Choosing Not to Judge

We’ve all been there – total mom meltdown moment.  You’ve hit your breaking point and next thing you know your head is spinning and you’re behaving like a lunatic.  It’s even worse when it happens in public.  We’ve seen it happen to other moms too.  But how many times have we been quick to judge another mom for her outburst?  That could have happened to me tonight but I’m so glad I chose to reach out instead of judge.

Shorty and I were unloading our groceries when we heard the screaming, obscenity ridden rant coming from the car next to us.  A woman was ripping into one of her daughters about spilling a whole cup of cappucino in the car.  I tried to ignore it, but the screaming got louder as the woman was really laying into this poor child.  I looked over and saw two children in the back seat too afraid to move because they knew mom was loosing it.

I was getting upset about the way she was talking to the child who had done the deed.  Part of me wanted to judge this woman as a horrible mother.  Then my brain did a 360 and I thought of two days ago when I made such a big issue out of some spilled water in our kitchen.  I remember how I yelled at Shorty way more than the situation warranted.  Instantly, I went from judgemental to thinking this is a mother who needs help and understanding right now.

Shorty and I returned our cart and I put Shorty in the car.  By this time the woman had calmed a little but she was still yelling that she had nothing to clean  up the mess and daddy was going to be mad when he saw his car.  Then I remembered the roll of paper towels that has been sitting in the pocket on the passenger door for months.  I took a chance and knocked on her  partially open car window.  I apologized for intruding but mentioned that I overheard her say there was a spill and she had nothing to clean it up.  I offered the paper towels.

Instantly, she became thankful.  She explained that she knew it really wasn’t her seven year old daughter’s fault but that the girls’ father is very particular about the car and would be furious when he saw the spill.  She gladly accepted my offer of the paper towels and blessed me for being so kind.  She stopped yelling at the kids and got to work on cleaning up the mess.  I told her I understood that sometimes being a mom can be hard and that I had been through days like that too.

Shorty and I drove off.  I could have ignored the whole drama that was happening in the car next to me.  I could have left with thoughts of what a bad mother she was.  Instead, I left minus my paper towels but feeling like maybe I had helped save those children from further screaming.  I left hoping that by reaching out to another mom in distress that she will understand that she has more support than she thought.

Mostly, I left with a renewed sense of feeling that all mothers need help sometimes and we each need more acts of kindness and less judgement in our lives.  I hope that someday someone will reach out to me when I am having one of those meltdown moments.  After all if moms don’t help each other and offer each other support, respect, and understanding even in our worse moments how can we expect anyone else to offer us those things?  Moms need to know that they are not alone and who better to let them know than other moms.

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5 Responses to Choosing Not to Judge

  1. lora says:

    amen to all of this!
    We need to start coming together and supporting each other, because it’s the only way to get thru all the parenting madness without major scars!

    Also, the area around the SEPTA building is the CRAZIEST!!! You never know what you will see over there!

  2. Evenshine says:

    The BEST reaction possible. Good work for keeping your cool and not just shooting her a dirty look (as I probably would have)…

  3. faemom says:

    You’re awesome! Did you know that? That was super wonderful of you. You’re totally right. We’re always judging and that totally sucks. You’re just so cool.

  4. Kristine says:

    Good for you! And a great reminded for all of us!

  5. I am really impressed that you did that. I don’t think that I would have had the courage to approach her car like that. It is really important that we moms lift each other up. Since having A, I have definitely learned not to judge other moms – or other kids. I am often on the receiving end of a meltdown in the supermarket or at a restaurant. We need to remember what it is like to walk in those shoes – we’ve all been there.

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