So I came on here to start a Easter basket post, and in doing so, I came across this entry that I wrote when Mason was super new. I wrote the entry the same day that the event occurred, but then when it came to posting it, I hesitated. I guess at the time, just getting it out of me was enough and I was not at the point of sharing with others. I recall feeling very 'raw' that day. So ten months later I am removed from that morning and feel okay with sharing this story now, as I still feel it is very relevant and important...
So here it is :)
Sometimes something happens in my life and I think to myself I need to share this with others. Today is one of those days.
This morning I took Max and Mason to one of the local drop in centers. On Thursdays at one of the centers they have a large gross motor room in addition to the playroom. When we first arrived today he started out in the larger room and then made our way to the playroom for snack we had a good time and Max was enjoying himself and acting pretty good but still within the realm of his development i.e. crazy toddler who acts as though he's been caged up for days and was finally let loose. So overall things are going well, until they didn't.
We went back into the larger room to put the baby back into his carrier, as Max had decided he wanted to go home. After doing baby out and changing his diaper Mason was quite alert and enjoying having a stretch and looking around so I decided to give Max a couple more minutes of playtime. This is when the insanity started. Max was clearly overstimulated as the room was packed and very loud with others running amuck. They were a few close calls of him almost taking out other children and at one point he almost tripped over his brother who is lying on the floor.
This is when having two gets tricky because I needed to deal with this insane toddler while at the same time toting an an infant with me. My attempts to calmly speak to Max about his behavior fell upon deaf ears as he was way beyond calm conversations at that point. His animal instincts had taken over and I was HORRIFIED. All eyes were on us and I felt as though ever step I took was being watched. I also still have post partum hormones running through my body so cut me some slack on my paranoia ;)
Que him dumping a large wicker basket of books onto the floor and spreading them everywhere with his feet.
Mason then started to scream bloody murder because he was put back into his car seat.. something he was not ready for as he was enjoying being free of the constraint of his car seat.
I walked quickly after Max with car seat in tow and he ran away from me because he was having such a fun time with all of the attention he was receiving from me (we all know they even like negative attention.. sooo annoying).
This is when it happened. Another mom appeared out of nowhere and literally took the carrier out of my hand and said "I've got the baby you go deal with your little guy." After contemplating kissing her right there, I took off after Max and with free hands was able to get pick up Max, have him help me clean up the spilled books and head to the escape, oh sorry I mean exit sign.
The woman who helped me was there with her two little boys as well, one also being a baby but months ahead of my Mason. She clearly had been in the situation before and knew how it felt. Had she verbally offered assistance I likely would have declined, but she took a risk and stepped right in and took the seat out of my hands giving me to choice but to accept the help (which I really did want but you know how sometimes your pride gets in the way).
Once home and after making the decision that I was having a cookie and a muffin for lunch I found myself thinking about this woman had helped me. I wondered to myself if I would have done the same thing if I had seen a mom in the same situation. Part of me thought that I would not have. I would've stood there and felt awful for this woman as she was clearly having a difficult time, but there would have been a part of me that didn't want to step in for fear of the woman did not want my help and reject my assistance. I also would have questioned any action based on act of taking a strange woman's baby away from her as a very forward action.
Well let me tell you this. After today, my thoughts about helping other moms have changed. There's no way I would've asked a stranger hey can you hold my baby car seat for me so I can go deal with my toddler. Now he struggled and tried to managing the moment. By having the confidence to risk rejection or an uncomfortable moment she made me feel supported and allowed me to manage the situation and the way that I wanted to having my hands-free and being able to deal with the situation
So I suppose the moral of this rambling post is don't be afraid to step in when you see another mom struggling even if you don't know them. Don't be afraid to take control, as our pride often gets in the way of accepting help. We are all in this together and it takes a village mamas!!
Oh and the banana blueberry muffin and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie were both delicious.
Update- ten months later looking back, I was a new mom of two at the time and I found this so interesting to read. I can say that if this happened tomorrow, I would have no problem asking a mom or dad who I do not know (in this environment) to help me if a similar situation was to unfold. I guess my mama of two confidence had grown in the last ten months :)