An open letter to a kind stranger,
To the lady who was kind to me today when my daughter lay screaming on the floor in a busy shop, thank you. Thank you for your kindness, thank you for taking the time to reach out and make me feel like I wasn't alone.
You see, there are some days when I am so full of tears; days when I feel the slightest thing may cause them to tumble down my face.
You don't know me but, before, I was capable, I could cope. Then I became a mother and things changed; my ability to cope and feel in control diminished.
I knew it was destined to be a bad day when my child looked me straight in the eye and, despite my protestations, continued to throw her breakfast all over the floor. This is not new, but today I nearly wept.
I applied my make up, a prop for my confidence, and we headed out to buy a friend a present. I had pictured a wander round, some retail therapy and perhaps a drink in a coffee shop. We only got as far as the first shop when my daughter decided she wouldn't walk with me and lay screaming on the floor, becoming more and more hysterical with every passing moment.
Screaming like a wounded animal and refusing to move or be picked up. People almost stepping over her. Walking by, their seemingly perfect lives laughing at me.
As the shaking in my stomach increased, I decided to abandon our trip and just go. Go and escape back to the safety of home. I picked up my hysterical child, feeling as if everyone was looking at me, judging me. Thinking that it must be my fault; that I am a bad mother. Only a bad mother could cause such behaviour in their child.
Standing in the queue, the screaming ringing in my ears, you saw me. You saw what's in my heart and you told me in a look that I am not a bad mummy. That it is not my fault.
You offered me such kind words and when you touched my arm I felt so supported. You knew I do the best I can for my daughter, you knew that I hadn't brought her up to behave that way. You were kind and you didn't judge. You took the time out of your day to empathise and notice someone who was on the edge and offer help to them; for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The world needs more people like you.
Yours forever grateful,