As usual, the traffic is bad, my child is screaming, and the wait at the drive thru line seems to be endless. I’ve been up since 4:30 with a child that refuses to settle in bed peacefully and watch TV until a decent hour. Instead, she’s bouncing on my head trying to pull the curtains down. I finally drag us out of bed to get dressed and run errands. She, of course, refuses breakfast because she’s too busy.
Fine. Whatever. I’ll grab something while we’re out because drive thrus are life for most moms.
Then BAM. Hello to our mid morning meltdown.
It never fails that my child can go from not hungry and happy to screaming in displeasure that I can’t get her fries fast enough. Which in turn makes me extremely stressed.
It’s not my fault there are 10 cars ahead of us. Or that the register ran out of receipt paper. Or that they ran out of straws and have to go get some from the back. It’s not my fault that the person fixing the food made an order wrong which delays the entire line.
It’s really not my fault. But let’s be honest. It’s not their fault either.
Is it their job to “serve” me because I’m in the drive through? Yes.
But it’s my “job” to be a decent human being. To model kindness to my child and extend kindness to this stranger in the window.
Too often, we focus on what we can’t control instead of controlling what we can.
Yes, it’s frustrating for you and them.
Yes, you’re late.
Your child is crying.
But the people making your food, the people taking your orders and filing them … they’re people also. That teenager in the window? That’s someone’s child and in 10-15 years, it could be your child. Why do we feel it’s ok to take our frustration out on them? That older lady that’s in the window? This could be the job she takes to help make ends meet just so she can have a roof over her head.
We don’t know their struggles or if they had a bad morning. If they just got fussed at or maybe something is weighing heavily on their mind. If maybe their clothes aren’t fitting right and they’re just in a funk (hello … post baby feels I can identify with and it puts me in a bad mood too). But we can choose to be kind and model kindness for our children.
Smile. Say thank you. Acknowledge that they are a person with feelings just like you, and I hope that when you have a bad day that someone extends the same amount of grace and kindness.
Good karma begets good karma. Always.