Last week I talked about “The Convenient Toy”, feel free to check it out. If you read the post you will note that I briefly discuss what this young man’s mom was doing in the car while he was in the store making his purchase. What I didn’t say in the post was how I felt about here sitting in the car, on the phone while her child was making this purchase. Truth be told I was mad. Why wasn’t she watching her child and guiding him to make better decisions? Was her phone conversation more important than what was going on in the store? Did she care about him enough to make sure he knew about guns and that this toy gun looked real and could potentially get him killed?! Those were just a few of the thoughts running through my head as I was processing the scene. This past weekend I had a group of ladies over to my home to watch #BlackGirlsRock and have some girl time convo. I mentioned my interaction with the young man and how I felt about what his mom was doing while he was in the store. There right smack dab in the middle of this ladies night I was called out for it, called out for MOM SHAMING!! My sister called me out (she is such a pain and had previously posted about this the other day), but she was right.
Why do we as mothers tend to only see what another mother should be doing? Why do we assume the worse when someone’s child is misbehaving or appears to be disheveled? I was ashamed. I had no clue as to what this woman had going on. I automatically assumed that she was a “bad mom” because of what her child was doing. Have you done that before, looked at another mom and shook your head in disgust because you thought she should be doing better? I am a guilty party! No one mom is better than any other, we all just have different styles and have to use the tools we have to raise our children. This woman could have been on the phone handling business, trying to quiet the baby in the back seat, feed the other two and was rewarding this young man by letting him be a big boy and go make a purchase in the store. I didn’t see that, I saw a neglectful mother. Not to say that some of us could use a bit of correction every now and then, but we should not be made to feel guilty for being the best mom we can be.
What really turned this around for me was I was SHAMED! I was in ToysRUs with my three year old making a purchase for one of the other children. We had to wait for the package and she began to whine because she wanted a toy. I’m standing my ground, telling her no, it wasn’t her turn and then I see it, a full tantrum rearing its ugly head. I could have caught it but just then, the employee comes out with this huge box right between us, and she begins a full meltdown. As I walk around the box to calm her, I see another mom looking over shaking her head. Was she judging me?! Right there I was convicted. That lady didn’t know that my daughter had not had a nap because we had been on the go all day, she didn’t know that I thought the store assembled my package and I just needed to pick it up only to find it out they had not, she did not know that I was rushing to get back home to take my other child to work and await my son’s arrival from his class, not to mention I was preparing for my periscope debut (Heels vs Flats) and the dog chewed the pair of heels I wanted to wear. I had all this going on and I’m sure something else I’m forgetting (oh yeah, I hadn’t ate yet) and she was shaking her head.
So, I challenge you moms, let’s not shame each other but instead be an inspiration, an encourager. If you see a mom struggling this week, if you can’t assist physically, say a prayer for her, we are all going through something trying to be the best we can be, let’s stop shaming each other.