Every aspect of my life has changed since having children. Pre-Mom me was never approached by strangers in public. After I had my first son, I was surprised by the extremely personal questions I started receiving from complete strangers. People approach me at the supermarket, Target and even out to lunch at Panera. It never fails. This has increased with each baby. As if having more children gives people more permission to be inappropriate.
I’m in awe of some of the personal questions I’m asked, directly in-front of my children about my children. While it seems impossible to avoid these interactions, I do my best to move on as quickly as possible and try to avoid getting into uncomfortable situations that might bring out my Mama Bear.
While some strangers have been really rude, I often think back to a woman who approached me at Target. I was pushing my toddlers in our double stroller and wearing my baby in his carrier. My toddlers were having a serious melt down because they thought the giant cement red ball in front of the store was a toy…and they wanted to play with it.
I could not convince them that it was a barrier meant to keep cars from crashing into Target. They thought it was stuck, and wanted to play with the ball. I received many glares…because as you know children aren’t supposed to be noisy in public. There I sat, on the red ball, consoling my children when I saw a woman approaching us.
Oh no…I thought. Then she spoke.”I remember when my children were young, it can be tough” she said. Here drink this (holds out an iced tea) maybe the kids will want some too. Look, I just bought it and it’s sealed. I’m not a crazy person, it’s brand new” as she demonstrated that it was sealed. She handed it to me and headed to her car. I was so touched. I thanked her and to be honest really needed a drink! Somehow this experience takes some sting out from the other conversations and I hope that when I get older, I’m the Target lady and not any of the others. Moral of the story. Be the Target lady! Be the Target lady! Where ever she is, Thank you!
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