Sometimes it feels like society expects moms to apologize for simply being moms, especially when your child is having a hard time in public. If you're a single mom (like I was) or have more than one child, their judgement increases exponentially. Moms pretty much have to choose to either never take their kids anywhere, or risk stares, comments, name calling, jokes, and even people attempting to parent their kids if they misbehave. There are so many cruel things you can do to a mom when her kid's having a tantrum, and I've experienced them all. Unfortunately.
For the most part, my kids are pretty well-behaved, especially considering that I have five of them, but when they're hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or just plain crabby, all bets are off. And as much as I try to prevent tantrums from happening, even the best kids with the best parents are going to go off the deep end and throw a tantrum or seven. So, no, stranger in the grocery store who just pointed at my tantrum-throwing 4 year old and made a nasty comment: I am a good mom and he's not a horrible kid. He's a great kid who is having a hard time, and I'm doing the best I can.
The same goes for the creepy guy who asked me if I knew where the condom aisle was, or the checkout clerk who told me that my crying 2 year old was "good birth control." Comments like these stung and left me asking myself, "Who says that? Did they really just say that?" I've honestly reached a point where I would rather just stay home instead of risk a public tantrum and deal with the judgment that comes along with it. Unfortunately that's not always an option, so I have slowly worked on managing my social anxiety and developing a thicker skin.
You see, all kids have tantrums once in a while, even my perfect kids (kidding). It happens. It's embarrassing, frustrating, and makes you want to sink into the floor. Even the best parents can't always manage them "perfectly" either, especially when people are staring, making rude comments, or intervening when they have no clue what's going on with you and your kid. So the next time you see a mom (or any parent for that matter), with a upset kid, try asking them if they need help or telling them that they are doing a good job. Definitely don't be cruel, like these people, and do the following things: