God Bless the moms of Walmart!
Walmart is an overload of stuff, with a side of stuff, with some extra stuff for my kids. Of course, I can’t forget the chocolate stuff, the candy stuff, and the ice cream stuff also calling out to my little humans as I tiptoe down the aisles.
I went to Walmart for a few things before my kids got home from school yesterday. Sipping my sugar-free vanilla latte, it was easy to forget the “joys” of shopping with my tribe. All alone, I meandered through the store, stopping occasionally to check out something I had no intentions of buying.
My quiet shopping experience suddenly came to an end. I heard it…the child screaming and the mom telling the screaming child to be quiet. Oh the crying. It got louder. I rounded the corner and in the middle of the aisle was a child sprawled out screaming, “But I need it!” A poor exasperated mom was trying her hardest to get the child off the floor. She pulled her close, “You need to stop NOW! We will have a conversation when we get to the car!”
I saw the stares. The eye rolls were in full swing as I walked past the other moms who obviously forgot what it was like to take their small children to the store. Tired, cranky, and pushed to the limit…little bundles of blessings (mixed with lessons of humility) can bring us to the end of ourselves faster than we can remember that a good mom shouldn't raise her voice. Good grief!
For 30 minutes I heard the disaster happening a few aisles over. I want to tell my fellow mom that it was okay and that she was doing a good job. My heart went out to her because she drew a firm line and the entire store was paying the price. I said to myself, “Rock on Sweet Mama and hold the line!”
The pressure to parent well is overwhelming. My struggle has never been in loving my children well. My forever test comes in the management of my family chaos. An even greater test is when I am forced to manage my chaos in front of strangers...strangers who don’t know I am an awesome mom and that I love my kids!
Any shift in routine or need for a different plan, my 4 children turn into little button pushers. My first instinct is to push back. This is where I get in trouble! My biggest flaw is that my "push back" is usually louder than their initial push.
Finally, at the checkout line, I see the tear-stained face of a little girl and the sweating red face of an exhausted mom. I overheard the little girl ask quietly, “Can I get it next time if I promise not to tell her to shut up again?” The mom’s response, “Yes, I will get it for you next time if you follow my rules and you talk kindly to your sister.”
My eyes water because my own mom journey has wrecked me. In spite of all the snickers and eye rolls from the people around her, she stayed the course. She didn’t cave in order to get her daughter quiet. She didn’t yield to the peer pressure of performance. She didn’t run out of the store and return later without her kids. She stood her ground, drew a line, and taught her daughter a lesson.
In the moment, I am sure it didn't feel like it was worth it, but it was. You’re embarrassed because someone somewhere told you that your kids should be perfect, but they aren’t. You’re exhausted because you chose to stay the course and win the battle. Some may say you entered into a power struggle, but I say you were just a fellow mom sticking to your guns.
We need more Mamas like you.
Rock on Sweet Mama. Rock on...
Next time you are in Walmart, Target, or Wegmans, please remember when you see the little boy or girl pitching a fit and a mom unable to manage her chaos...the reason the child is causing a stir is because he or she was just told the magic word, "No." We can all get our kids to smile. We can all make our kids easy to be with by giving them everything they want. A brave mom will risk her pride and her sanity to draw a line and win the battle even if strangers are rolling their eyes and shaking their heads.
Motherhood is not about having perfect children. Motherhood is not about performing well in front of others. Motherhood is about loving our children enough to tell them "no" even when that answer makes us look less-than-stellar.
Living Completely Undone
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.