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Last weekend I was out shopping with my strong willed, almost three year old little girl. Our first stop was the dollar store.  I hadn’t been out of the house much that week, so I was taking my time. Just enjoying being out of the house and having some one on one time with my baby girl.

She was over it about have way through the store. She wanted to go home. She wanted to walk. She wanted to ride. I tried giving her something to eat. Something to drink. I even bribed her with new sunglasses. To no avail. By the time I got to the register, she was in full hysterics. I had to literally pick her up off the ground.

I walked up to the only open (of course) register at the same time as an older lady. She only had one item and my cart was full. I told her to go ahead as I’m trying to calm my crazy, curly headed little tantrum thrower. (Who was now upset I wouldn’t let her get more Minnie Mouse stickers. Thank you Dollar Tree for putting those up front.)

That sweet lady tried to let me go ahead of her.

I of course told her no way, she only had batteries. My cart was full with $26 worth of crap. And why would she want to stand behind me as I load up all that crap up on the belt, while holding my almost 40 pound crying toddler??

Because she was a mom who had been in my shoes a few times before. (Now a grand mother who has a grandson the same age as Savanna.) I learned this as she helped me unload my cart. Yup. She helped me unload all my stuff onto the belt. She commented on Savanna’s beautiful curly hair and tried to talk to her. (Savanna wasn’t having it, but it was a sweet gesture.) She told me I was a good mom and that this stage wont last long. She was so sweet and her kind gesture was refreshing.

But I have to admit, in the moment I was a little annoyed. I was trying to keep my cool while dealing with the madness my little fit thrower was causing. I was feeling very anxious because I knew we still had to go to Wal mart. That sweet lady was just trying to be nice and offer a helping hand and I was annoyed with her. I was annoyed that she kept trying to talk to Savanna, even though Savanna wanted no part in it. I just wanted to get out of that store and she was slowing me down.

It wasn’t until a couple days later when I thought back on the incident, that I became grateful for that helping hand. How sad is that??

It got me thinking about all the times I’ve been overwhelmed with one or both my kids and someone offered a helping hand or kind words of encouragement.

I could only think of one other time.

airport
                 Right before I braved that flight with these cuties, alone.

I was on a airplane with both kids, alone. We were on our way back from my parents house in Oregon. The kids were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. They were tired and cranky. My tablet or phone wasn’t keeping them occupied anymore. I was overwhelmed and feeling quite defeated.

I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and then two angels appeared.

Those angels were the two women across the isle from us. They were partners, in case you were wondering. They offered to see if Savanna would sit with them,but of course my shy little girl wouldn’t. They then offered the kids a lollipop and they were both happy for a good 15 minutes.

Those ladies then went on to tell me how I was doing a great job dealing with them. They told me they had adopted three children and fostered countless more and that neither one of them had ever flown with children. And that I was very brave for doing so.

Their kind words of encouragement was exactly what I needed in that moment.

Without them, I am not sure I would have been able to keep my cool much longer.

_Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver._

Aside from a few “I feel your pain” smiles from other mom’s, those were the only two incidents where I could recall someone going out of their way to help me when I was clearly struggling with my babes. Upon realizing this, I decided I wanted to ask other parents if they have had any experiences similar. So I did. I received some very inspiring responses.

And some pretty funny ones too.

My sister told me a story about when my nephew was little (he’s now grown with two of his own kids…jeeze.) Her and one of her good friends (at the time) took my nephew and his little friend to the mall for pictures with Santa. Of course the lines were long and there were tons of people. My sisters friend’s son was over it and wouldn’t stop throwing a fit. His mom finally told him if he didn’t stop she would sell him right then and there. Well, a lady after my own heart over heard her say this to the poor boy. She stepped in asked “how much? I’ll take him off your hands right now!” Needless to say both boy’s were on their best behavior from that point on, they did not want to be sold!

My good friend Sam had this to say:

“My son was (maybe) two years old and in a time where we were struggling in our little apartment, I was 22, going to school full-time and raising my little boy, just the two of us.

The lines at Target were incredibly long due to the Christmas rush… We finally approached the cashier who rang everything up. I didn’t have enough money to pay for everything we had so I began putting items we didn’t absolutely need back. This included some snacks and two packs of $12 sippy cups, among other things. These two ladies behind us just weren’t having it and asked me to hold on while they paid for all of it while my kid was rummaging through the end cap.

They were so nonchalant and wanted nothing in return. Trying to hold down a household alone is hard both financially and emotionally, I (obviously) cried a few years of joy.

They hugged me, both whispering “God Bless you, Merry Christmas” in my ear and sent me on my way.”

Claire shared something she witnessed:

“I was at work before starting maternity leave and my cafe has big glass windows. Outside across the mall there is a seating area. I watched this Mum (alone) trying to cajole her (2-3?) little girl into her stroller while the girl had an epic meltdown. It was clear this mum was having an awful day, she looked so stressed out and broken, just utterly defeated and you could just see by her face she was about to cry.  My heart was breaking for her but I couldn’t leave work. then I saw this young woman (who it was clear she did not know) approach her, help her strap her girl in, then sit and hold her for at least 20 minutes while she cried and they had a good chat. She was obviously offering some real support and I was so happy to watch this unfold because I knew it would just have turned that poor mums day around, possibly helped her find new strength to cope moving forward.”

I truly wish I would have gotten some more responses to share with all of you!

Its always so inspiring to hear about good people doing good things!

Has someone ever offered a kind word of encouragement when your toddler was having a melt down in Target? Or helped you load your grocery’s while your trying to keep your baby from grabbing all the packs of gum? Tell me about it in the comments! I would love to do a follow up post with a ton more inspiring stories!!

I would also like to add that this is the first post I am posting on my new site! And I am very excited! I am so in love with it and I cant wait to keep building it! Don’t forget to subscribe so you can keep up with whats going on!

XoXo

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4 thoughts on “When Strangers Step in and Help a Struggling Momma”

  1. Thank you for writing this! Also, thank you so much for featuring my little story!
    I must admit, I’ve been on a link party craze this weekend, my first attempts as i’m still a newbie, and I’ve joined about 4/5 now in the space of 3 days.
    I found this post through #bloggybrunch It wasn’t until I read the story I shared with you on facebook that I realised, hey, it’s you! Just goes to show how blogblind i’ve gone after my linky frenzy, eh? I’ll have to have a proper look at the blog now 😉 xx

    1. Claire! I am so happy you found the new site! I just looked around your blog and it seems we have a lot in common. I signed up as follower! I look forward to connecting with you in the future!

  2. Oh my goodness, I’m so emotional. I totally started tearing up reading about the lady helping you at The Dollar Tree. I’m a sucker for a goodhearted person, but I know what you mean about feeling annoyed at the moment. It’s almost like you could cry when someone’s trying to be kind, and you don’t want to; you don’t want their pity, but some people are truly empathetic and it’s really nice to receive that. Even if it takes a few days to realize that. The world needs more empathetic people. Less judgers.
    Thanks for sharing with us at #MMBH.
    xoxo

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