This weekend has been rough. Which is probably embarrassing to admit since its only 3pm on Saturday.
My children have made it their mission to master the art of not listening and tantrum throwing in only a day and a half.
Now if you have kids i am sure you all have been there one time or another. The children just don't want to listen to anything you are saying. They are running around or talking back or crying for one reason or another.
In the comfort of our own home where we
Its when we are in public is when we die just a little bit inside.
Yesterday I was on the receiving end of those stares.
I had to "run" to the store for a few items (Is there even a "running to the store" with younger children?). I walked into that store not even remotely expecting what would happen in the fifteen minutes i was in that building.
My oldest decided that it was gonna "be cool" to walk backwards... almost getting hit by a cart. While my youngest was darting his way through the aisles... almost getting hit by a cart.
I told them both to either hold my hand or hold each other's hands and they let out the biggest whine/cry i have ever heard. I shuttered and so did aisle 7.
I grabbed my five items and we headed to the check out lane. And i have no idea what devils design the stores but WHY do they set up ridiculously expensive toys right at check out? I mean.. i know why but please have mercy on us.
The boys decided it was absolutely ESSENTIAL that they have the $6 cheapo cars... but momma is balling on a budget and that was not on the list. I calmly told them that they were not going to be getting those today. I did not even finish my sentence before my oldest dropped to the ground and started crying.
Luckily my youngest is easily distracted and he got oddly excited about the little table that pulled out at check out. So he kept pulling it out over and over again hitting me in the leg twice. And of course that inspired his greatest hits and so he decided to sing AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS. So loud i could barely hear the worker telling me the amount i owe.
I literally could feel the entire store staring and whispering. Nobody would say anything directly to me but i could hear the hushes and the dirty looks.
Finally it was time to leave, which should have brought me a relief... but it wasnt enough for my boys to misbehave in the store. Oh no... we have to make a show for everyone arriving to that store.
My youngest refused to get into the car and was screaming and crying. I had to force him down, as if he was a crocodile, to buckle him up. So many people just watched and i felt like a monkey in the zoo... but like they were watching me because of the wrong things i was doing and not for entertainment.
He cried the entire ride home.
And so did i.
So if you are a parent of younger children... you probably can relate. If you have kids who are a little older... you can probably remember.
I felt defeated and deflated.
And mostly... embarrassed.
All of those people were clearly judging my boys, judging me, judging my parenting, and probably judging how i handled the situation.
When i got home and my boys were all happy again and playing i vented to my amazing online community about this horrifying event. I just wanted to have someone who could tell me i wasn't alone and ask for advice for the future (consensus was to put them in the cart!)
One momma said this: "They don't know anything about your life, struggles, worries, or all the great moments, all they see is the current situation."
I hear often when we are talking about others judging that they don't know our struggles. They don't know that your child may have sensory issues or is autistic. They don't know that your child didn't take a nap that day or that your baby is teething. They don't know that your son is having separation anxiety because you are currently going through a divorce and learning to split time for the first time. They don't know that your daughter is more sensitive then some and is upset that she lost her toy. They don't know that your little one has so much energy and just wants to run.
But you know what else they don't see and know?
They don't see your child loving on their pets when they are home. They don't know that your child really loves to dance and it brings them joy. They don't know that your son is empathetic and caring or that your daughter just learned to say her ABCs. They don't know that you just walked away from a toxic relationship to better the lives of your children. They don't know that your kids use their manners at home and asked to be excused from the table. They don't see that. They just see the current state of our children.
Those people didn't see my youngest say "you're beautiful mommy" while giving me a hug earlier that day. They didn't see my oldest singing Tauren Wells 'Known' just moments before we walked in the store ( The lyrics say "I am fully known and loved by You.)
Those people don't know that my oldest is a thinker and a people watcher. They don't know that my youngest is fearless.
They. Dont. Know.
So hey you, Judgey McJudgerson, staring at the kid at the store, air plane, hair salon, library, movie theater, etc. Remember that you don't know what the kid is going through or what an amazing, sweet, smart, kind, and wonderful child they are!
Extend some grace, will ya?
Plus... you're only gonna have to deal with it for a little while... momma is gonna get in the car and still be dealing with it. So send her a smile and some prayers too.
tantrums and love,