So, here’s where it got good. Normally in a parking lot, it’s the impatient Moms yelling at their kids that stand out, they make me cringe and then feel guilty all at the same time. But in this situation, this sweet Mom was kind and patient and she was like a bright light at Target. She was gentle, stern, she had a calm voice and although her kid wasn’t having it, she was holding it together like a pro.
As I finished buckling Eliza in, I felt God nudge me and tell me to give her one of those dark chocolate bars that I’d just bought, you know the ones that weren’t on the list, but they were “on sale”. At first, I shrugged it off, I mean, how crazy would it be to offer a complete stranger some chocolate? I closed Eliza’s door slowly, listening to this Mom dealing with her kids, I walked around to my door, got in, buckled, closed my door, but I just couldn’t shake it. I needed to get out and tell her that I noticed how kind and patient she is and to give her my simple gift. And so, I unbuckled, reached into my bag and opened my door.
Her window was rolled down and as her car backed up, I walked over and said “I know this might sound weird, but do you like dark chocolate? I noticed how kind and patient you are with your kids and I wanted to give this to you. I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old at home and I know how hard mothering is. You’re really sweet with your kids.” She smiled so big, said “thank you so much” and with that, she drove away and we drove back home.
I think what makes me want to do those little things more often is that I know firsthand how hard parenting can be sometimes and I’m the gal who always dreamed of this. I have a supportive husband and healthy kids. Imagine what it must be like for the lady who doesn’t have a support system, who’s raising kids with significant disabilities or for the young mom who thought she wouldn’t be called “Mama” for another 10 years?
When I’m out, it’s normal for me to see Moms losing their cool and seeing this gal stay calm, even when it was hard was so refreshing. It’s weird to me that we get so scared to give another Mom a word of encouragement. Why, why, why are we flat out scared to be encouragers? We’d all rather stay in our comfy little boxes, where we don’t talk to strangers, but we NEED to call each other out on the good stuff. We need to be bold and say “I know it’s hard and I see you doing a great job.”
I encourage you to encourage another Mom with a kind word. When we reach out to each other, we break down barriers and show our kids what kindness looks like.