Dear mom of toddlers,
I’m sorry for the times that I judged you. For wondering why you can’t get your kid under control. After all, we are in a restaurant. Maybe you shouldn’t go out to eat if you can’t keep your child from screaming? Stay home, order take-out, call it a night. I was wrong.
I’m sorry for the times I watched from my food court chair as you tried to maneuver the stroller through the mall doors, not offering a hand. You’re a mom, you do this all of the time. Yes, you may look like a three-ring-circus act trying to hold the door open with one leg and push the stroller through, but you can do it.
I’m sorry for thinking that you couldn’t hear the grocery store meltdown, or worse, assuming that you simply didn’t care. I now realize that someone being unhappy doesn’t change the fact that you need milk, eggs, and toilet paper. Leaving the store immediately when the meltdown begins would mean abandoning your cart full of groceries and let's face it, I probably would have frowned upon that too.
I’m sorry for smiling my fake smile when I noticed your toddler had remnants of breakfast in their hair. Sometimes, you just have tough mornings.
I’m sorry for noticing that you hadn’t lost all of your baby weight and for being a little disgusted by the slobber on your t-shirt. Baby weight and slobber are only a few of the sweet marks our babies leave on us.
I’m sorry for wondering why you were late for church every single Sunday. If you have a problem getting everyone out the door, you just need to get up earlier. Who knew that someone spitting up, throwing up, sticking bubble gum in their hair, or coloring on themselves with permanent marker is inevitable. There is just something about Sunday morning that makes kids crazy.
A child is misbehaving? Discipline them. You have a hard time getting everyone out the door on time? Get up earlier. You still have baby weight to lose? Work out. Before I had a child of my own I was an expert on parenting. I have learned the hard way that parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. Sometimes you’re tired and sometimes things just aren’t as simple as they look from the outside.
I have been blessed with a really sweet toddler. But she is just that. A toddler. Most of the time days don’t go as planned, sometimes we have meltdowns, and usually only one of us looks presentable. Life is crazy and I’ve been the recipient of the disapproving looks I once handed out so freely. So to all of you mommas out there, chin up! You’re doing a great job.
Next time you see a mom with a screaming, messy, or crying toddler, give her a hug. Give her a smile. Tell her she’s a great mom. Because I promise, she’s doing the best she can.