My BABS Partner-in-Crime, Sarah Meyerdirk, is the mother of a captivating daughter, Naomi. Naomi is twenty months old and a pandemic baby as she has spent most of her life in lockdown. However, she is a smart, curious, beautiful, and water-loving baby.
Naomi spends several days a week at her paternal grandparent's house, benefitting from a multi-generational upbringing. At the end of her workday, Sarah picks her up for dinner and her nighttime routine.
On the day in question, Grandma brought Naomi to Sarah. Unfortunately, unlike most days, Naomi was out of sorts. She was whining and wouldn't respond to Sarah's questions.
Out of nowhere, Naomi hit Sarah in the face. With her ears ringing and her mood at DEFCON 1 (nuclear war imminent), Sarah took her combative daughter to her room, removed her diaper, and closed the door.
The howls continued for another ten minutes as Sarah worked her way down to DEFCON 4 (not quite at peacetime readiness). Finally, when the howling subsided, she opened Naomi's bedroom door.
"Are you ready to talk?" asked Sarah.
Naomi looked at her with a tear-streaked face and said, "I pooped."
Sure enough, Sarah's sweet girl had left a deposit on the floor.
A wave of guilt crashed over Sarah. A tummy ache had caused Naomi's hostile behavior. Sarah couldn't help but feel like a terrible mother for not seeing the signs.
When Sarah told me this story, I could tell she was hurting. Guilt was written all over her face.
I had three words for my friend and fellow mother, "Fantastic job, Mom!"
As mothers, we tend to think we should understand every signal our kids send. Sorry, but mothers don't have extrasensory perception. So instead, we have to rely on their words and our wits.
I think Sarah did a great job because she put Naomi in time out when it would have been very easy to react from a strike with a strike. She put her daughter somewhere safe while she collected herself. Sometimes that is the best we can do.
Motherhood is like taking a job with zero training while working for the most abusive, ungrateful boss who doesn't give breaks EVER.
Yet, motherhood is a time in life where EVERYONE believes they can share their unsolicited parenting advice with you. That is not acceptable behavior, people. We need to assist each other more and judge less.
That mom in the store with the shrieking kid? She's just trying to survive. Instead of judging her mothering skills, how about making googly eyes at the kiddo to see if they'll stop? Chances are, Mom is just as much a victim of the situation.
Remember, we are all just trying to raise upstanding citizens. We had no idea it would be so damn hard.
Have you been kind to a mother today?
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