We’ve all been there. We have all either been, or been witness to, the screaming kid in the grocery store with a mom who is at her wits-end. We’ve all passed judgments on that situation, or had judgement passed at us in similar scenarios.
And so I ask–Why? Why don’t we, as a collective group of decent human beings, have more respect for parents in stressful situations?
A few weeks ago when my husband and I made the trip to Texas for his vasectomy reversal, I found myself feeling so much compassion towards two unknown woman–my inspiration for this post.
On the way to our destination there was a family in the row ahead of us, flying with a small boy-maybe three, and a newborn baby girl. Try as she might, Mom just could not keep her little one quiet for a significant portion of the flight. All too badly I wanted to reach across the seat and just tell her that it is okay- to ignore the sighs and glances from those around her.
Even my husband gave me a subtle look that suggested his frustration was starting to get the better of him. I reminded him that he couldn’t really be aggravated by the crying baby, after all we were on the plane to go get his vasectomy reversed in hopes of having one of those crying babies. His perspective shifted once he considered that that could easily be us one day. That could be anyone having a hard time as a new parent.
The young mother, traveling alone, on our flight back home had it even worse. Her baby boy just would not stop screaming–and I do mean screaming, the entire two-hour flight. She was getting so incredibly stressed that you could hear it in her frustrated hushes to the baby. The sighs, giggles and throat-clearing that filled the rows of aggravated passengers nearby was a frustrating experience. I turned, glanced at her and just smiled. I like to think that just in that moment, it made her feel not so alone.
My solution to this is simple. Next time we are faced with the irritation of someones screaming baby, let us not pass judgement on that parent. Rest assured, they are much more frustrated than we are in that moment. Instead of staring and sighing or making comments, offer up a friendly smile. Maybe take a moment to say “Everything will be okay,” or “You are doing great.”
You never know how your kindness in a stressful situation could positively impact their life. Take the time to be kind.
Have you ever helped out a Mom in a stressful situation? Tell me about it.