Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not That Mom, a lesson...

Yesterday, I was waiting in line at the check out of my local Target store (why shop anywhere else, right).  Muffin and me had just finished a quick trip to pick up odds and ends.  Shopping is always challenging with him.  He always says, "No cart today."  Which is his way of telling me he wants to run away from me with a huge smile on his face walk like a big boy.  I usually resort to bribing him with a ring pop or Gold Fish to get him to sit in the cart (the main part, not the seat part because he would never agree to that). 

I consider myself to me a somewhat relaxed mom, not too strict, allowing my boys to test the boundaries.  However, if bad behavior creeps in over what I would consider to be normal boyish mischievousness, then heads will roll. 

As we were waiting in line there was another mother with her equally young perhaps 3 year old daughter behind us in line.  The little blond girl said sweetly to her mom, "Can I have a treat?" 

OK, yes, we have all heard this before from our kids.  Yes, it can be annoying.  Yes, they ask for things all the time...I'm aware.  Granted I had just seen them for the first time and have no idea what kind of adventured sprung up on their shopping trip...However...

This mom reacted so nastily.  Her voice was so harsh as she said, "The cup IS your treat and I'm going to put it back!"  You can imagine the rest...little girl would step away (only like 3 feet) and get reprimanded again with the loss of her little princess cup.  It wasn't what the mom said, it was how she said it.  She was angry and she was taking it out on her daughter. 

Muffin and I paid and rolled out into the parking lot.  He asked for one of the juice boxes we had just purchased and because this angry woman had affected me...I smiled and reached for a juice box because he asked so nicely.  As I was getting ready to back out of the spot I saw that mother again looking as angry as ever.  Her little daughter trailing behind her with this sad face.  I saw this mother pick her up and plop her daughter into the carseat.  She was being too rough I thought as she pulled on the straps and buckles of the carseat.  She was raising her voice and pointing her finger right in her daughters face and the little girl was crying.

I froze.  I froze because I'm pretty sure this exact scene has played out in my own life on another day on another shopping trip.  Watching this scene play out hit me like a truck.  I will NEVER lose my temper like that again with my boys no matter what they do.  I will try so hard not to let my own personal frustrations or stresses effect my job as a mom.  I don't ever want to be that mom...

Being a mom is hard work.  I don't ever want my boys to be treated like that little girl was, not even by me.  I want my children to trust me.  I want them to always feel safe and protected by me.  We are our children's whole world while they are young.  They look to us for whats right and wrong.  Never forget that.  Respect your kids, they deserve it.

7 comments:

*Jess* said...

I have seen similar behavior from parents out in public and my heart just breaks for the kids that don't understand where that anger is coming from. I'm by no means perfect, but I try every day to watch my tone with my kids.

Rebecca said...

This is an awesome post...you're right...we have to watch ourselves. I always temper myself by asking what my tone would sound like if the windows were open and people were walking by my house. I can keep it together in public, but it's easy to lose it at home. Thanks for writing...sending it to Husband too. Everyone could use a reminder.

Danifred said...

It's so true, and it's so hard. There are nights when I tell myself, "tomorrow I will be more patient" "tomorrow I will be a better mom." I know that I do a good job with my girls, but I also feel like it's never enough.

Michelle Leigh said...

That was me yesterday! Ok, so not that bad and my kids were acting horribly in public, but I still suck. But after reading your post, I re-evaluated why I am on this earth. I am here, right now for these kids. I need to enjoy them more. I need to have more patience. I don't want my kids to think I'm mean, or always yell. They are little, they need to see compassion and understanding, especially from me. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

SmartBear said...

I wrote a similar post a couple of months ago. It was awful because I had my son with me. It was awful.
Perspective. It gave me some perspective.
Best,
Tina

Veronica said...

I always find it really hard watching stuff like that, because I KNOW I get grumpy and sometimes, I'm not as nice as I should be. But I try hard. I hope the other mother went on to have a better afternoon, or that it was just one of those days, that doesn't get repeated. Otherwise, that poor little girl.

Marie said...

Thanks for this post. It is very easy to lose perspective and end up being "that Mom." I do the same as Danifred and tell myself "I'm going to do better tomorrow" but I hate that there are times I'm ashamed of my behavior towards my children. I know it happens to everyone and it won't scar them for life but it certainly can't become the way I talk to my kids. I don't want to be "that Mom" either. My kids deserve better than that.