The Mommy Oath
Monday was not a good day. My sitter and the kids were sick so off to the pediatrician we went. Nothing says fun like a sick visit, on a Monday morning, when the doctor is running 20 minutes behind schedule and you are trapped in a windowless room with 4 kids.
I started bribing the older kids before we left the house with promises of donuts or bagels if they behaved at the doctor. Soon, however, this turned into threats of no tv and toys being taken away while they complained about everything from getting dressed, hating bagels and sitting on the “sick side” of the doctor’s office.
Mooooommmmmmmeeeeee why do we have to sit here they whine. Mooommmmeee the fish tank and toys are on the other side, mommy, mommy, mommy!!
We survived the doctor visit and even scored an antibiotic for an ear infection. Next stop, drop the twins off at pre-k. I was dreading this as much as one dreads a trip to the gynecologist. Drop off would need me to get all 4 kids in/out of the car (and car seats) so we could all stand in a tiny hallway waiting for the teacher to open the door. It is times like this I miss the relaxed parenting my mom had back in the 70s and early 80s when she would leave my brother and I in the car while she ran in the post office or bank.
I get us all out of the car and inside when it starts ….J’s meltdown. J has had a fear of the twins pre-k since he attended 2 classes there last winter. I ask another mom to walk the twins into class so I could make a quick escape with the 2 little ones. My thought being I could be out of the building and into the van before the meltdown progressed. Not! J decided he wasnt leaving and refused to stand up. I calmly tell him he needs to get up and walk since I can not carry him and his brother but that reasoning was lost on him. I can feel my cheeks starting to get red as the embarrassment builds and decide to “help” J up the stairs and out the door. A couple more minutes and we will be home free!
Nope. The crying escalated as J and L both fought to be carried. There are parents everywhere and I know they are all staring at me. How could they not when I look like a crazy person carrying/dragging 2 screaming kids.
We make it to the van and as I turn to put L in his car seat J takes off in the parking lot. I look around for cameras convinced I am on Candid Camera. This can not be my life plays over and over again in my head. On the ride home all I can think about is hiding in my room under the covers trying to erase the mommy moment from my mind.
I can’t be alone in this, others have suffered public humiliation with their children right? It is for this reason that I am suggesting we implement a “Mommy Oath” for all parents/caregivers. It would go something like this:
I promise to try to not judge another mom (or caregiver) who is having a difficult moment with their child while out in public. I will not think badly of them or their parenting and will not make assumptions about them, their children and/or their children’s behavior since I have been there (or will be) myself and know how badly they feel.
Instead of feeling like a horrible parent and/or totally embarrassed by a situation with your child, you could take a minute, hold your head up and move on knowing it would all be ok.
I know everyone has had their own mommy moment. Instead of being down on ourselves we need to support one another. We are all, as parents and caregivers, hopefully doing the best we can to raise our kids to be mature, responsible and kind-hearted individuals in this complicated world and I for one could use all the support I can get.