Aldi. One of my favorite places. So I see no reason why my 2 1/2 year old wouldn’t want to go there with me –WRONG. Grocery shopping isn’t fun for kids–my little girl wants to stay home with mama in pajamas, play legos, talk about her babies, puppies, and color. She doesn’t want to get bundled up in her winter coat and go outside in the cold just to hit the grocery store. So as the mom guilt set in that on my ONLY day off this week I was making her run errands with me the fight to change out of jammies wasn’t one I was going to have with her.
I know what some of you may be thinking. She’s 2 1/2. You’re the mom. You make the rules. You get to say if she wears the pajamas or not. Yes you are right. But today, today I couldn’t fight about pajamas.
So off we went. I got the essentials. I got her favorites. I got her the red grapes. The strawberries.The bananas. I got her those little teddy grams she loves. Then I got what we needed, the milk, eggs, bread, potatoes, and veggies.
I was adding as I was placing the groceries on the belt as the cashier moved it along. Making sure I wasn’t going to go over what I had to spend. Debating on what I could put back if I added wrong. There was a man behind us. He smiled at Emelia. I made sure while adding that she said hello to him. To be polite. To be kind.
It was our turn. Relief set in as I was just under the dollar amount I needed to be at. I said thank you. Asked Emelia to say thank you to our cashier. We began packing up our groceries at the counter all the while I noticed a middle age woman staring as that same cashier was ringing her up. She paid for her few items. Walked right by us. On her way out she stopped to say to Emelia, ” I see mommy didn’t get you out of your jammies today” and just kept walking.
I stood there for a moment. I didn’t know whether to cry, to throw my bag of brussel sprouts at her, and for a split second I even wanted to explain myself, to defend myself. Instead I just stood there, smiled and walked out with my little girl
[still in those same pajamas that she’s had on for two days]
back to our car to go home.
You see I wanted to tell that woman that I had barely $40.00 to spend today for groceries. That our life right now is hectic. That I didn’t see her for days over the weekend so I could work to provide for our family right now, getting up before she awoke and getting home after she was already asleep. That each night when I came home I wanted to go up to her room while she was sleeping and hold her. But I knew that it was selfish to wake her up. That today was my one day off with my baby. That I didn’t want to be in Aldi. And that if she wanted to stay in her jammies with mommy today–that yes–mommy wasn’t going to change her out of them.
Tears filled my eyes as I loaded her in the car. Because I’m sure I’ve been that woman. Judging other moms. And I’m asking for forgiveness today. And I’m asking that anyone who reads this, please, before you judge another mom, another person, another woman, think before you speak.
What I’m reminded exactly in this moment as I write this is something remarkable. That God chose me to be Emelia’s mother. That he knew she needed me and I needed her. He formed her and created her for His purpose and made Chad and I her parents.
Before you make an assumption that another mom is wrong for not doing it your way. Don’t.
I want my daughter to remember me as someone who taught her to be kind. Not just by my words, by my actions. To build other woman up. To be supportive of women in general.
Speak life into people. Pray for people.
What a change we could make if we stopped a random mom in a store and told them what a great job they were doing, rather than telling them what they were doing wrong.
To the mom who’s hair is a day [or two ] past needing a wash, bribing their kid with a pink sucker to make it through one more aisle just to go home with guilt that you don’t feed her enough fruits and vegetables so you blend up a smoothie just to get your kid to take in something nutritious, I understand.
I understand that you love your child more than life itself and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.