Mom Gets Publicly Shamed at the Grocery Store & a Stranger Has the Best Reaction

Kid at grocery store
iStock.com/Filipovic018

The only people who hate hearing public meltdowns more than childless shoppers are the parents who have to deal with them while trying to get their errands done. Yet, strangers tend to forget this and instead of sending positive vibes or signs of empathy, many judge moms and dads for their "wild children." But what happened between one mom shopping at the grocery store and two different strangers is something that all humans should learn from. 

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"Well ladies and gentlemen, I really did not think this would ever actually happen to me. But, here we are!" the anonymous mom started her post on Reddit.

She explained that she, her husband, 5-year-old daughter, and 2-year-old son had just gotten back from an exhausting camping trip and that despite dreading it, she had to go food shopping. "I had stretched not going to the grocery store as far as I could because I did not want to take my very over tired, out of sleep schedule, children out on that type of excursion," she wrote. "But, I have to feed them. It's my job."

Despite her two kiddos being "currently on a nap strike," she had to take them with her and hope for the best. Although things started off smoothly, as most parents can guess, things quickly deteriorated. 

"My daughter starts playing games and singing and dancing at son (who is strapped in the cart). Then the screaming starts," she wrote. Daughter is holding onto the cart and son hates it so he starts screaming at her."

girl at grocery store
iStock.com/Filipovic018

Mom explained that it's a rule for her daughter to hold onto the cart while they shop in a store. So having one child following the rules, and in effect cause her toddler to meltdown, put her in a tough situation. "At this point I let it go. I just need to get done and get out of there. They were loud, but they were occupied!" she wrote. "Most of the time they were having fun with each other. We are a loud family so none of what they were doing didn't seem bad to me."

Major crisis averted, this mom was just about done with her shopping and only had to swing by the vegetable aisle before getting the heck out of there. But that's when a stranger felt the need to stop her.

"While I'm picking out some broccoli, this lady comes up and says, 'You know, your kids are being very loud in the store,'" she recalled. "You really need to teach them to use there inside voices.'" 

To add insult to injury, the older woman mentioned that her kids are in college now but would never have acted that way because she taught them better. "Ever been in shock? I was! The only thing, at that moment I could think of saying was, 'Oh My God. Get away from me,'" mom wrote. "She says basically the same thing over again. (Really seemed like she was looking for me to praise her for giving me the gift of such profound 'advise')."

Feeling like her protective "mama bear" side was being triggered, this mom started to respond that kids aren't always perfect in public places but another stranger walked right over before she officially lost it:

"[She] comes up next to me and says, 'Hey, Susan! (not my name) How have you been? Haven't seen you in a while. Come on let's catch up.' And I follow her around the corner with my basket and kids. This lady is following us still loudly talking about how people use to listen to advise and that I need to control my kids. This other lady just looks at me wide eyed and we just exchange the 'this women is crazy' stare at each other. The lady goes back around the corner. I introduce myself and thank her for saving my, about to go ballistic, ass."

The stranger/goddess introduced herself as Jill and explained that she saw what was going on and felt the need to help a fellow mama. She didn't know how and getting her away from the rude woman was the best thing she could come up with.

The pair went on with their shopping when Mrs. Perfect Parent started to approach again. After feeling like the entire store was officially judging her, she finally made it home and broke down to her husband about the humiliating experience. 

"She obviously had no idea what was going on in mine or my families lives. Someone once said, 'Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.' We just need to try and have more empathy for each and know that we are all fighting the same battle we may just have different ways of doing it or a need to give in this time or be harder that other time," she wrote. "Just to have the person that looks on and gives that know, 'yes, I know your pain' look instead of a public shaming."

Which is exactly what Jill did, and it made all of the difference to this overwhelmed mama. "I want to thank Jill for coming over and pretending to know me to get me away from this person before I lost it in front of my kids. Jill you are the real MVP!" she wrote. "I was in total shock at that point and needed a life line and there you were!"

And as luck would have it, mom and Jill later connected on Facebook after both sharing their experience on a local mom group. This is why Jill stepped in, from her perspective:

"I was wheeling on by and I heard the crazy lady and I stopped my cart and slowly backed up and thought to myself, 'Oh HELL no!' The woman was saying that this toddler needs to be respectful of other shoppers. I thought, 'This is a local grocery store, not a fine dining establishment.' The child was sitting in the cart, buckled in safely. He wasn't throwing anything out of the cart. He wasn't spitting. He was well cared for and safe. I had heard him screaming but my thoughts were, 'Poor mom. I feel so lucky to shop alone today.'
Big sister, as cute as could be walking beside the cart and mom as cool as a cucumber, patiently speaking to her children respectfully. I wanted to lay into the crabby lady but I really suck at confrontation so I stuck to what I was good at, interrupting people." 
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