Dear Mom, I’m not judging your tantrum

I think it’s possible that the best writing topics are the ones that bear a sense of deja vu.

The ones you’re fairly certain you’ve written about before, perhaps several times.  Those are the ones we need to keep processing and pursuing because clearly there’s something there.

So along those lines… mothering is tough.  And I think so often we feel judged by well, everyone really.

We feel judged by the people at the table next to us in the restaurant.
We feel judged because of the noise coming from our cart at the grocery store.
We feel judged because we’re just so crabby sometimes in public and doing a poor job at portraying the ethereal mom-gasm we’re supposed to be embodying.

The other day Kel and I decided to screw the budget and take our two lovely little ones out for breakfast at Holland’s The Biscuit before we ran new-house related errands.

I regretted this decision within the first minute we were in the door.  Caedmon threw two tantrums before we were seated and two more before the waitress arrived.

When I picked him up for a time out and some stern words he slapped me in the face and I swear to you, everyone saw it.  I promise that I heard the restaurant gasp in some sort communal oh “Oh snap!” and “What now, Mom?”

I was sure they saw me as a terrible mother with out of control children. I was so embarrassed that I wanted to melt into a puddle on the floor.  Surely they were all wondering why we brought our tantrum-y son out for breakfast to ruin their dining experience.

tatrum These are the moments of parenting that suck the strength from your soul and send you wondering if 11:00 A.M. is too early for a glass of wine… and does wondering this mean you’re an alcoholic?

But, with every terrible grocery shopping trip and taxing dining experience I’m coming to realize that most people are giving me grace when my children and their tantrums hijack my sanity.  Either that or they just don’t care.

Most people around you have been there before, the other Moms regard you with sympathy and the older ones just remember it with nostalgic fondness … somehow.  

And on top of all this: Most people aren’t even giving you a piece of their thought life, they hardly notice you above their own shopping list or dinner plate.

I think we should make some sort of global tantrum encouragement pact.  When we pass each other and witness a toddler or even older kid meltdown that we extend each other grace beyond grace, kind words, understanding words and buckets of empathy.

And as for us… Let’s assume that the room is extending us grace, even if they’re not.

Because those moments are awful enough without the self-imposed guilt, stress and judgement that we’re placing on ourselves.

So sister: I’m not judging your tantrum moment.  If I see you dealing dilligently with a tantrum in public please know I’m your biggest cheerleader. I want to give you a hug and a break, although in the moment I’m probably on the edge of sanity myself.

I’m with you, I get it, Motherhood is hard and motherhood during errands is marathon level living lady.

I don’t judge you, I feel you.  I’m in your corner hoping that your toddler gets over the fact that they can’t have all the forks at the table or go into the kitchen to help the chef make their pancake.

y fn   v  hyyyyyutyyjhshgsggxhhcfdfnfdb (this last line is Noelle’s.  Interpret as you will)

  • Mark Allman

    I remember one time I picked my son up to take him out of Pizza Hut for a whipping and on the way out he’s yelling….. “please don’t whip me; please don’t whip me”. I almost busted out laughing. For some reason my kids always wanted me to whip them instead of their mom??? :)
    I told your friend Michelle on one of her post one time that we should start a universal hand signal among parents to encourage one another like bikers do as they pass. I suggested a back hand raking across your brow as in “whew”..
    I believe Noelle said “Caedmon’s diaper was just too tight.” You know how those siblings like to take up for each other when the other is in trouble.