Parenting can be a rough gig, and that goes double (or triple) for moms dealing with children with special needs, a learning disability, or emotional struggles. Too often today, we sit and judge other moms without stopping to think that perhaps we don’t know the whole story of what they’re going through in that moment.
That’s exactly what happened to single-mom-of-two Taylor Myers while she was waiting to check out at Walmart. She needed to cash her paycheck and buy groceries, tasks she couldn’t abandon even when her daughter Sophie, who struggles with ADHD, began to have a meltdown. The little girl had called her mother a ‘butthole,’ which resulted in a bag of chips being taken away. For a normal child, this could be upsetting, but for a kid with ADHD, it caused hyper focus and indignation that wouldn’t stop.
“She’s relentless. I know this. I live with it,” Myers wrote on Facebook about the incident. “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 ignored Sophie’s escalating whines and tended to her son, Mylo, as they waited their turn to leave. She was doing her best to avoid reinforcing the behavior when a woman behind her in line piped up and said, “Oh, for Christ’s sake give her a cookie so she’ll shut up!”
Myers realizes that she “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, she snapped, “she’s four years old and you need to mind your own f***ing business.”
Not her finest moment, and the entire scene and interaction left her crying out of sheer anger, hurt, and exhaustion.
Which is when something beautiful happened. Another woman came up, but this time she addressed Sophie directly, asking her questions meant to distract her, but also backing Taylor up when the kid started to get back on the subject of the chips.
She went home and posted the interactions on Facebook, concluding with this thought:
“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 and unless you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge me. But it also takes one small act of kindness to my children and I. Thank you for walking us out. Thank you for backing me up. Mamas have to stick together.” Read Myers’ complete post below.
An excellent reminder as we go about our daily business among human beings who are complete strangers. You might see a bratty, whiny child and a parent who seems to be unconcerned, but there’s no way for you to know what struggles they’re dealing with at home, school, or work. So let’s all try our best to do what we can for each other in the moment.
We can all use a little backup now and then.
h/t: Huffington Post