.<3