This morning I was on the bus and there was a mother with two girls, one of whom was having a raging tantrum because she wanted a cookie and she didn’t want to sit in the seat she’d been sitting in, and whatever else she decided was not up to par.
The mother yelled, the kid got louder, the mother got louder.
And I judged her. I thought what empty threats she was making and that’s not how I would handle such a situation.
But that’s not my kid, and I wasn’t here when it started. I wasn’t at their house when she was fighting them into their snowsuits or begging them to eat what she had given them for breakfast.
I was judging her the way I would never want to be judged while dealing with my kid.
I was being a mean mom when I should have been empathizing.
My kid is not perfect, and neither am I, and I have been mostly lucky that I have never found myself in such a public space with such a raging tantrum going on and me in charge of fixing it. This mom was having a really bad day, and it wasn’t yet 6:30 am.
For the rest of the bus ride I tried to catch her eye, give her a supportive smile, let her know that I’m sorry she’s so tired and worn out and frustrated and that I understand.
It didn’t take long before the youngest – the tantrum thrower – was laughing and singing and mom got a smile on her face, and then I got the chance to think of my little girl and the good times we share.
So rock on, fellow toddler mom, I’m sorry I leaped right to judging you. I hope your day gets better.