To the Mom in the Ikea Cafe Who Saved Me From Breaking Down...
What if we all took the time to really see each other? I’m not saying this just to sell more stickers, (although that would be a welcome response to this post.) I’m saying this because I’m just as guilty as you are of being so wrapped up in my own thoughts, worries, and to-dos that I don’t lift my eyes to those around me enough.
And then we complain, or at least I do, about this world and how bad things keep happening and how scary it is that our kids are growing up in a world with no moral compass and the pressure of perfection. And as all of that swirls through my brain, I tend to see the negative in myself and the negative in others. Ugh. I don’t want to see the world that way, nor do I want my kids to catch that bad habit from me.
To the mom in the Ikea Cafe who saved me from breaking down yesterday, thank you.
Thank you for taking a moment away from lunch with your kids to offer support, encouragement, & this #IAmMotherOfTheYear sticker. To say that you've been in my shoes and to say that I was a great mom was so greatly needed. Because in that moment, I felt the furthest thing from being a great mom...
You could have seen my tantrum-throwing, banshee-shrieking toddler and glared like so many did. Or offered the mean commentary that I heard a few people saying, as I tried multiple times to remove her to a quieter corner and calm her down.
You see, my very strong-willed 1.5 year old had refused to take a nap in the car on the way to our Ikea lunch and shopping date with GrandMaMa. So of course, this would be the day she notices "Småland" in Ikea, an awesome resource for families, that she's unfortunately not old enough to use yet. But she didn't understand that, all she saw was a room full of kids and toys, and we wouldn't let her go play. To add insult to injury, she wanted to try to lay on EVERY bed in the model rooms and in the showroom (reference previously mentioned skipped nap), and we simply didn't have time to let her try out more than a dozen. So by the time we got to the cafeteria, she was miffed-off and on-edge.
Which of course would mean that the Ikea cafeteria was busier and louder than I've ever seen it, and the line for food was impossibly long.
She's a tiny person who is still learning to deal with big feelings. She's fiercely independent, incredibly bright, and thinks she's 5 years older than she is. Those traits will serve her well later in life, but can make things pretty frustrating for her right now (and for me too, as a result). It always amazes me how unsympathetic people can be to these little developing minds learning to cope with everyday life. We live in a world that is quick to judge, shame, or tear each other down. To experience the opposite for once, was so greatly needed!
So thank you for taking a moment of your time, a moment that reminded me to breathe, and a moment that reminded me...I've got this.
The sticker is now placed on the side of my fridge, by my coffee maker, to serve as a daily reminder for the tougher days. I'm excited to find such a supportive, amazing group of women in today's harsh world. Thank you.
(I'll soon place a sticker order so that I can help encourage and support other moms, too!)
I mean, wow. I don’t know what else to say, except thank you to the sticker-giving mamas who do see others. Not just to see them and look the other way, or roll their eyes in judgment, but see them for their humanity, their needs, and their hearts. Who see their children as tiny humans with sometimes-too-big emotions, not annoyances or disruptions.
We will change the world with our kindness, love and empathy for one another.
If you’re ready to get in the sticker-giving game, YAY YAY YAY! If you think you could never approach a stranger, even for a good reason, read this.
Now it’s your turn to sound off! Share your sticker stories or moments where you wish another mama could’ve reached into your bad moment to offer some encouragement.