I saw this on Pinterest. (I love Pinterest; when I have time. It really just makes me want to do more projects but at least I can “pin” them for later when I have time). I thought…this is so true. How many times do we look down on others for what they do but justify our own actions? Of course, that is probably just me. I used to hear a child throwing a fit at the store (usually the grocery store, late at night when I try to go by myself so I don’t have to hear kids screaming) and think, with an eye roll, “Get your child under control”. Now I just think, “But for the grace of God that could be me.” Not that the other mom doesn’t have God’s grace… Yesterday at Best Buy I could not get our baby boy to stop yelling. He’s not sad, just yelling because he can. (By the way, this is my first blog from my new computer. So far I am enjoying it. Unlike my husband’s new HP, I am not constantly touching the touch pad and re-positioning the cursor…which had become a priority).
I will say this, and this is not categorically true, there are some exceptions,” if you are NOT a mom, you may not understand what moms go through.” There are a few non-moms who understand especially if they nanny-ed or lived with family who had babies or small children.
My sisters think that I am crazy to take my whole crew to the outlet mall or to Target by myself. They told me. The thing is, if I do not go do the things I need to do then when would I do it? There are not enough hours in the day for me to get it all done. My older boy still thinks shopping is “fun”. And admittedly I usually by him a treat of some sort (yesterday, I bought him spiderman boxing gloves – the hubs and I have taken up boxing since he acquired a punching bag via craigslist). Understand, me taking my infant twins and my 3 year old places requires a very intricate plan involving a double stroller and a lot of cooperation.
This is what it looks like. When we arrive at our destination, I jump out, grab my purse, open the back of our Expedition. I pull out the base of my double stroller. I check to see if either baby is sleeping. If one is asleep, I put on the infant seat holder, if not, I put on the two adjustable seats. Then I put the diaper bag and my purse in the stroller. Next, I unload my 3 year old and tell him to “stand in his spot” (he holds onto one of the handles on the stroller…that’s his spot). Next I unload baby one and then baby two. I close the back of the Expedition and then we head off.
When we get back to the vehicle, the somewhat reversed. I open the 3 year old’s door so he can get in. I unload baby one and then baby two, then my items, diaper bag, purse etc. Then I un-assemble and reload the stroller into the truck.
It’s hard. I have to consider all the safety concerns. And no offense to anyone but people are complete idiots in parking lots sometime. They pull into parking spots without checking if someone left their door open and or are standing there by the door doing something. They back out without looking. Seriously, if you see a woman with two or more children in a parking lot, let walk past with her kids before you pull out. She is just trying to get in and out of the store before anyone has a fit. And for everyone’s sake, texting in a parking lot while driving is just as dangerous as texting on the highway while driving. We almost got hit today by a lady backing out of a parking space because she was on her phone and it was way more important for her to be on the phone while backing up than to not hit a stroller: A STROLLER!!!
So as you can imagine, one little outing to the grocery store can be quiet a chore for me. Today, I had to run in and decided to do it while my boy was at school (One less child, especially one walking does allow you to get in and out of the store much more quickly). However, today, baby girl pooped on the ride to school and it was foul. So I had to change her. Which means, I ended up having only 40 minutes to run into our mega grocery store and grab a few items. The boy must be picked up at 11:30 and the store is about 10 minutes from his school. At 11:05, I notice the time. I run to the check out and there are only 4 lines open (not counting the “self-check out”). And some lady is buying balloons and the lady in front of me had coupons and was disputing one. Sigh. I had already unloaded my items. I can only purchase what fits into my stroller which isn’t much for a family of five. Finally, it is my turn. I’m hurrying. The bagger (a sweet lady) helps me carry my few items to the car rather than trying to put all my bags into the stroller. As I am frantically trying to get the babies loaded into the car along with all my other stuff, a woman stops with her buggy and two little boys to tell me that for me to leave my baby in the stroller at the back of my vehicle is dangerous. And then proceeds to tell me that I should put the stroller next to me on the side of my vehicle (although someone pulling into the empty space beside my vehicle, my large vehicle, would NOT have seen the stroller or me with it positioned beside me rather than at the back of my vehicle).
I was so upset.
Like most moms out there, I am doing the best that I can. I am trying to foresee every danger and proceed with caution. I am trying to get to where I need to be on time. I am trying to take care of my family. I am trying.
I almost cried. I was so overwhelmed at the moment and I was nearly rude to her.
Of course, she could have handled it a little differently. If she had come along side and said, “Do you mind if I stand here by your stroller for a sec while you unload? I’ve seem someone in a car hit a stroller in this parking lot” Or even, “You look like you have your hands full. Can I help you unload or just stand here for a second so no one hits your stroller?” I probably would have been more willing to listen and receive what she was saying.
(Keep in mind, I don’t know what she had seen before but I am 97% sure the only person who could have hit that stroller was me with my vehicle).
So back to my sign. “Sin” basically means, “missing the mark”. We all do it. I probably missed the mark with the lady in the parking lot. I said something to the bagger like (a little louder than I should have hoping the parking lot lady would hear) , “Thanks, I really need one more thing on my plate right at this minute” The bagger was so sweet, she said, “It’s okay. I was just thinking how brave you are to get out and go to the grocery store with two little one. It must be hard.”
We all struggle. Your struggle may not be the same as mine and I find that there are different struggles in different seasons of our lives. Be careful to say or even think, “I would never do that” or “I would never feel that way”…you may find yourself in a season when you have to eat those words.
I’m certain (because I am a bit of a big mouth) that I’ve been the parking lot lady, stopping to tell someone “you aren’t doing that right”. To anyone that I’ve said that to…PLEASE, PLEASE FORGIVE ME. I didn’t see your struggle. I didn’t understand. Keep trying! Keep going. It is hard right now but you will figure it out.
And let’s all try, try, try to stop judging each other.
Oh, and Suzanna…I am so sorry I wasn’t friendlier. I was really frantic when I saw you. You are brave too taking your crew to the grocery store. I hope you had a successful shopping trip.