I have had time to process what happened earlier today and in hindsight, I believe that I would have handled things a bit differently. Isn’t that how things always go? After an incident happens, clarity immediately sets in and emotions settle and given another chance, the incident may have gone in a complete opposite direction.
Had you known that my two young children and I had just come from the pediatricians’ office that they had been sitting at for almost an hour, maybe you would have been a bit more understanding? Had you known that I had promised them that they would each get a small prize at Target for being so brave and good at the doctor, maybe you would know that it was my fault they were even in the women’s clothing department? Had you known that the day that I planned to have when I woke up turned out very different, maybe you would’ve shown a bit of grace?
You see, I am a lifestyle blogger/Barré Instructor/Senegence Distributor/Marketing Coordinator for my local City Moms Blog/Wife/Mom. I have a million things going on in my mind on a daily basis – just like you and every other woman in the world. I wasn’t meaning to look distracted while I mindlessly held up some cardigans to me in the womens’ clothing section; allowing my children to run around me and the racks at Target. It wasn’t my intention to ruin your shopping experience.
My kids are 4 and 2. You said that “you never let your kids do that in stores” which meant that at some point in your life you had children. When you pointedly said to them, without looking at me, that “there were other people shopping here” – you did realize that you were the only one in our vicinity, right?
I was so shocked that my response wasn’t entirely civil. I think I replied “Are you serious?” I probably sounded like a 16 year old girl rather than a 36 year old woman. When it comes to my children, I don’t think very clearly…..in fact, it’s almost as if I turn into a wild animal that is intent on protecting them and my motherhood. When you turned to the innocent Target employee and said “I wasn’t trying to be unkind”, I wondered what you were trying to be. Isn’t the definition of “unkind” “NOT KIND”? And what were you being? KIND?!? I have to disagree. In shock and utter disgust, I said “I am NOT going to even acknowledge that you said that.” You continued to speak – “I don’t wish to be run over or hit by your children. I don’t know why everyone is so offended these days. My children were never allowed to act that way in public.” I ignored you, proceeded to corral my children to the cart and meander to the shoe section. I saw you stomp off in anger and I believe leave the store.
In hindsight, I should have apologized for my children running into you. That was not very polite and for that, I’m sorry. I should have put on a smile and shake my head and laugh and say “You must be having a really bad morning – would you like to tell me about it?” and maybe we could’ve shared a Starbucks and became friends. Who knows what bad news you may have gotten prior to your visit to Target? Who knows if you lost your best friend or your husband had an affair or you had a terrible diagnosis? I will never know because I didn’t ask. And for that, I’m sorry.
You see, as a mother – you will know that when it comes to our children we don’t see things clear. We see them and nothing else. I may have looked distracted, but I had my eyes on them at all times. I have to watch them like hawks because they are 4 and 2 and get bored easily. They are constantly on the move and because they had so much energy due to the fact that we were out of their daily routine – they were using Target as an outlet. We weren’t in the clothing section long, but long enough to upset both me and you. Which, honestly, if you knew me you would know that this bothered me immensely. You may have forgotten about it as soon as you reached your car. Or maybe you called your sister or your girlfriend or your husband and told them about it, like I did, with tears rolling down your cheeks. They said all the right things and you went home and went on with life. But, I wanted to write you this because I believe that you and I crossed paths today to teach me a lesson for my future.
Due to this exchange today, I will now be a warrior for moms everywhere I go. If I see or hear a woman mom-shaming, I will defend her – no matter what the situation is. I will set aside all insecurities and blame and I will see her as I want to be seen, which is….
A mama bear….trying with all of her might to do the best she can to raise her cubs.