You're standing in line at the grocery store after a stressful day when a child nearby starts to throw a fit. The crying is soft at first, but it grows louder by the minute. As you wonder how a human so small could produce such sounds, you start to think that you too will flip out if the situation doesn't get under control ASAP. Yet you stand there patiently until your items have been checked and you can head home for the evening.
We've all been there. And many times we don't always think about how the mother must have felt in that same moment. Embarrassed? Angry? Exhausted? Heartbroken that she can't give her child what she wants? In reality, that mom could have been feeling a combination of those things, and eye rolls and hushed comments don't do anything to make her feel supported.
Thankfully, there are some people who know exactly the right thing to do. This was the case for Taylor Myers, whose four-year-old daughter with ADHD broke down in her local Walmart, according to Scary Mommy. In a lengthy Facebook post, Myers explained how one woman helped turn an uncomfortable shopping experience into something beautiful.
"As I stood in the customer service line of Walmart to cash my paycheck with a cart of groceries(and some wine), Sophie sat/stood/did heads stands in the cart, whining over a bag of chips I took away and because she called me a butthole in line," Myers wrote. "She's relentless. I know this. I live with it. Her ADHD and obsessive little heart gets on these subjects of things she finds unjust and wrong and it doesn't stop until she eventually falls asleep or something very dramatic happens to snatch the attention off the obsessed about subject."
Myers then explained that she typically ends up leaving a store when her daughter acts up but that this time she was determined that both she and Sophie could make it through the check-out line.
"I tell her for the tenth time to sit down so she doesn't fall and the next thing I hear is a woman behind me saying 'oh, for Christ's sake give her a cookie so she'll shut up,'" Myers continued. "I could've responded in a nicer way. I could've explained to her that my four year old has pretty severe ADHD, I raise both my children alone, I'm doing my best, and had no choice but to wait it out for the groceries. Instead, I heard 'she's four years old and you need to mind your own f***ing business' come out of my mouth."
Myers went on to write that she walked over to self checkout so that she could avoid the harsh glares coming her direction as tears streamed down her face. Once she got there, something amazing happened: A woman approached and engaged her daughter in conversation.
"She asks her questions to distract her, but backs me up when Sophie begins to go on about wanting the chips...Honestly, this woman could've been the antichrist and I would've had more appreciation for her kindness and compassion than I have for anyone else I've encountered," she wrote. "It only takes one comment to break someone down. You never know what someone's going through. You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave unless you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge. But it also takes one small act of kindness to make a mama feel comfort and validation."
She ended her post by thanking the anonymous woman who helped her walk out of the store, adding "Mamas have to stick together."
Amen to that.