To the Mom With the Screaming Toddler In Aisle 5

Dear Mama,

Right now your screaming toddler is tantrum-ing REALLY loudly…most people just hear the noise, they didn’t see the rest of the story like I did. Basically it all started when you said, “no”.

Now, we’ve all been there and NO ONE wants to claim the temper-tantrum-throwing kid who looks like he’s the Hulk caught in transition changing color and throwing himself on the floor. I can tell you’re embarrassed, but please—don’t be.

I can see tears forming in your eyes as you do your best to lift your screaming toddler off the ground. You’re also wearing the famous mom uniform. Yoga pants with knee-high snot stains, sweatshirt complete with tissue and snack-filled pockets, and of course, you’re rocking the mom pony tail that is somehow managing to hold half of your hair up while the other half shoots off in every other direction like you just stuck your finger in an electrical socket.

But I do NOT see these as signs that you don’t have your life together…in fact…I see the opposite. You’re a selfless hero who loves her kid enough to say no. Your hair’s a mess because your kid’s bath was more important than yours. Your knees are covered with snot because your child needed to be cuddled more than you needed a clean pair of Sevens for all Mankind. On their 18th birthday your child will remember the songs you sang to them, not the jeans you wore in Target.

I’m not looking down on you, Mama. In fact, I’m cheering you on.

I don’t know why this occurs, but at least for me, it seems that whenever my kids have meltdowns it’s like every other child in the world is perfectly well behaved. Mine are flailing in the grocery cart while all these other children in the store are reciting Bible verses and picking out vegetables to cook for dinner. This is so far from the truth.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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