Supporting each other

I was walking down Ocean Drive last Sunday with Brooks in his stroller and I had to walk through a very crowded bar with tables on both sides of the sidewalk. There was essentially no space for me to get the stroller through. Luckily a lady at one of the tables moved two of the chairs for me and helped guide the front of the stroller through the crowd. I thanked her and she told me that she has 4 children of her own. I’m guessing that she hasn’t thought about me or my stroller since then but obviously I have. A few months ago I was at a restaurant with my family and I was carrying Brooks in his car seat and the people in front of me didn’t hold the door open for us. My sister-in-law and I started talking about this. She said that in her experience it seems like woman, even other mothers, seem to be the worst offenders. I’m not sure why this is but it got me thinking. Being a mother is hard work. I’m not sure how it was back in the day but I feel like it has definitely gotten more competitive. I think we, as mothers, need to change this. Maybe our insecurities are fueling this. No one wants to feel that they are a bad mother. We all want the best for our children. Knowing this should mean that we are more compassionate to others and less judgemental. If your baby crawls, walks, talks, or reads before my baby does, it doesn’t mean that I’m doing something wrong. I know that I have to deal with my own demons on this and I’m sure other woman do too. My girlfriend shared a great article with me called, “Why you are never failing as a mother”. I highly recommend reading it. (Click here)Then again, maybe it’s not our insecurities but our natural tendencies to judge others that is fueling this fire. I caught myself doing this at lunch the other day. We were discussing another girl’s eating habits, when I spewed “she feeds that to her kids?!” It was out of my mouth before I could even contemplate saying it out loud. I’m sure plenty of people have opinions about how we are raising Brooks. I’ve heard some of them from family members and I’m sure those were the mild ones. The point is that as mothers we need to have more compassion for each other. We need to tame the inner bitch inside all of us and realize that as parents we all make a million small decisions each day. We hope that most of these decisions are the right ones and we pray that the wrong ones aren’t serious enough to cause danger. At the end of the day, we do the best we can. As my mother says, “kids grow up in spite of us.” So next time we see a mother who is struggling or has a toddler causing a huge ruckus, maybe just maybe we can stop ourselves before we think or say something bitchy. We don’t know what goes on in her life or in her household. Maybe a smile, a compliment, or a little help is all she needs.

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