The Sum of Our Parts
June 21, 2016
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There was an incident today. I was wrong, completely. I’ll spare the details because I’m already struggling with a hefty dose of mom guilt over this, and I don’t want to risk further, albeit unlikely, battery in my comment section about the error of my judgment. To avoid, however, the annoyance of a post entirely too cryptic from the get-go, suffice it to say it involved a soiled diaper changing location that was not ideal. I felt uneasy about it at the time, but determined it was the best option in a series of problematic options. I was reported to personnel for a judgment call by an individual who, apparently, decided I was not up to her high standards of parenting.
I wasn’t intending on a post of this nature. I don’t want to come across as blaming and deflecting to detract from my impropriety. I don’t want to make excuses for my actions. I get it. I was wrong for my decision. It wasn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last. I would continue to feel bad even if an employee was not called to redirect my behavior. I was doing the best I could for my children, and that’s the point.
So, here is my rub that is prompting me to immortalize a memory I’d rather forget. I’m balancing between a two-month-old infant and a two-year-old who is impulsive and cranky. While I try to be good humored and natured about things, I’m clearly struggling. As a mother with a youngish child of her own at the same establishment, what prevented her from offering to help instead of taking the punitive route? On my end it would have been a valued offering, such gestures usually are. How do I know? I try to be that helpful parent. Maybe there isn’t something I can physically do, but at the very least I’m the one to crack a joke when I see another parent in public with his or her child who is in the throws of an impressive tantrum. Maybe I risk the joke falling flat, but in every instance of the many, I see relief wash over the parent’s face. In that moment I’ve communicated that I get it; the parent is doing the best he or she can.
I will end with that. While there are other pieces to this other mother’s behavior that are troubling, I hope this post inspires others to reach out to those visibly struggling. I don’t know if it would change the world, but that lowly individual would probably appreciate it.