Random acts of kindness to moms
Why? WHY!? Why do I subject myself to this torture week after week? Why don't I just go grocery shopping in the afternoon when Hubby gets home or at night when the girls are asleep?
I used to love grocery shopping. Yes. I just used "love" and "grocery shopping" in the same sentence. I used to go out Sunday evenings, when most people were nestled on their couches watching their Sunday primetime shows. Grocery shopping on Sunday evenings is glorious, because the store is quiet and unencumbered. I can pop my iPod in while I lazily go over my grocery list and comparison shop at my leisure.
It's almost like vacation.
But as the way life has maneuvered, we are usually completely empty of food by Mondays, and if I want to get the remote semblance of a meal on the table that evening, it requires a Monday morning grocery-shopping trip. With the girls. And the experience usually falls somewhere in the range of "Punishment" and "Seventh Ring of Hell."
Bug, although not quite 2 years old, hates riding in the cart. For my own sanity, we've worked out a compromise where she and Chica ride in a Car Cart (you know, those monstrosity hybrids that are half toy, half grocery cart, 100% freak show?).
Time is ticking once the shopping starts before a fight or tantrum erupts, so I wield that Car Cart like it's nobody’s business. The kids are loaded up with snacks and I do my best to shop smartly while getting every item on the list.
All bets are off if the delicatessen does not offer the girls a slice of cheese.
A kind act
So it was one of those weeks where all 3 of us were crying or near tears. I had survived the actual grocery shopping, paid and walked out to the car. I'm sure we were quite a sight (perhaps people know my weekly routine and purposely come to the grocery store on Monday mornings just to watch and judge me).
I loaded the groceries into the trunk and was in the process of loading the girls in the car. As I turned to walk the cart back to the corral, I was greeted by a woman around my age. She was smiling and had her hand on my cart. She said, "I don't have my little ones with me today, so can I take your cart back for you? I know it's a lot to juggle."
I could have kissed her. But a thank you and smile sufficed as she turned around and walked our carts to the corral.
Let’s be doers for other moms
It made me realize that as much as we need to be the recipients of random acts of kindness, we also need to be the doers of random acts of kindness. Especially for moms! How many times have you been out and about, and witnessed a mom trying to discreetly deal with a tantrum-ing toddler or a rowdy group of young kids while grocery shopping? How many moms do you know are quietly treading parenting water but can barely keep their heads up?
We need to love on those moms.
So I started challenging the readers on my Facebook page to commit Random Acts of Kindness for other moms. Maybe it's a hand written note of encouragement or buying the mom behind you a coffee in the Starbucks line. Maybe it's distracting the wiggly kids of the woman paying at the cashier or just a knowing hand on her shoulder with the words, "You are doing a great job. Hang in there."
This week, I'm challenging you all: Show a Random Act of Kindness to a Mom. Maybe someone you know, maybe a stranger. But be the blessing in her day, be the restoration of hope in her life.
Stephanie Anderson is a West Chester, PA mom. Read her blog, Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom, at ModernDayDonnaReed.blogspot.com