Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I've become THAT mom

We've all been there. You're standing in the grocery store debating between the brand name of crackers and the store brand. Go with the brand, or save the money. Decisions, decisions. Just when you think you've made your choice, enter THAT mom. The mom with two kids in the cart and one kid walking, where one of the cart kids is screaming his head off, the other is hanging over the side of the cart dragging her arms on the floor, and the kid walking is pulling everything off the shelves. And THAT mom doesn't even seem to notice that any of this is going on. So while you're busy trying to make one of life's really important decisions, THAT mom is smiling, going about her own business while her kids are driving you mad. You think to yourself, how can she not do something about her kids? My kids will never be like that. Even if you don't have kids, I'm guessing you've experienced THAT mom.

Fortunately for me, Alec loves to go to the grocery store and practically throws a fit if I don't take him, and for now Chase just comes along for the ride or stays home with Chad. So I have been lucky enough to avoid the grocery store meltdown. However, I wish I could say the same for the shoe store. I have definitely been THAT mom in the shoe store. Yes, I was the mother with the baby screaming in the stroller while the toddler throws a world-is-ending fit about trying on shoes. I stood there and tuned out Chase's wailing while forcing shoes onto Alec, who was rolling around on the store floor, face red, legs and arms flailing, breaking the sound barrier with his yelling. I was the mother that I'd witnessed numerous times before and since having children. I was THAT mom - the mom who I swore I would never be.

I have also been THAT mom in other situations:

THAT mom lets her kids watch TV while she takes a shower. I'll never do that!
THAT mom gave her kid a hot dog for lunch AND dinner. I'll never do that!
THAT mom lets her kids watch a movie in the car. I'll never do that!

I've already learned a valuable lesson in my few years of parenting: never say never. Yep, that's right. I've tackled all three of these situations, all which I said I would never do. And the more my boys grow up, the more I'm finding that I become THAT mom.

While becoming THAT mom, I'm also learning not to judge other parents when I see them doing something that I may think I would never do. I'm learning that there actually is some kind of logic to letting your kids melt down in the store, whether it's the grocery store or shoe store. There is logic to doing what you have to in order to get a shower in. There is logic to giving your kids a hot dog for lunch and dinner. And believe it or not there is even logic to giving in and letting your kids watch a 90 minute movie on an eight hour car trip. Do my kids throw fits every time we're in a store? No. Do they watch TV every day while I shower? No. Do they eat hot dogs every day for every meal? No. Do they watch movies in the car on the 5-minute drive to the bank? No. But every once in a while I cave and become THAT mom in order to save my sanity. It's just a part of being a parent.

Right now there are only two things I can think of that I claim I will never do to become THAT mom. One is using those "car" grocery carts at the grocery store, and the other is giving my children medicine that will supposedly "help" them sleep for a long trip. Nothing personal against moms who do use those car carts at the store; I just can't stand them! And as for the sleepy medicine, I've just seen it backfire one too many times. So next year when you see me at the store pushing Alec & Chase in a car cart and buying Benadryl, you'll know I've once again become THAT mom!

My next Mommy's Always Write topic: The Daylight Savings Time Conspiracy


  1. ha - i almost ALWAYS try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Except where safety is concerned (i.e. children not restrained properly in a car.)

    My friend's mom told me a story about how before she became a parent and would see a mom with a child having a meltdown in a store (and the parent ignoring him/her), she would think...that poor child. After becoming a parent, she would think...that poor mother. ; )

    As it turns out, having a baby DOES, in fact, change everything.

  2. Good thoughts... And I totally felt that way pre-kids. Now, I completely understand and try hard not to judge as well. It is a very judged time of life - you're judged by people without kids (no experience), people with kids (with experience), grandparents (past experience), perfect strangers and your parents, your friends and your mate. The only people who aren't judging you are your kids!!! (See the xtranormal movie "mompetitors" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikvcS3Oe-oA)

    However, we use the truck grocery carts all the time because Connor thinks they're totally rad. I am sure to wipe them down before he gets in though... I'm THAT mom... ;]