Hi. It’s the first week of school. We are all over the place and trying to get in the swing of things. Please believe that I have plenty to say on this subject matter considering the eldest just started kindergarten, but I’ve decided to let the rest of the week play out before writing about it. Maybe it’s to give myself more time to reflect or maybe just more time to ‘turn it around’ and maybe have it together by Friday. I’m not sure which, but stayed tuned and I’ll spill my guts on that topic on my next post.
I got mom shamed. I got mom shamed harddd. Not once. But twice. BY THE SAME PERSON. BY A STRANGER. My mom was with me… which only added to the chaos and the scene. So, here’s the story in the full hillariousness in which it unfolded, so just get comfy.
Last week, before school started, I went into town to run some errands. We did the school shopping adventures already where we went to three different office supply stores looking for very specific pencils for Charlotte to start kindergarten with. I mean, NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. But honest to goodness I would cut down a tree and handmake them myself, as long as I do not have to be the one to teach my kids “new math”. I mean honestly, Whatever you want teacher!! Just please dear sweet one, do not make me explain in a two paragraph form why 2+1=3.
So our last trip of the day was to Sam’s Club, (or the “Country Club” as some of our best friends call it. 😂 Ya know… “members only” allowed…. anywhooo…). We needed the basic “school lunch” necessities that can only be found in bulk here.
When we first arrived with two buggies and three kids, I told mom… “oh man! I forgot my Sam’s card! Oh wait. You know what! I forgot it last time too and they gave me a temporary! I still have it in my wallet, no big deal. Keep rolling…”
So “rolled on” we did. Through the 400 count diapers,100 bags of goldfish, 57 of the 2-pack oreos, 12 pounds of grapes, 60 packs of go-gurts, and so on. We finished shopping a little sweaty, a little worse for wear, but VICTORY WAS MINE because I didn’t cave on the 1000 pack of crayons or the Halloween outfits in August. We got to the line, unloaded the buggy, handed her the temporary card… wait, no I didn’t. BECAUSE THE TEMPORARY CARD WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. I searched frantically for several minutes before I finally looked up, made eye contact with my mother, who looked at me like “we both know it’s not in there so just get up to guest services already.”
I made it up to guest services where I met a women who clearly loved her job. (Kidding. She hated it. And me. And my old temporary card. And my excuses. And my new temporary card. And my smile. and my urge for her to have a good day. All of it. She hated it all.) By the time I made it back to my mom, kids, and check out line.. everyone hated me. I hated me. I suck. The card sucks. The system sucks. Everything sucks.
But we forged on, trying to undo the last 15 minutes in my mind. Mom took her buggy and Charlotte to one side of the van and unloaded while I took the rear, with both “littles” strapped in the buggy. As I unloaded the buggy into the trunk of my car, I saw a man come up to speak to my girls. This happens frequently because there are so many of them and they are all adorable (biasedly speaking), so with my hand on the cart I stopped to speak to him.
Man: “You sunbathe your baby?”
Me: “Yes, this is my baby. Oh, wait… sir?”
Man: “You sunbathe your baby?”
Me: “I’m so sorry. Im confused. I don’t understand.”
Man: “Your baby is just roasting out here in the hot sun while you unload your groceries? Do you just allow her poor little skin to bake in the sun?”
Me: “sir, they are fine. My children are well taken care of. But thank you so much for your concern.” (Jesus, be near. Jesus be near to me right now.)
The man walks away and about that time my mom comes around the other side of the van, “Who was that? What was that? What did he say??”
Now, first of all. I have a black minivan people. A black car that has been roasting in the sun for the entire hour that we’ve just spent in Sam’s. The car itself was probably 120° at this point in time anyway, considering that we had just gotten to the car. But what exactly would you like for me to do with my three children sir? Stick them in the 120° car that has not yet cooled down? Leave them in the store while I load my groceries? What? What would be a better solution for YOU since YOU are apparently raising these children?
And then, guess what? The man gets halfway across the parking lot and forgets something from his car, where he has to walk past us again. Stopping, stupidly, again to say something to me.
Man: “You’re still sunbathing that baby?”
My mom whips around the car. Oh help us. Good sir. Listen, this is a woman who prays. A woman who is favored, because God is for her who in the world can ever be against her? She walks with Jesus and was raised in the south and you sir, were just dumb enough to comment negatively on how her baby is raising her babies. Sweet one… God be with you. You will need his mercy and interjection.
I, somewhere between broken and bewildered, in an unrecognizable pitch due to the lump in my throat, with my finger pointed, “I AM A GOOD MOTHER, SIR! I AM A GOOD MOTHER! I AM A GOOD MOTHER! I AM A GOOD MOTHER!” and no, it was not in anyway subtle or sane.
He walked off because well, there was a scene in which he made a woman nearly cry in the parking lot, with her three children, screaming that she was in fact, a good mother. We loaded the children in the car and as we pulled out Charlotte asked what happened. I told her that “he was a bad, mean man!”
And Yall. Be still my heart. My precious five year old replied, “but mama! We are suppose to love even bad people! And we are suppose to forgive people who are mean!”
I told her she was right, and fought the urge with every cell in my body to roll down my window and yell out to him, “SEE!!! I AM A GOOD MOTHER!!!” 😂😂😂
I obviously didn’t handle this one right. I handled it like a human. I handled like a normal, errand ran, tired mama of three would have. But I most certainly didn’t handle it with grace. I’ll do better next time. Mom shaming is a thing, for those of you that don’t think it is. It is. And it’s not just women who do it. Shame is a terrible thing to lay on another human. Let’s do better people. And I’ll try do better at having a calmer spirit in the storm. TRYING is such a difficult thing. Oh my gosh. I mean just shoot me dead before you call me a bad mother!! I would handle the wound a LOT better! I’m guessing most of us are that way. Hang on tight mama. We’re doing it right, even when the world is telling us we aren’t. I promise. ❤