Eight years ago, I left my full time teaching job to stay home to raise my daughter. Over the years my absence from the classroom was lengthened after the birth of my second daughter. This decision never came lightly, but I can wholeheartedly say I have never regret my decision to stay home to raise my children. While I wish I could candidly say it's been all rainbows and Rockwell moments, I don't think I could go that far. There's some witty quote about the hardest job you'll ever have just waiting to be thrown in here. I definitely have my fair share of hard days, but I guess how I choose to handle it varies differently from my experience today.
While I was running a few errands in the morning, I was walking down the aisle of a store when I came across this mother...
Let me break down what you are seeing. A mother on her cell phone talking so loudly, that I gathered she was speaking to her mother about the wonderful pillows she just found. The search was over for pillows! Woohoo! I wonder if she also told her mother she was sitting on those pillows in the middle of the aisle at the store blocking customers from walking by or how her daughter was being completely ignored. As you can see her two year old was destroying the end caps and pulling everything off the shelves. It wasn't until the toddler reached above her head for a pile of towels and a stack of soap dishes fell onto the little girls head, that the mother realized she had better go. I am sure you can guess who got yelled at for acting so stupid. Yes, the poor toddler.
When I first turned the corner and happened upon this mother so completely checked out, I honestly didn't know what to make of it. This grown woman, responsible for a young child, is lounging on the floor of a store while her daughter does what ever she wants to the store displays?!? In some ways I do get it, but that level of desperation for me is only reserved to the comforts of my own home. I can't quite wrap my brain around how any of the above photo is something that feels okay. How do you get to that moment of chaos and blatant denial? The other thing that really angered me about this mother is how her actions negate all the hard work the majority of us mothers put in with our children. It takes time, patience, and consistent effort to teach your children what behaviors are acceptable in the home and out in public. When my children don't cry in the checkout aisle because I won't buy them a candy bar, does one assume because I am lucky? No, it's because I do the work, every single day.
I wish this photo was the end of it, but unfortunately due to the size of the store and the acoustics, I proceeded to hear this same woman berate her toddler, who had now become tantrum enraged, for the next twenty minutes. While I may see or hear things everyday that I don't necessarily agree with, I typically just let it be. I don't like to judge another mother's decision for how she parents her child, rarely do I ever write about them, but this moment I simply couldn't shake. In this case, I'm still wondering if I should've asked her for a cup of tea. If I should've smiled at the little girl and handed her an age appropriate toy to distract her while her mother was busy.
The thought that is mainly on the forefront of my mind is, if it's this bad in public, how is life behind closed doors...