For the Mama's of Tantrum-Throwers

March 22, 2016






I’ve passed by you in the store a few times already.  The first time we didn’t make any eye contact.  We just brushed passed one another on our way to the next aisle. 



The second time we met up I smiled at you and your precious little one.  You looked at me but didn’t smile back.  It’s okay really.  I didn’t take offense.  You were just doing your best to get the items on your list and get out of the store without any major incidents and unwanted sugary items in your cart. 



We met again in the checkout line.  I pulled my cart up behind yours and we both wait anxiously for our turn.  I see relief in your eyes.  You’ve almost made it out alive but then your sweet toddler asks for something they aren’t supposed to have.  Being a good mama you told them no firmly but graciously.  And then it happens. 



A toddler meltdown.  A Code Red.  All eyes on you moment.



I wanted to say something to you, but I didn’t.  I was unsure of how you would react to a stranger butting in on your mommy moment.  I looked in your eyes and gave you my it happens to all of us smile.  This time you briefly smiled back.  I’m sure you were uncomfortable.  As your toddler gets louder with their frustration, more people begin to look at you.


I would have bet money that sweat was starting to make its way down your back.  Maybe even gather a little at your forehead. You finish paying and the cashier helps you with the last of your items.  You take a deep breath and realize it’s over.  The tantrum and your shopping trip. 


As I start to unload my items onto the belt I watch you walk away.  You look defeated, even somewhat embarrassed.  Sweet friend, what I should have told you that day, in that moment of defeat, was that I get you.


I hope my smile was a tangible way for you to get encouragement, even if it was just for a moment.  But I should have done more than smiled at you.  I should have told you that no matter what kinds of dirty or disapproving looks you may have gotten from others standing around us that day, I wasn’t judging you in the slightest bit.  Not even an inkling.


You see, I’ve been there mama.  I’ve had more than my fair share of those moments.  They’ve come in the grocery store, at restaurants, in parking lots, oh and even at church. 


I’ve felt the sweat drip down my back and felt the looks of those that don’t understand this season of life pressing in on me. 


I should have told you that I could tell that you were doing your best.  Our children don’t always cooperate.  Often they don’t understand what’s going on around them.  No matter how hard you try to entertain them, keep them involved, and help them understand the importance of a time and place to do things, they don’t always follow through on their end….because they’re children.


I want you to know that I get you.  The only difference between you and me that day was what we had in our carts and that my children just happened to not be with me.  It could have been me that day.  But it was you.


My kindred sister.



We have to show each other encouragement, support, and love.  This season of life with little ones can be tough.  We should smile at one another more.  Be more gracious to each other.  Offer our support, not our parenting critiques.  Because we need each other.



My sweet mama, I know we don’t know each other but I love you.  I love that you’re doing your best to raise your babes in a tough and sometimes unrelenting world.  God loves you too. 



Oh how He is for you.  And me.  And all the other mamas whose kids are throwing a fit because you can’t find popsicles in the winter time.  Just my kid?   



But He has given us a great calling, perhaps one of the greatest callings there could ever be. 



To be a mother. 



To listen to the still, quiet urges of His voice.  To shepherd His flock. To guide His little ones.  He loves them so.  Just like He loves us.  He knows the struggles we face.  He desires us to seek His mercies and unending grace.  He has entrusted us with a great job.   



Oh, one more thing friend.  Those looks that you get from others, I know how they can sting.  They can make you feel like a complete failure.  They have witnessed one bad moment in a day full of otherwise great ones.  You feel like you’ve been labeled and judged. 



Maybe they’ve forgotten what it’s like to have young children.  Maybe their kids were perfect angels and they have never had the experiences you and I have had.  I doubt it…but I guess it’s possible.  Just know that you won’t get those looks from me. You certainly won’t receive them from God.  He is full of forgiveness and grace.  Patience and acceptance.  Love.  But we need that personal relationship with Him. 



I saw you loading up your little one in your car in the parking lot as I left the store.  The tantrum was over and your little one looked happy and ready for the next adventure.  Sister I pray you go throughout the rest of your day with peace and contentment, and most of all joy because these moments are fleeting.



Years from now you and I will be in a different place.  We may cross paths again on the cereal aisle or by the bread.  But we will be without little ones.  They will be grown and probably off hanging with their friends or something that doesn’t involve mom being there.  You know, they’re too cool to hang with mom by this point. 



And maybe we will see a new mom of little ones pass by us in a hurry, just trying to get in and out before anyone loses their marbles.  We should both smile at her.  Encourage her.  Love her.  Because we’ve been there.  We know the challenges and the struggles.  And we won’t judge her or think of her negatively.  We will just smile at her.  Pray for her. 



Because we’ve been there and we know where she is going next. 



2 comments :

  1. Amanda your blog is awesome and it is right on target especially for those who have little ones.. being a mom of 3 girls, I so remember the times from being in the grocery store to being in Wal-Mart with my little ones and them wanting things they know they should not have and then they throw a fit when told no. Now I am on the other side with my girls being almost grown (Maddie 16, Kara 13 and Katie 8) I cherish all the time I have with them and wish at times they were still little, they are my heart.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! It is so hard when you're in that season of little ones, but then years from now I can see myself wishing for that time again. It's something to remember! And yes, something about Wal-Mart always sets them off! :)

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