Yes, today I was that mom.
I was the mom that after 10 minutes at the pool, had a screaming six year old, was loading up the cart and getting the 7 year old and 1 year old moving out of the pool area.
Yes, I was that mom.
The mom who started to walk out as the six year old continued his tantrum, knowing that he would follow as I turned the corner.
But to onlookers, I was that mom.
I was the mom leaving her child at the pool.
I was the mom who couldn’t handle being a mother.
Yes, I was that mom.
And while I walked, I thought about how hard it is to be a mom, knowing that your child may make the fun day planned a disaster. Not because he wants to, but because sometimes it is all a bit too much. Too many people, too much stimulation, too hungry, too tired, too much of anything can cause a whirlwind and with two other kiddos, it’s hard to catch the trigger before it happens.
Yes, the books all say, catch it before it starts and it will eventually go away. But when you are in the trenches, it’s really difficult to notice the buttons and triggers of each child. Every mom does their best, but we all need to realize sometimes you’ll miss it. Sometimes it happens when you least expect it. Sometimes it isn’t until you are looking back on the day, that you realize what the trigger may have been. Then you stash that trigger away and hope to remember. So that next time, you’ll do things a bit differently, in hopes that you will avoid the issue altogether. But you won’t always, and the circle will continue. It’s tough!
So today, I was that mom.
I was the one that missed the trigger that set off the tantrum. I was the one who’s son just had too much. And to the onlookers, I was the one to be judged today. I was the one that couldn’t control her son at the pool.
But while I was that mom today, I know that it is something we are working on. I don’t want to control him, I want him to make the right choices, because he can weigh the consequences. It is something that takes time and nurturing.
I know that my son has the biggest heart and the most love of any child I have ever met and when you really get to know him that’s the first thing you will notice. But today, it wasn’t what you will remember. Today, he was that screaming boy at the pool.
So to those who see the mom with the screaming kid, don’t judge. Take a step back and put yourself in their situation, they are probably doing the best they can.
Instead of staring and judging, offer a smile and let them know you understand. Sometimes, that’s the confidence they need to make the downhill spiral stop.
Yes, today I was that mom, and I am sure I will be that mom again, but maybe next time you will see that we are all fighting some sort of battle and a friendly, understanding smile will go a long way.