Stranger's Note to Frazzled Mom About 'Rowdy' Restaurant Meal Goes Viral

Mom Moment 26

pizza hut noteParents, who's with me when I say that going out to a restaurant with small children is about as relaxing as a root canal? Of course it's fun to take the kids out to eat, but there typically is more wrangling, cleaning, and wiping up going on than, well, actual eating. And then there's the thought in the back of your head, when the kids start to act up, that everyone else in the restaurant wants to collectively burn you at the stake for ruining their dining experience. It can be tough. And if you happen to be a single mom with three kids -- including two who have special needs -- it can be even tougher.

More from The Stir: Mother Is Brought to Tears By Stranger's Note About Her Special Needs Son

A mom, who wishes to remain nameless, has been taking her kids out to a new restaurant every Friday night for the past few years. And when she brought her three children out to a Pizza Hut recently, she apologized in advance for the noise her family to a man who was sitting nearby.

However, much to this single mom's delight, the man didn't mind the noise and chaos one bit. In fact, he surreptitiously paid for her family's meal and left her a note bound to make any mother cry.

The note read:

I do not know your back story, but I have had the privilege of watching you parent your children for the past 30 minutes. I have to say thank you for parenting your children in such a loving manner.

I have watched you teach your children about the importance of respect, education, proper manners, communication, self control, and kindness all while being very patient. I will never cross your path again but am positive that you and your children have amazing futures.

Keep up the good work and when it starts to get tough do not forget that others may be watching and will need the encouragement of seeing a good family being raised. God bless! -Jake.

After receiving such a kind gesture from a stranger, the mom told ABC News, "You just don't know what people go through. Here I've had the worst few years of my life and I never get recognition like this, I just do what I can to get by. I want him and his family to know that he's awesome. You never know who's watching you."

If anyone ever deserved a free meal and some recognition, it's this woman. It sounds like she's had a tough few years, yet has managed to remain a good mother and a positive influence for her three kids. It was just a small gesture, but to this woman, it meant the world -- the note more so than the free meal.

It's nice to see that there are some kind souls in the world who actually can find the good in sitting next to a noisy family. Moms, let's all hope we're so lucky to sit near them the next time we go out to eat with our kids. We don't need our tab picked up or a note, but just knowing that someone out there, a complete stranger, recognizes all we do for our families sounds really nice.

Has a stranger ever randomly done something kind for you?

girls, boys


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emera... emeraldrose13

Yeah, hell would have to freeze over before anyone would do that for a single mom like me. MI take my ADD daughter out sometimes and sometimes she acts like a toddler. I'm sorry if it fucks up someone else's dining experience, but I very rarely get a night off from cooking.

wamom223 wamom223

I'm happy for this woman.  It sounds like she really really needed to hear she was doing a good job.  I have married friends who complain their husband never tell them they are doing a good job so its nice to hear that a single mom got to hear it from a man even if it wasn't hers.  It makes me feel lucky my man complements me every day on the job I'm doing and tells my son he should be happy I'm doing it and not him.


To answer the question asked above.  Yes, strangers have done nice things for me out of blue and I have done the same for strangers.  I know this made the woman feel good but I bet that man feels really good about what he did for her.

terpmama terpmama

I always try to commend a young child's good behavior (to their mom) in front of them .. "You've got a very nice/respectful/helpful/...young lady/man" it makes mom feel good (even if the rest of the day hasn't been smoothe) and boosts little persons self esteem while also "teaching" that other adults notice them too.


i am of the, "as long as the adult is trying to teach/correct/deal" then all they'll get from me is support. The ones that bug me are the ones who ignore (not done to teach just to avoid) behavior... I have no issue with "I will talk to you when you are calm" (especially since removing the kid may not be doable)

Pixie030 Pixie030

I have two little boys and strangers offer to do nice things for them pretty often. Nothing big but ones that recognize us from our apts when at the gas station have bought them some candy and had a complete stranger give each of them a dollar it was nice but not really the right time, but I let that part go so she could do something nice for them. They are 3 and 5 yrs and on occasion I will let them earn a few dollars by cleaning up or the older one being good in school and then when they want to spend what they have I like to take that time to teach them exactly how far those couple of dollars stretch, which most know isn't much. So they were both a little short changed and we were discussing which they wanted more and this young woman commented how she couldn't wait for her child to get older to have those moments with him and wanted to give them a dollar each for being so good and not throwing fits about wanting it all.

nonmember avatar Me

emeraldrose13, that is the kind of attitude that is ruing society and humanity. It's just all about YOU and no one else. Everyone has a story, and everyone is going through something. I was a single mother of 2 boys (one with ADHD and one Bi-polar). They knew the rules when we went out to eat and if they didn't adhere to them, then we left. All you are doing is rewarding your child's bad behavior. If your child can't handle going out to dinner then take her to McDonalds or call for take out. Why should everyone else have to pay for your child's meltdown. The other patrons are there to enjoy a nice meal out too. You have no idea what THEIR reason for their night out is either. Just be respectful others and don't go to places where you know your child will be ill behaved and a disruption. Find an alternative, go somewhere that is stimulating for kids. Take her to Chuck E Cheese's or a place that has a play area. If you do find yourself in a place where she starts to act up and not mind, then politely ask for a 'to go' box and take your food home.

Kristen Johnson

When I used to work at Mc ds this couple had found an envelope with some money in it. They ordered their food and paid and left, so I thought. They came thru again ahead of the car that had just ordered and they politely paid for their meal as well.In our small chat, I told them I was a single mom with 3 kids and going to school while working at McD's. I didn't complain just kept my usual smile and perseverence over what could be worse. This couple came thru a few times, each time paying for whatever was ordered. I was the lucky one to tell the people that their meal had been paid and to have a great night! It gave me a wonderful sense of humanity. Then on the last go around they gave me the remainder of the money and told me that the roller skating adventure I had planned for my kids(yes the small talk)could happen sooner than I was planning due to finances. they handed me the envelope and told me to have a great night. I wanted to hug them,to shake their hand, something! I simply broke down and cried and said you have no idea how thankful I am. So that weekend me and my kids got to go rollerskating and we had a good time. I ran an ad in the local paper with a picture to the mysterious couple who had given so many gifts that night when it could have been just as easy to pocket the money they found and worried about their own family, as they had a little tot in the backseat as well. I still don't know who that couple was, but truely blessed they crossed my path.

jrphelps jrphelps

I can always tell when some has this kind of attitude...

"I'm sorry if it fucks up someone else's dining experience, but I very rarely get a night off from cooking. "

And then no, me as the stranger wouldn't do something nice if I can tell the person has a sense of entitlement.  I can tell when a person is overwhelmed but not feeling that the world owes them something.  THEN is when you get an act of kindness.

Bravo to this mom for taking all 3 of her children out to a restaraunt.  I have a 2 year old & don't enjoy taking him anywhere other than fast food for the time being even with the help of someone else.  I am glad a stranger took the time to notice that she is loving & patient even when it proves to be difficult.

Sheila Harris

Usually my toddler is fairly active, and if we go to a restaurant where there is a lot of children, she won't eat cause she loves to watch them. If we do go out, we try to avoid crowded times, or just to fast food/to go/takeout.

As for others having to listen to us well, my toddler isn't that bad, she knows better usually. And if she does act up too much, then I pack her up and go to the car, while my husband pays the bill.

As for strangers helping us out, we've never had that happen....It'd be nice some day I'm sure :)

adopt... adoption2013

Kids have to be exposed to dining out or they will not ever learn how to behave.   BRAVO to this mama.

hexxuss hexxuss

I think it's wonderful what this man did for her.  As a Mum to a child with Autism, I've had MORE than my fair share of breakdowns, but rarely in a restaurant. My son has learned several things - the most important is that Mommy never bluffs.  If I say behave or we're leaving, that's EXACTLY what will happen.  I also know that if I never bring him out to places, he'll NEVER learn how to behave there... so the first few times may get rough.  I don't cop an attitude about it unless someone else is rude first, but I don't let my son run amok either.  No, I don't take him to super nice places either - I think Red Lobster is the nicest he's ever been to lol, and he LOVES it there!

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