You Are Not Alone
You Are Not Alone
By Monica Amman
One morning this summer I took my children to Target for some much needed grocery items. Within five minutes of walking in the front doors one of my children sat down in the middle of the main aisle through the store and refused to move. At first I thought, “No problem. I’ll wait.”
At first I ignored the people around me. They walked by. They looked. They moved on. It was easy to do when I’d only been standing there for thirty seconds.
But as the seconds turned into minutes, the discomfort set in. I felt the eyes on me. I heard the whispers. I felt the judgement.
What was I supposed to do?
What were all these people who stared and judged expecting me to do?
I stood there, frozen, uncomfortable, waiting for my child to get up so we could continue with what we needed to do.
I pretended I had a clue what I was doing. I tried to ignore the stares and whispers from passers-by. I still felt judged and I felt so alone.
That’s also when I began to feel a bit flustered and overwhelm set in. The judgement of others became stronger.
Then a woman came up to me, smiling. With a gentle hand on my shoulder she told me my children are adorable. She told me that she has been there, that she knows it’s hard sometimes, and then she was on her way.
That’s when I was reminded that we aren’t alone in this. I was reminded that we don’t have to do it all or know it all. I was also reminded of how powerful that knowing smile can be.
I was reminded that through all the judgement we might feel, we aren’t alone and there are mothers who understand.
When our kids climb on the counter for the tenth time, when they’ve dumped a bag of flour onto the floor because they were curious about what would happen, when they sit down in the middle of Target, refusing to move- we are not alone.
It’s so easy to feel like we are alone and have failed.
If you are that mother feeling flustered, judged, and overwhelmed, know that you are not alone.
I know that as you experience this, you might feel like you have failed. I’ve felt that too.
But you are not a failure and you are not alone.
You get up in the morning and hug your child even when all you want is another hour of sleep.
You make your child breakfast even though you just want to drink your coffee in silence for a few minutes.
It’s hard to remember all that you do in the moments of feeling alone. It’s hard to know that there are those around you who feel just the same. But we are here and you are not alone.
You push through the hard times for your children.
You do it for yourself too.
You pause to breathe because you know you need to.
You smile when it’s hard to.
You don’t smile because you just can’t. (That’s okay too!)
You keep going. You keep trying. You are here. You are doing it.
You are not alone.