25 February 2013

I get it now.

Back when Philip and I were first married, I would stroll through target, blissfully ignorant to what it's like to try to just get some shopping done with two little kids. So when I'd see a mom with small kids and they were yelling, screaming, throwing things, tearing things off the shelves.... I'd pass judgement.

It went something like this:

"Why can't that mom get her kids under control?"
"Why is she letting her kids be so obnoxious, can't she see there are other people in the store?"
"When I have kids, I will never resort to bribery!"

Any of these sounds familiar? For some completely ridiculous reason, I used to think I would know how to handle a situation perfectly, before I had ever walked in their shoes. And admittedly, even now as a Mother, having an understanding of the reality of things, I'm guilty of assuming I know best.

I never thought I'd be the mom that had "those kids" while in a public place. Or be the mom that took her wild toddler and baby to Target just to "get out of the house" (or in my case, more often we go to Fred Meyer, cause its closer). But truth be told, I'm the one that people are looking at now. The one that has the baby reaching out of the cart trying to pull everything off of the shelf. I'm the one that is bribing my toddler to stop whining by promising him a horsey ride on the way out of the store.

Oh how my perspective has changed. I understand that we do what we have to do sometimes when we are out in public with our kids. I know now that if my toddler is having a meltdown in public, the more I try to control the situation, the worse it gets. Other moms or non-moms might stare at me and wonder why the heck I can't get my kid under control.

Well my answer to you is this:

My kids are little. My toddler does things he's not supposed to do because he is still so young and is still struggling too understand what acceptable behavior is when we are out. He won't always listen, and we are working on that. Plain & simple, he's three years old and he misbehaves. And in fact, he might be a little more disobedient than other kids, so I get why you're staring at me like I don't know what I'm doing. But I am doing the very best I can - to teach him to be well mannered, and to follow direction. I try to explain and reason with him, that he cant just do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. It's just that here's the thing, some kids take longer than others to learn these simple rules. So please be patient with us.

And P.S. yes it's true that sometimes, even though I know there will be tears and tantrums, we leave the house anyway because if you have ever been cooped up with little kids in the cold winter months, you know that your sanity depends on those trips to Target/Fred Meyer... wherever. And the baby? Well he's just a baby and doesn't know any better anyway. He's just along for the ride.

So I want to apologize to all the Mom's with small kids that I may or may not have passed judgement on at some point. I get it now.

And to prove that my kids can sometimes be cute and well-behaved... here's a photo to melt your heart. ;-)


Van Hoesen Family said...

I know exactly how you feel! I only have one child, but he just turned 2 a couple of weeks ago and yep sometimes he has meltdowns and screams in public. People do give me dirty looks but I try to just ignore it. He's too young and doesnt understand why he shouldnt be screaming. And I find sometimes it gets worse when I try to stop him because he likes the attention I think. So frustrating, but im not going to stop taking him out in public, because how else will he learn! Keep doing a great job mom!

MaggieTheMrs said...

Such a good post. My little guy is only 6 months old, so we haven't actually gotten to the temper tantrum stage, but I know it's coming and that it's inevitable.
However, I feel like those moments will be so worth it to get to the sweet moments like the one in the picture. So sweet.
You're doing great, Mama!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

Everything changes after kids. Braden isn't perfect, but he's a pretty amazing 3 year old...he doesn't have public tantrums but I certainly don't judge any mom who's kid is doing so! In face, I wish I could go give her a hug and tell her it's going to be okay! Do you find also that it was ridiculously easy with just one kid vs. two....but at the time with one it didn't seem so easy? I'm finding that all the time now!

Nikki said...

Great post! How can those sweet little things be "those kids" you see in the store?!? I had to run into Target one night after dance class. Hailey was worn out, but I had to get a couple things. I should have known better! First she wanted a Barbie and had a meltdown about that. I told her no, but did allow her to get a little flavored chapstick by the makeup aisle. So we get to the register and she starts having one of her tired meltdowns about the darn Barbie again. And I told her, "well don't you want the cool lipgloss you pciked out" and she yells "NO!" So I saved my three bucks and handed it to the cashier and told her we won't be buying this. This now makes the meltdown worse. I figured we were almost out of the store and at this point nothing I did was going to calm the situation down because clearly she was just tired. She barely ever acts this way! Well as she is having a fit and I am paying, the lady in line behind me turns to the person behind her and loudy says "Wow! Some people shouldn't have kids. She should of just bought her the lipgloss". First off, Hailey has a ton of lip glosses so it's not like shes deprieved of lip gloss and it wasn't even the thing she really wanted. And secondly, nothing I did was going to calm her down, so it was easier to just hurry up and get out the store. I was just irked by the whole thing. Clearly that lady has no kids, or maybe she has the luxery of not having to drag a tired toddler into a store when you need to grab a few things!

Long story short, welcome to the Mommy club, where we don't judge, but sympathize with you and quietly appreciate the fact that its not our turn for a meltdown!:)

Alexandra said...

Every mamma is different, every child is different. They are exploring the world around them, and even if it is hard, every mamma does their best to teach their children. It takes time, patients and a mom who goes out to keep her self sane. :P

Laura Railing said...

I love this! Thank you for posting! It is so true that it's impossible to understand until you are there yourself. We are all such awesome parents, until we have kids! lol

Molly said...

Totally get it! I was "one of those girls" who swore my future kids would never act like that.

One of the worst stories I have is when I was in Target with Brigham. I turned my head for a second and he grabbed a canned good and threw it at my foot. It hit my big toenail and I started bleeding profusely. There was another mom in the aisle and she just stared at me as I cried and Brigham started crying. No one even stopped or asked to help!!! It was awful.

Holly Robertson said...

I've given a child or two the mom look but I'd never judge a mom, or you!

Mandey Ejiasi said...

I always go to the first isle with food and get the boys something to snack on while we're in the store. And they usually do pretty good that way. Unless we're in an isle they like.

I stopped paying attention to people in stores these days. I'm sure people stare at us and think the boys are doing stuff wrong. I honestly couldn't pick out a single person I'd seen in a Target after a trip haha. I'm so on a mission the entire time just trying to get what I'm there to get I zone out haha

Meghan said...

Yes and also, yes.
Oh, and the free child care at Fred Meyer? Best thing ever, lol.

Alia McCarville said...

I loved every word of this post especially the part about going to Target "just to get out of the house". I can definitely relate!

Janelle said...

This is/was SO me! I was also the one who passed judgment before I was a mama. And then I was the one with the loud obnoxious toddler and baby at Target yesterday. Part of life!

ADSchill said...

I only have a little baby, but I get needing to get out! I know that if I take him out he may start shrieking and I may not be able to get him to stop. You can't bribe a baby. But I try anyway. I guess I can always just leave if I need to.

Heather @ Cookies For Breakfast said...

Those two are so cute that I can't even picture them giving you a hard time in public! Picture or it didn't happen! ;-)

Seriously though, public incidents of misbehavior or tantrums are THE WORST! I get sweaty and nervous and it's hard to think straight. Oy. Getting nervous just thinking about it!

Samantha Kimble said...

I'm there with you on this one. One thing I've also noticed is that older couples seem to act like people who never had kids and look at you like they just seen you on America's Most Wanted when they see a parent with an angry kid. They are also the most bold with actually telling you that your kid is out of control and how to handel your kid. I think they purposely blocked this part of their life out of their head.

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