Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hey Mom, You're Doing A Good Job!



I had a special experience the other day when I went to pick up my son at kindergarten [insert sarcasm here].

My 3-year-old suddenly turned into an out of control animal. We'd had a busy morning, I was feeling under the weather and wasn't as patient as normal, and I think she hadn't eaten enough and was just tired.

In any case, she went a bit crazy when it was time to walk across the parking lot to pick up my son in his kindergarten classroom. She cried the entire way across the parking lot and then refused to come into the gate of the school and just collapsed on the ground screaming and screaming. She also yelled some pretty rude things at me.

I was in a bit of a pickle because although I understood she was overwhelmed from our busy morning, I needed her to come with me to pick up her brother. I also realized that there was nothing I could do at that point to make her do anything. My hands were already full with my active 16-month-old and our stroller that doesn't work very well and she would not budge.

Parents kept stopping to ask if she was OK and touching her to see if she needed help as I stood a few feet away from her trying to get her brother from his class. Since she already has anxiety about strangers and people touching her this just caused her behavior to escalate further.

As I tried to figure out how to push my large 16-month-old in his broken stroller across the parking lot while also trying to carry my flailing and angry 3-year-old too... and make sure the 6-year-old didn't get hit by a car, I was stumped. I couldn't physically do it.

While all this was happening and I was trying to help my 3-year-old recover, a mom stopped me and said, "I've been there and you're doing a good job."


Despite the craziness of that little crisis moment with my daughter, the words from the kind mom at the school kept coming back to me for the rest of the day. She could've ignored my situation or said, "wow, you've got your hands full," or judged and thought "that's not how I would handle that" or "that lady needs to get her kid under control..." but instead she took a moment to empathize with me and give me a little pat on my back. I didn't feel like I was handling anything well or that I deserved that pat on my back, but her kind comment made me feel like I wasn't as lame of a mom as I thought I was.


This kind mom's attitude reminded me that I need to spend more time finding ways to support and empathize with parents that I see struggling with their kids. I often pass judgement too quickly. 


I read a blog post yesterday that made me a little bit mad regarding how moms sometimes treat each other... both on the internet and in real life.

My little crisis and this blog post I read made me want to take a second to let those of you who read my blog know that you're doing a good job... whether you think you are or not.


Whether you work outside the home, stay at home, work inside the home, craft with your kids, hate crafting, have a clean house, have a messy house, let your kids watch TV, ban all TV, have piles of unfinished laundry, or always have laundry put away... whatever... you are awesome! You are trying to be better every day and I admire that you keep trying.


When I was younger I had a friend with special needs who always looked at life like it was so hard. Situations that she thought were hard seemed like nothing to me. I realized from a young age that every person has a unique perspective and until we are able to walk in their shoes (which isn't really possible), we will never fully understand how they feel. 

So instead I learned to judge less and love more.


Moms that are struggling with mental health issues, challenging kids, or that are just having a bad week need love, not judgment. 


I want to challenge you (and me) to find ways to support other moms (and parents overall) MORE and criticize LESS... both online and in real life.

I love the quote by Plato that says, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 





We are often only able to see the outside facade of people's lives. We don't know their hearts or what is always happening inside their homes.

So for today, take a virtual hug from me and pass that virtual or physical hug along to someone who could use your love and support.

If you yourself don't feel like you're particularly awesome, remember that the little people in your homes are glad that YOU are their moms (dads, grandparents, teachers, caregivers, etc). They don't want anyone else.

Thanks so much for the many ways that you all show kindness to me daily through your comments and sharing of my blog posts and thoughtful notes you email me. I appreciate it as well! Have a great day! 

25 comments:

  1. So true Kristina! I has something similar happen when my daughter decided to throw a fit in the grocery line while we were in the middle of checking out our groceries. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place... I couldn't just leave and remove her from the situation. I was trying everything. The lady in line behind me caught my eye and I braced myself for criticism. But, instead she said, "You're such a good mom. You're handling the situation so well." That little bit of encouragement was what I needed at the time and it's stuck with me for months now. Compassion is needed, not comparison. We're all fighting a different battle and I try to keep that quote from Plato is one that we should all strive for. Sending you a big virtual hug! Love this post!

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    1. Thanks Terry!! Love that story as well. I love your comment about compassion being needed, not comparison. So true! Sending you a virtual hug too!

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  2. Thank you so much, Kristina! I definitely needed to read this today - both for the "good job" to me AND for the reminder to pass the kindness forward to other parents. Recently, I was recovering from a bad cold - I was sleep-deprived, in pain, and just plain cranky. I felt like I was being too short with my son as I was getting him from the car to our front door (he wanted to stop and kick every pile of snow we walked past). A neighbor walked by and said, "You are doing such a good job, mama! I see how patient you are!" Those kind words stick with people!! :)

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    1. What a sweet neighbor Mary Catherine! Kind words do stick with people. Thanks for taking a second to share that story with me. I loved it. Have a great day!

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  3. What an awesome post! I am long past the stage of doing all of the things you mentioned, and am now in the "grandparent stage," but I love your blog! Thank you for sharing this experience with us; I will be sure to tell a struggling mom that she is doing a good job now and then. What a great thing to do! I have offered to help many times, but I have never thought of offering encouragement. I love that!
    Thank you for all that you do for everyone; for your posts and ideas, and for sharing your life with us. YOU are doing a good job!
    Heidi Butkus

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    1. Thank you Heidi! I so appreciate YOU and you taking a moment to leave me a comment.

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  4. I'm a gramma, yet your post still is uplifting for me. I REMEMBER those days when I felt like a rotten mom, when other people (even my own mom) said things like "Why don't you just...". I always felt like saying "If I could, I would, but I just don't have that in me right now. Why don't YOU help me?!" On the other hand, I've been guilty of judging on sight, too. Kindness in any suffering is always more helpful than standing in judgement. Thanks for your blog and your many good suggestions. Our daughter suggested I "like" you on FB. :)

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    1. Thank you Nana Diane! :) I so appreciate you taking a moment to comment. What a thoughtful and kind mom and grandma you must be.

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    1. Thanks Allie :) And thanks for sharing my post too.

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  6. I totally believe that quotation. I try to remember those words when I see others looking like they have everything "together". I know that some folks might look like they have things "under control", but behind closed doors, who knows what battles they are fighting. Great post. Thanks.

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  7. You would think after being a mom for 21 years and having 3 kids and years and years of classrooms full of kids, you get easier on yourself and your self thoughts but I haven't found that magic yet. I just want to tell you that I think you are an amazing mom and I adore that you share some of your everyday moments with us on your site. I helps me to know I'm not alone with my little 3 year old too. Shared your post on our facebook page and Parenting with Purpose pinterest board.

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    1. Thanks Kim for sharing and stopping to comment :) Wish we all lived close by each other so we could support one another even more!

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  8. Hugs! You are doing an amazing job!

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  9. You are so right that we need to support each other more, not to tout myself but here's my link to my "stop judging other moms now!" post http://meandbabye.com/2014/02/14/im-on-a-soapbox-people-and-im-asking-for-a-big-change-here/
    Taking the time to appreciate that each child is different, as is each parent and each day for that matter before making a quick judgement call should be the norm. I'm so glad someone encouraged you in a very difficult situation where you had so much to juggle.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your post with me! I agree, avoiding judgement should be the norm... but it is hard. Let's keep working on it!

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  10. I love, love, love this post!! You are so right, Kristina. We all need to take the time to show compassion, empathy and encouragement toward one another because parenting is hard and we're doing a darn good job at it. Thank you for this inspiring post!

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    1. Thanks Malia for stopping to leave a note. I agree :) we are doing a good job! It is just hard to remember that all the time.

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  11. I LOVED this post. You always seem to have something that just strikes home with something that is going on in my life. You are a great mom and it shows in all you do. We all tend to stay to much with the negative and not the positive. I think it was amazing that you wrote this post and remind everyone that we all struggle and not to judge to fast.

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    1. Thanks Cassie! Glad the post stroke home to you too. Sending you a virtual hug!

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  12. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Supportive! Inspiring! Beautiful! Just what I needed to hear! Can I just give you a virtual hug back?

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  13. Beautifully said, thank you for writing it!

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