Dear Strangers, Here’s How To Help Moms In Public During A Meltdown

Dear Strangers, Here’s How To Help Moms In Public During A Meltdown

We’ve all seen us, many of you have been us, some of you will become us, so let’s work together to ease your pain of watching us in public with our young children. 

Mothers everywhere have endured meltdowns and mayhem in public with toddlers, and I am certainly no exception. As a mom of three boys under the age of four years old, I have left many places with crying kids, been kicked out of establishments, and felt the watchful eye of strangers in public equally casting their judgement and pity. 

Here’s the deal, I’ve come a long way in my motherhood journey. Far enough to let you know I do not care about or for your judging eye as my child melts down in public. I’ve also come far enough to tell you no in your attempts to ‘help’ me get through it.

Here are a few tips that will actually help: 

Offer to handle whatever object is involved, never offer to handle the kid. My kids, and likely yours, only want mom during an outburst. Strangers offering to help with my child isn’t the answer. Your answer is to return the shopping cart, clean up the pile of books, walk my stroller across the street; all extremely helpful ways to make meltdowns easier on mom and move the moment forward. 

If you’re in a car, keep driving. This means I don’t need you to wait for me at the stop sign to see if I need a ride home as I push a double stroller and lug a trike with a reluctant rider in tow. I’d never accept a ride from a stranger, even a well intentioned one, I’m a child of the 90s #strangerdanger. The car you are in as I’m trying to get my 4 year old on a trike across a major road is more of a danger than anything else. I’m corralling my kid, so you can drive away. I don’t need to worry about my kid running out in front of your car while you’re trying to ‘help.’ Please move along, that would be so helpful. 

Dear Strangers, Here’s How To Help Moms In Public During A MeltdownIn general, just keep walking as this is the most helpful in a meltdown situation. Likely you have caused a scene or two yourself as a young toddler in a public setting, so keeping your judgement and pity to yourself as you keep walking would be the most helpful.

Hearing a simple “you’re doing a great job” would also go a long way, should the moment afford such a compliment. As moms we get little encouragement throughout the day and least of all during some of the most trying times.


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