Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Say Nothing...

Every mother has had that moment in the grocery store when your toddler melts down in a pile of tears and fit throwing.

Oh how quickly some of us forget…

We get rude looks and mean comments from complete strangers. Most of which are women… More than likely a mother herself. Like I said, how quickly some of us forget. (Parents with a “perfect” kid(s) are almost the meanest)

In this post are a few real stories that happened to me with my kids, or should I say with my Emily. (If you have not read my post about Emily, click here to get to know her better)

If you know Emily you know she is dramatic, passionate, loud and a little on the wild side. To clarify – This is her personality and I love it! She will do great things. She is just young and needs guidance. My husband and I are doing our best to guide and raise her to be the best she can be. People don’t understand this. All they see is an “out of control” child. They don’t stop to think ‘maybe they are having a bad day’ or ‘maybe they have a disability’ or even ‘kids will be kids’… Instead they make rude side comments like “man, she’s difficult” or “Glad she’s not my kid” or “You sure do have your hands full” or “I can’t believe you let your kid scream like that” Yes someone confronted me in the store about my daughter screaming. Emily was crying because I wouldn’t give her what she wanted (crackers), so she threw a fit. That women who said to my face that I was a bad mother for letting my kid scream like that, made me cry. I know what I was doing was right (not giving in) but I didn’t understand how someone could be so mean to a complete stranger. As I was checking out the cashier saw my tears and asked what was wrong. I said a lady just yelled at me because my daughter was crying. She was shocked and gave me a tissue. She told me I was a good mom. This girl couldn’t have been more than 18 years old and more than likely not a mother, but she was my savior that day.

Another time we were checking out and a cashier rudely raised her voice at Emily to get off the cart. Emily was hanging on the side of the cart. This shocked me. My jaw dropped and I had no words. Luckily I did not have to check out. My husband did not hear her over the craziness of the store. I should have complained to a manager but I was still in shock and didn’t think of it until the next day.

Unfortunately I have even had family make rude comments about my daughter. Even they don’t fully understand her... That is the hardest on me. When people I love and care about say something not only about my mothering ability but my daughter as well, it hurts. I am not made of stone. I have emotions and I know how to use them and I use them well (too well sometimes). Most of the time I bite my tongue but my face will tell you everything you need to know. I don’t believe in hiding my emotions but on the other hand I don’t like to be mean, so I keep silent. This has causes others to walk on me.

I can honestly say I am doing the best I can at being a mom. I love my kids, I don’t spoil them, I play with them, I teach them things, I sacrifice extra money (and my sanity) and stay home to be with them, I let them be kids (before I know it they will be grown up), I encourage imagination, I let them help in the kitchen and I read to them. I do lose my temper at times and raise my voice, but I don’t let my anger control me or my actions. I don’t party, I don’t beg for a babysitter to go have drinks with friends, I don’t give them soda or coffee, I don’t spend hours on my phone/computer ignoring them, the TV is not on all day and I set a timer for video games. So when my parenting style gets looked down upon, it hurts. It hurts a lot. And I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that feels this way.

I know very well that I am not (nor are my children) perfect. In fact I am far from it. Sometimes the TV gets left on for hours… I am not a healthy eating mom and I occasionally feel like locking myself the bathroom just to escape from the madness. My house is NEVER clean and most of the time the clean clothes stay in baskets for over a week… My kids are loud and do a lot of running around. I can’t even tell you how many people (even other moms) hate this about my kids. Forgive me for letting my kids be kids! At least I’m teaching them when it’s ok to be loud and when we need to be quiet.

Sorry… I had a mom-rage moment… Ha!

Ok, where was I.

Oh yeah! I’m not perfect.

I’ll end with this:
It’s hard being a mom. We have enough guilt with feeding them greasy fish sticks for lunch, scrabbling out the door and forgetting one kids coat and another kids shoes and the other kid just ate an old chicken nugget they found under the car seat, and you realize you forgot to put a bra on once you pull into the parking spot… The last thing we need is a stranger giving us a hard time. So before you send off judgmental looks or rude ‘keep it to yourself’ comments maybe you could instead shoot a smile their way or give a look of empathy. Words can hurt. Even words with good intentions, like “she sure is a little firecracker” can come across as hurtful. So be careful.

Like a cute little bunny once said “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Blessings to you and thanks for reading!

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