When my three-year-old son hears a crying baby in a store, playground or museum, he quickly turns to me and asks me why is the baby sad. I tell him I’m not sure, but I bet the baby’s mommy or daddy will cheer them up and take care of them. My toddler’s empathy is something I take pride in. My husband and I and Daniel Tiger are contributors to my son learning to care for others and their feelings at such a young age.
Not too long ago, my son had a mid-morning haircut. Being the super mom I try to be, I took my toddler and eight month old to Target prior to making our final destination at the salon. My innocent precious baby was starting to whine in the front of our double stroller, which is so big a CDL license should be required to drive one of these things.
I started pulling out all the stops as I attempted to finish my shopping. Snacks. Toys. Songs. None of the above were calming my little one. I knew a meltdown was about to take place. As I grabbed a few last minute items, a lady in the aisle we were in said to whomever she was talking to on the phone that she needed to go because there was a screaming baby in her aisle.
I was stunned. Was she talking about my sweet little girl that was missing her morning nap because big brother needed his haircut? Was my baby really causing that much of a ruckus? How dare someone talk about my little one whose fault it was none other than my own for allowing her to miss her morning nap.
The Mama Bear immediately started to overcome me, and I knew I had a few options to rebuttal with. But before I could get my mind in the right mindset to put this woman in her place and also be an example setter for my own children, she had left the aisle I was currently standing speechless in.
Ladies. HEAR ME OUT. Whether you are a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, or just a decent human being. Instead of putting down another mother, how about trying to bring that woman up? I understand that no one likes to hear a screaming child, but guess who likes it the least amount of all? That own child’s mother.
There are times when schedules do not go as planned.
There are times where a quick trip to the grocery store is a necessity.
There are times when children just do not want to be cooped up in a stroller or shopping cart.
Consider this a public service announcement from all mothers out there. Offer that distressed mother a smile instead of a sneer. Offer her a head nod showing encouragement instead of a head shake showing distaste. If all else fails, offer that child a flipping cake pop!
As women, we need to bring one another up and help one another out instead of knocking each other down. If we as adults can’t show empathy towards one another, how do we expect our own children to grow up showing empathy. If my toddler is capable of showing empathy to others, grown adults have no excuses.