27/03/2017 15:25 BST

Stranger's Act Of Kindness Proves No One Knows What Goes On Behind Closed Doors

'She doesn't know I pray to not feel so lonely.'

Most parents know that while they may seem to be holding it together in public, it doesn’t always mean that they are coping behind closed doors.

Now one mum has explained how a stranger “made such a difference” in her life with one random act of kindness, just when she needed it most.

Suzanne Maughan had taken her daughter Hayley to an IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) restaurant for breakfast on Sunday morning, when she came across a stranger who was dining alone.

When the mother-of-two sat down she said that the woman on the other table “kept looking over and smiling”, eventually leaning over and telling Maughan’s daughter: “You must have the best mum in the whole world. Never forget how amazing she is.”

The woman, Mary, then introduced herself and explained that she had a grown up daughter of her own, 49, who lived in Baltimore.

After the introduction, Maughan said: “Throughout the meal, we would have little conversations but mostly, she seemed to just be observing my relationship with my daughter and smiling at us.” 

Then as the family went to leave they were told that Mary had already paid their bill for them and even left them a kind note, that read: “Thank you for sharing your mother and daughter day with me.” 

Although paying the $19 bill might have just been a kind gesture on any other day, Maughan said that this meant so much more to her.

Maughan said: “Mary doesn’t know I’m a single mother of two. She doesn’t know how difficult this week has been for me. She doesn’t know my anxieties and insecurities and how much I pray to not feel so lonely.”

“So thank you, Mary. You have made such a difference in my life with your kindness.”