If I had to pick a favorite place to shop with all 3 of my kids, Costco would be right up there. Want to know what would be at the bottom of my list? You guessed it…..The Post Office. Oh, for the love of Pete, no Mom should ever have to stand in line with 3 kids at the post office. Anyway—Costco isn’t that bad (can I get an amen for samples and carts that can buckle two kids in at once?) and so yesterday, we found ourselves walking in just to pick up a few things.
As we headed in, a smiley Mom with a baby seat in her cart passed us by. She was super cute, with a really unique hippy’ish style and she looked young. As our eyes met, we smiled, me thinking to myself how nice it must be to be out shopping with just one baby, looking all cute and such.
We grabbed our things quickly and as we headed back out, my 4 year old started melting down. With Eliza balanced on my hip, my other hand holding my crying Paisley’s hand, and Judah trailing behind us, we walked to the car.
When we got to our car, the Mom I’d passed on the way in was parked right next to us. With most of her doors flung open wide, she was busy loading her things in. She apologized that her door was in my way and as I smiled, I told her that I totally get it. No big deal.
As I buckled my kids in, she saw my 4 year old crying and instead of looking at us like we’re crazy, she told me that she totally understands. Zero judgement. Only encouragement. You know what she told me? You guys…..she told me she knows how hard it is and to enjoy my kids. In my hard moment, when I wanted to snap and cry right along with my kids, she spoke my own personal mantra right back at me. A stranger did this.
Even though we’d never met before, she was so encouraging and kind. She shared with me that she has 5 kids and that the other 4 were with her Mom. Her van was a disaster, which totally makes sense when you have 5 kids….4 of which she told me are boys.
Her encouragement was so timely. She made me want to spread smiles freely and not be afraid to talk to strangers. Most likely, I’ll never see this gal again, but she made my day. No, she made my week, possibly even my month. She was the perfect example of how powerful it is when women build each other up and don’t tear each other down.
Sometimes I forget why I want to write and encourage Moms and then I meet someone like her and immediately it all comes back to me. She was the perfect example of how we all can encourage someone by using our own personal life experience. She knew what it’s like to be a Mom and instead of judging me and making me feel like a wreck, she was brave enough to encourage me right there in the parking lot.
Right there with van doors open wide, exposing our messy vans and our messy lives, she followed her heart and used her experience as a mother of 5 to shine a bright light on my world.
What experience do you have that could encourage someone else? Are you allowing your story to change someone else’s?