Dear Yelly Mom in Target: I’m Praying For You (But Not In A Condescending Way)

I see you Yelly Mom. You gave your two year old a little bag of goldfish because you thought that would stop her from reaching out of the cart to knock stuff off the shelves and it did, but not for long. The calm only lasted until she spilled her goldfish, leaving you with a big crumbly mess and an inconsolable toddler who doesn’t want another bag of goldfish, she wanted that bag of goldfish.

Your five year old, who is exhausted from a long morning at kindergarten, has finally stopped asking you if you can buy him every damn toy he sees and has taken to running ahead, oh wait, now he’s lagging behind, aaaaaand now he’s running off again.

Your kids are miserable and whining and at the end of their rope and you know how they feel. And here comes the frustration out of your mouth-the yelling. In an attempt to control this MESS of a situation, in an attempt to end this shopping disaster as soon as possible, you start yelling at your kids. 

There are people in this store who are judging you, some are giving you dirty looks and maybe, the bolder ones, unsolicited advice on how to properly parent your kids. I know what they see. They see you in this one moment, where you have lost your patience and are snapping at your kids.

They didn’t see you in all those moments before. So many moments-from the time you unstrapped your kids from their car seats, got them safely through the parking lot, and found a cart with two seats so they wouldn’t fight over who gets to sit in the cart. They didn’t see all the moments you gently pulled your two year old’s arm away from the packs of diapers that she desperately wants to throw on the floor or all the times you patiently and politely asked your son to stay with you.

I saw you in those moments Yelly Mom, hell, I’ve been you in those moments! I know that you regret yelling at your kids and I know that you are at the end of your rope today. This isn’t your best parenting moment and it is on display in a store full of judging eyes. Please know that I am not judging you, in fact I am praying for you. When I see you in the store, frazzled and stressed, know that I am praying-asking God to fill you with his peace and to give you his patience. I don’t know if it’s going to work and miraculously fix this moment for you or if you need to throw today out and start again fresh tomorrow. But please know that I see you in all your moments, and I’m praying for you.

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Comments

  1. I am this mom in the store, I am also the mom that send a polite smile to the mom you can tell is about to bust a nut on her kids, to let her know she is far from alone. We are all fighting the same battles. We are a team.

  2. Love the recognition of all of the positive mom moments that went unseen and unrecognized by the 30 seconds of total frustration…it’s a never ending balance this mom thing!

    • It’s true! I just wanted to remind the moms who are in the trenches, that we remember how tough it is and that we aren’t judging for those moments when you lose your temper.

  3. Marcie in Mommyland
    April 25, 2017 - 10:24 am

    It’s so stressful when the kids melt down when we are running errands. I always feel like I’m on a stage and the audience is full of critics.

  4. As moms, we’ve all been there. If anyone says they haven’t -they are lying.

  5. I think we’ve all been that Yelly mom at some point to some degree. Even moms who swear the never, ever, ever yell (seriously?) have lost their patience in some form or another. None of us can or should judge. Good for you for calling that out!

  6. While the meltdowns are miserable in the moment, it’s just good to know it’s an every mom thing. If a mom hasn’t experienced it, she will soon enough.

  7. Great blog post, as usual, Anne!! I have often been the mom yelling at my kids in, well, name any store and it is SO difficult when you get the looks. I hope there is a kind person who began praying for me when they saw me out of my mind with them! LOL

  8. Thesocialbeing721
    April 25, 2017 - 5:22 pm

    I’m not a mom but I do love to shop. It’s crazy what you see at the store but it happens and we’re all human!

  9. Felicita Moncada
    April 25, 2017 - 10:27 pm

    Oh, I can totally relate to yelly mom.I think many moms had that moment – it is hard when you have people trying not to look but look. The people who stare with annoyance. It’s tough being a mom – it sucks when you feel people are judging you.

    • I just try and ignore anyone around me in that situation and just hope they are sending positive vibes my way!

  10. I always want to buy moms I see like this a cup of coffee and a couple minutes of peace. It’s hard parenting and those that do it are pretty awesome.

  11. I have seen that mom. I am not judgmental by nature, but I am sure to try to make the kids smile or to say, “hang in there mom” to her.

  12. Being a mom is a 24/7/365 job…you can’t ever call in sick, or decide to blow off your ‘job’ for a day off, or quit. I have an endless amount of admiration for moms and know that kids are probably not for me because I don’t have the amount of selflessness it takes. To all the moms out there, you rock!!

  13. Brandi with Big Fit Fam
    April 26, 2017 - 10:04 am

    I am often this mom at the store. And in all honesty, no matter the judgement, sometimes kids need a good yell. time outs and calm voices do not always work. There is a way to do it right and a way to do it wrong, as with most things, but it happens and you move on….you try harder next time

  14. Dawn McAlexander
    April 26, 2017 - 10:20 am

    I think as mothers, we have all been that mom at one time or another. Yeah, it gets tough when you are trying to shop and wrangle two or three kids at a time. Sometimes you reach your breaking point and you snap. You instantly regret saying or doing something that you shouldn’t have, but it just happens. Hey, at least she is trying to parent the kids and not letting them just run all over the place. Those are the parents that need the judgement face.

  15. Sometimes I wonder what parents are thinking when they start screaming at their kids in public, but I get it. When you are at your whits end you lose it. I often say a little prayer for those parents too because you have to feel for them.

  16. Jennifer Pilgrim
    April 26, 2017 - 4:13 pm

    We all have our moments when we are the yelly mom. We all have rough days, so we need to work together! Mom Power!!

  17. I never thought this would happen to me. My son is almost four but it finally happened. Just with dinosaurs. My son is obsessed with dinosaurs.

  18. I definitely don’t judge a mother overwhelmed at the store. Been there. It can be so hard at times because all we want is to get our shopping done and go home.

  19. I was just in Target the other day and a poor mom was dealing with a very loud crying toddler. She was using a firm voice and I could tell was almost on the point of breaking. I didn’t want to upset her by saying anything even if it would be to encourage but I gave a smile, like I’ve been there.

  20. This is such a great post. Very positive and uplifting! I think we all need to support each other on this motherhood journey.

  21. I have been that parent numerous of times. I am so thankful that my kids are older and no longer do that.

  22. I witnessed this at Target today! I helped raise my two younger brothers so even though I’m not a mom, I definitely can understand their situation!

  23. This was almost me yesterday! I’ve never smoked, but by the end of our run to Kroger, I felt like I needed a cigarette.

  24. This is so true- it’s easy to get to your last nerve. I wish everyone would stop judging other moms and just start supporting them!

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