Friday, February 22, 2008

Mommy Trauma

Sometimes I just have to unload. I hope I don't bore anyone.

Vaughn is at the stage where he does NOT want to stay with me when we go places. He used to very sweetly hold my hand and let me lead him, but he's on the move lately. Yesterday I went to the grocery store to pick up some quick things. I held Vaughn and Reina walked, we didn't get a cart becuase I didn't need very much. Well, of course I ended up getting more than I expected, and held Vaughn in one arm and a basket of groceries in the other and persuded Reina to follow us the whole time. The whole trip took about 15 minutes, but by the end I was so exhauseted from holding a squirming Vaughn (or chasing a running Vaughn if he got too squirmy in my arms), and balancing grocieries, and keeping a non-stop flow of conversation with Reina (which goes something like, "no, you can't have popsicles" "please follow me" "put the fruit snacks back," "no, we're not buying more yogurt").

As we left the store I put Vaughn down and let him walk holding my hand. It worked okay until we got to the car. We were parked right in front of the grocery store so the walk is not long. I let go of the kids, put the grocieris in the front seat, and Vaughn was off like a shot running down the sidewalk in front of the cars. I yelled at Reina to stay right by the car, the phone rang, and as I answered it I took off after Vaughn before he could reach the street.

With Vaughn hanging on one arm, and talking to Ben on the phone, I heard someone say, "where's your mom little girl?" I was only two or three cars away (ya, Vaughn had gotten about 15 cars away). I yelled at Reina to stay by the car, as she was standing between our car and the car beside us waiting for us. The man noticed me and gave me this horrible look and then swore at me. Not really at me, more to himself, but loud enough for me to hear. He was very displeased with me. It was embarrasing and frustrating and even maddening. I got the kids buckled in, myself in the car, and I started bawling. I was upset at him and upset at myself that I let Vaughn get away, and that I left Reina alone. And I was scared that maybe that man was right, that I was being irresponsible. I never know what might happen. What if something happened to one child while I was chasing the other? I was scared and angry and I felt beat up.

I am just reminded how difficult it is to be a mom and how important it is to withold judgement. I have no idea what others are going through, and I know that man with his small bag of groceries, nice car, and expensive clothes, had no idea what I was going through and had just gone through. But he couldn't help expressing my shortcomings so vocally and rudely. I hate experiences like these, but at the same time they are always teaching me to be better to others. Moral? Don't judge moms, they're probably doing the best they can.


Thomas said...

Oh, I just spent the last two minutes thinking of the earful I would have given that guy. Don't worry sis, I've seen how you mother, and you do an amazing job!

The Mathews Four said...

Your description of your experience inside of the grocery store is the exact reason why we went without milk from last Tuesday to Friday. I kept putting it off until Nate got home and then by the time he got home every night I was just too tired to go out. I had to laugh at your description because it sounds so familiar!

About the jerk in the parking lot. Yeah, I don't know anything about what HE was going through but his actions prove that he is a jerk. A compassionate person would have seen a young mother with young children in distress and done something about it. Whether it was to stand by Reina until you got back, help you with Vaughn, or even give you an encouraging "Hang in there. We've all been through it." Because I guarantee you... anyone who has ever had children has dealt with this at one time or another. That guy has the problem. You don't! And I agree whole heartedly with Thomas... you are an amazing mom and your children are going to grow up to be great people because of you.

The Mathews Four said...

And let's just go ahead and imagine in our mommy minds that karma came back on that man and on his way home from the grocery store he got pulled over and got a big huge ticket because the officer decided not to show him any compassion either! So there!

AJ said...

It happens to us all. You are a great mom, and your kids are darling, and that guy who was mean probably never had kids. This is why I always go grocery shopping in the middle of the night. :)