Flash Friday – To the Moms

Today I had the opportunity to get out of the house with all five kids for an activity more fun than grocery shopping (usually the only reason we get out, at least in the winter).  Our local theaters are running a special Disney series for a few weekends in a row, and today’s movie was The Little Mermaid.  Everyone had a good time, but Bug was his usual active and antsy three-year-old self.  The following thoughts often cross my mind when I have him out in public, or on those rare instances when I am out alone and see other moms with young children and babies.

To the Mom…

In the theater (of a movie intended for young children):
Whose baby was fussy during the movie;
Whose four year old had to go to the bathroom several times;
Whose preschooler kept talking loudly;
Whose toddler kept yelling out because he didn’t want to sit in his seat;

In the store:
Whose small children are noisy;
Whose baby just can’t calm down no matter what you try;
Whose toddler is having a meltdown in the cart, despite the fact that he’s not tired or hungry;


To all of you:

Don’t worry about what everyone else in the store thinks.
Ignore those dirty looks from people that you are sure are thinking, “Can’t they even quiet their own child?”
or, “Don’t they know better than to bring their child here without a nap?”
or, “That child just needs a good spanking.”

IF people really are thinking those things, they’ve obviously never had children, or don’t remember their own children at those ages.  And their unpleasant thoughts are THEIR problem, not yours.  And if anyone dares say anything, you can just tell them to mind their own business.

For my part, I want to thank you for doing the best you can with your kiddos, all the time, and especially in these difficult situations.  Here’s why: every time I see another mom with fussy or noisy or melting-down small kiddos and babies, it makes me feel a little less alone in this Mommy world where feelings of frustration and helplessness and “please-just-tell-me-what’s-wrong-so-I-can-fix-it!!!” are all too prevalent.

So every time I see you, I try to catch your eye and share an encouraging smile.

Because I hope that when one of my kiddos is having a moment like that, you feel a little less alone, too.



16 comments for “Flash Friday – To the Moms

  1. January 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Great post! I am obviously childless right now but I love interacting with kids in stores. Especially the friendly ones. I feel bad when parents have to deal with a tantrum but hey, we were all kids once. Plus that’ll be me one day so no use in being negative. I don’t see how people being nasty is productive anyway in that situation.

    • January 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Glad to see you already have this attitude ;-).

      And for the record, I know you will be a wonderful mother! <3

      • January 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        Thank you

  2. January 24, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    I wish I had been as sweet to my own littles as I am to others’, now. I did wise up, when they were 7 and 4….but I was much more concerned with what other people thought of me as a mother when they were very small.

    So, I try to help other moms of small ones out, to give them a glimpse of sweetness that they probably don’t get enough of. Maybe it’ll help them to care a little less about how they’re seen, and be OK with their children being – well, children! =D

    • January 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Moms need more people to respond this way :-).

  3. January 23, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I often wonder about the best way to give encouragement in these situations without intruding. I given gentle smiles. How about a smile with a wink? If there seems to be time, I might say what someone told me all those years ago: The days are long, but the years are short.

    • January 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Personally, if someone smiles at me, it’s enough. It’s the opposite of a glare and to me, conveys the opposite meaning. 🙂

    • January 24, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      I often smile at the little one and say hi, then look at mom, and say, “It’s hard being little (or shopping, or waiting, or something else)” If the child is a little older, I often have stickers in my bag, and I offer those – the kids often like to deliver them, when the other kids are a little older, and maybe Mom’s frazzled to the point of being less than sweet with them. It’s non-confrontational, and usually shifts the energy.

      With very little ones, just smiling or playing peek-a-boo helps a lot. Many toddlers like to be invited to chat, or to be complimented on their clothes or a toy.

  4. January 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Really like this post. I have a few friends and family members who repeatedly claim children are terrible and should be banned. They seem to forget that they were children at one point and I doubt they were angels.

    • January 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Precisely. And good point: Even if you don’t have kids, you WERE one. Thanks!

    • January 24, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      That always bugs me – because we are all children. Kids can’t help eing kids – but adults could help being intolerant and ageist….

      And then I wonder how these people were treated when THEY were kids. Probably, not so very sweetly….

      • January 25, 2015 at 7:08 am

        I wonder about that too. Though I see a lot of kids being raised as little adults. Very odd for me to see a parent blatantly try to snuff out a child’s imagination. I’m talking as young as 5 too.

  5. January 23, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I wish I had read this when I was a mother of younger children. Thank you! <3

    • January 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      I wish I had written it when my older ones were younger ;-). <3

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