Monday, July 1, 2013

Solidarity {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

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Last week, I took all 6 kids to the grocery store.  I was hardly there 5 minutes before the comments began rolling in.  "Are you a babysitter?" asked the lady behind the deli counter.  "These can't all be yours!"  Over by the dairy section, a woman told me "You're brave.  I only have two and I would NEVER take them shopping!"  It wasn't until I swung into the baking isle, picked up a few bags of chocolate chips (to the cheers of my kids), that a lady quietly came up to me and said "I had 5, and I would bring them shopping.  People used to tell me they felt sorry for me.  I'm not sorry.  And I'm happy for you!"

Thinking about it all later, I wondered why Mothers are afraid to take kids to the grocery store, or out in public at all.  Certainly, children can lose it in the grocery store.  We've all seen temper tantrums in the isles.  A friend once confided in me her "worst mothering moment ever," when she dragged a kicking and screaming child out of the store, buckled him securely in his car seat before bursting into tears, too embarrassed to go back and retrieve a cart-worth of groceries still waiting in the freezer section.  But if it happens frequently to good mamas (and good kids, too), why do we act like there is something horrifically wrong with the picture - instead of calling it like it is: a learning experience for a child just finding his way in the world?

What Mamas do matters.  Sure, to our families, but to society as a greater whole.  And while many of us are not called to minister a world away, we can find our ministry right where we are.  To our own family, yes, but to those with lives that brush ours along the way.  That woman in the grocery, the one who told me she was happy for me - her encouragement gave me the confidence to finish that grocery trip.  Her simple comment reassured me, reminded me why I do what I do, to always hold my head up high - and to pass along the blessing.  The others, although their words were no unkind, displayed a sort of dubiousness about the whole situation - that it required bravery to take ones own children shopping, because something was sure to go terribly wrong.

If we could simply encourage each other on this path, we could make a difference.  Even as we walk our own separate journeys, we can become sign posts to each other, a safe harbor.  In small, right-where-you-are ways, we can pass on confidence.  To the mom with the tantruming toddler, a nod of solidarity.  To the mom with the screaming newborn in the church lobby, a smile of encouragement. Confiding to our Mama friends that we are just doing what we can.

We're all in this together.  None of us really know what we're doing, all of us want to do it right.  We want to raise good, loving, helpful, respectful, honest and strong moral children.  We could all use a boost of confidence now and then. When we choose positive encouragement, our impact becomes immeasurable.  We can touch the world around us from the helm of our very own grocery carts and change it for the better.

So here's to you, Mama.  Go ahead and take those kids to the store.  And even if it all goes awry, know I'm saluting you from here.  You've got this, you're doing a great job, and everything will be just fine.  


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes. A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life. A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now.

You might post recent struggles or thoughts. Maybe just a picture or a quote. Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post. Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together. Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday! Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below. Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us! And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter. This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts.  Thank you.


  1. I have five, five years old and younger, and circumstances necessitate I take them all grocery shopping. It is hard, but on the rare occasions someone speaks positively to me, it means so much. Sadly, I can count on both hands the times it has happened.

  2. See? This is what I'm saying. We need more of that, yes? It could be just the shot in the arm that Mamas today need.

  3. I have three under the age of four and tire of the comments already, only two months after my third is born (although I have been getting them awhile since my oldest two are only 17 months apart). Like you said, they are not negative or meant to be discouraging but they ARE discouraging, especially since my kids are usually doing GREAT! I love it when I get that rare understanding comment and encouragement.

    My link up isn't specifically about motherhood but it is in a roundabout way, I think, so I hope that's okay :)

  4. The other day my mom and I took the 3 kids (ages 4,2,7 mos) to the mall for new sneakers. As I was getting out of the elevator, a mom was coming in ...She had 3 kids (around the same ages) and the oldest one had his fingers in his mouth and as she's trying to wrangle the stroller into the elevator she's saying "take your fingers out of your mouth! I'm not going to say it again! One...two!..." I looked at her, we both laughed, and I said "that was me 5 minutes ago...good luck." It was pretty funny. I had literally said the exact same thing to my crazy brood just a few minutes prior. I felt confident for the rest of the trip just because I knew I wasn't the only one, and I hope she did too. The power of a good laugh :)

  5. I have five kids and it's just one of them that makes the grocery store nearly impossible. He's three (today!) and simply does not do well in the store. 99.9% of my attention has to go to him to make sure no one is getting injured or a pile of cereal boxes aren't hitting the floor or he's not throwing eggs. This is all from his seat in the cart, in the front, with a baby in a sling on my body. He's just...more. MORE of everything the others were. So I feel for the mamas for whom the grocery is so very difficult. It is for me. I avoid taking him at nearly any cost these days. So I understand that feeling.

    But when I'm out, with kids or not, I try to tell other moms they are doing great, because they are. It's just passing along the helpful words of other mothers to me when I needed it most!

  6. I have one like that, too, Melissa! Yesterday he was out with his Aunt and Uncle, so I took the other 5 with me and my, he leaves quite a hole when he's not with us! He's larger than life in all aspects, and definitely my trickiest right now (he is 4). I understand not wanting to bring him because yes, it does make things harder for the mom. I do frequently shop without my kids simply because I can go faster and get it done early in the morning. I do think we need to keep encouraging eachother, because even those tricky, larger than life boys of ours? Need to learn how to be in the real world. They are part of our community, and should be embraced as such!

  7. I love this story! A little humor to cut the tension and probably left both of you the better for it. We all need a little humor when dealing with little kids!

  8. Thank you! I completely agree! I try to make sure he is included in the things that work much better for him, like shorter trips or more stimulating places (he's awesome at a farmer's market, for example). But oh yeah, this larger than life boy makes certain I'm continuing my mama education! I'm so happy to hear about other moms encouraging each other, we need each other to know that in the thick of things, we're doing okay.


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