I lost my shit in the grocery store tonight. And I don’t mean I misplaced something… I mean that I became the type of mother I said I would never be. I was pushed to my breaking point… and I lost. my. shit.
I should have known better than to take both of my kids grocery shopping during that “sweet spot” after dinner and before bedtime. It started out well, but by the time we made it out of the produce section, it started going downhill fast. Damn it Wegmans– you should know better than to run out of free apples for the kids- because only my children would complain over getting chocolate chip cookies instead. And I should have known better than to allow my four year old son to have a chocolate chip cookie at the beginning of a shopping trip.
Have you ever had a child misbehave in a store? Maybe cause a bit of a scene? How about stand in front of your grocery cart and push you backwards into other shoppers? Or wrap themselves around your leg so that you literally have to drag them along the filthy floor just to get to the checkout lane? Have you had to carry around a 40 pound child, while pushing a full cart, all the while having an angry old man (that said child shoved you into earlier), give you dirty looks? No? Lucky.
I wish I were making this up, and in retrospect it sounds downright hilarious now. If I had watched this happen to another mom, I would have given her my knowing smile. The one that says, “I’ve been there. You’re doing a great job! Don’t let them get you down”. But when it was happening to me, I lost my shit. I was not handling it well, and I completely and utterly let my child get the best of me.
Remember when I said my son was standing in front of my cart, pushing it back at me? Well he did this several times, and each time there was someone behind me trying to get by. And each time I got a dirty look for not being able to control my son. I sat there, debating running him over with the cart or just jumping aside to let him push it into someone else for a change.
I chose to run him over.
It’s not my proudest moment, and in my defense I did not truly run him over. I may have shoved it back just enough to scare him though. The person behind me however didn’t think my actions were the right choice. Lucky for her though, she didn’t say anything. If she had, I probably would have thrown my son in her cart, and offered her $100 to make it through the rest of her shopping trip with him- without wanting to run him over.
Don’t get me wrong- I love my kids and I would never harm them. But I do find things slipping from my mouth that I regret. And I do take actions sometimes to get their attention that I shouldn’t.
When I hit my breaking point, it gets down right ugly. I made it out of that store tonight with my face bright red, holding back tears, and whispering how disappointed I was. More to myself than anyone else, but my kids finally heard me. My daughter, who was nothing but helpful during this trip, apologized. She did nothing wrong, but because she could tell I was losing my cool, she spoke up to be a good example for her brother.
It is incredibly humbling to realize that my daughter was setting a better example than I was.
My downfall tonight was letting other people’s opinions of me make me feel inadequate as a mother. I felt defeated, and belittled by the glares I received while just trying to survive this trip without forgetting something on our list.
I let my generally laid back attitude get replaced by a crazy lady who was embarrassed by her kids behavior. I know I am raising my son to behave better than that, but it sure as hell didn’t look like it.
So tonight, I lost my shit in the grocery store. But in the end, my daughter taught me a very valuable lesson. Next time, I will use my behavior to show a better example for my son. I will make sure to speak to him in a way he will understand, and keep myself from losing my cool simply because people are judging me.
And next time, no one gets a damn cookie.