Yesterday I Was the Mom that No One Wants to Be

Well, you know that mom you’ve seen carrying the screaming child away? The mom whose cheeks are as red from embarrassment as the child’s are from screaming? Yep, THAT mom. Well, yesterday that was me.

My daughter, my Little Diva, threw the worst melt-down I have ever ┬áseen. And,of course, she couldn’t choose the sanctity of our home to create such a precious moment. No. She chose the school yard. The school yard where we had just finished our Girl Scout meeting. The Girl Scout meeting that I led. Yes, I was the Girl Scout leader with the terror for a child.

Things have been a jingle-jangle. Our schedules have been turned upside-down. There has been illness. There are a lot of reasons why such a China Syndrome style melt-down would happen. None of those reasons mattered in that moment, however. I couldn’t stop and say to each of those pair of eyes, “It’s really not my fault… We’ve had a bad week… She’s really tired… She’s really a lovely girl…” I couldn’t say any of that. All I could do was walk as quickly to the car as I could.

I’ve seen that mom before. And I’ve always thought. “Oh poor thing…” yet I assumed that every eye on me was judging. And not just judging me but my otherwise beautiful daughter. (In fact, I think that latter point bothered me even more.) Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we assume that no one understands? That we are alone? Last night, in the quiet hours when the bad day turned to a bad night, I reached out to my Mama Tribe (more on that later). And they reminded me that I was not alone. They reminded me that I was not a bad mother. They reminded me that everything was going to be okay.

We all need that. We all need to know that we are not alone. So if you are reading this and you are THAT mom, hear me when I tell you that you are not alone. Because yesterday I was THAT mom. Yesterday, I was the mom that no one wants to be.

I was invited to join a Moments in Parenting Link-Up. Please check other moments…



  1. Shelley (@momma_oz) says:

    Love you so much. You are never alone darlin.

  2. It is so awful to be that mom. But you are right – we have ALL been that mom at least once. It is good to remember that we aren’t alone in this motherhood thing.

    • It is good. Ironically, being a mother can feel very lonely. My bloggy tribe and Momma tribe remind me that I am not alone. Thank you for being a part of that tribe!

  3. Alyssa S. says:

    Have I never told you the story about the one and only time Merrick ever had a grand public meltdown? My hubs insisted I take him with me to see Cars 2 again, even though he barely made it through the first time. He was 3 at the time. About 15 minutes before the movie ended, he started to get figity. The more I asked him to be still, the less still he got. The he started climbing the balcony (it was stadium seating in the theater). At some point I realized we were being a distraction to the rest of the theater, so I quietly picked him up, grabbed Amelia and told them we were leaving. And then he started screaming “PUT. ME. DOWN!” over and over and over….all the way out of the room…all the way down the hallway…all the way to the car. To be honest, at some point I had to fight the urge to break out laughing because I looked ridiculous and the level of pissed off in his voice was…well hilarious. I was slightly horrified, but have seen it happen so many times to other Moms that I got over it! It was the first…and the last time it ever happened. And now it’s a funny story I tell people. He actually thinks it’s pretty funny too!

  4. I don’t think I said it last night, but I have been THAT mom before.

    We ALL have.


  5. Oh Traci. I saw you yesterday and all I could think was Oh. I didn’t judge, I just worried. You do great. It happens and it happens to EVERYone. Should have seen us at our house this morning and you would have realized, it happens to everyone. It happened to us at 7:45 am before school. Wheeee. We are all in it. All of us.

    • Thanks! I know you’re right. It’s just so hard in that moment. It’s why I need my momma friends. Your words are appreciated!

  6. Oh Traci, you are certainly NOT alone!! I have had to leave a full cart of groceries 3x as I haul a screaming child out of the public eye. Only the single people judge, the mothers who have been there offer a prayer for you and what you are experiencing. I hate it when that happens.

    We traveled across country with my fussy, non sleeping infant back in 2001. I kept apologizing for ruining everyone’s sleep. My mother kept saying “honey, it’s ok, we know all about this. No one minds” It was very comforting :-)

    I am so glad you have a mama tribe!! I couldn’t manage without my support group!!

    • Thank you, Kay. It is so easy to feel I’m the only one but then my friends reach out and envelope me in love and remind me that it’s part of being a mom. A very hard part! I so appreciate you sharing your stories.

  7. I was that mom a few days ago and these two women walking up the street stopped to tell me that their kids do it too and suddenly I didn’t feel so horrid about walking a mile with a screaming child.

    • Boy! Don’t we all need that? We should all go up to “that” mom and say, “hey, it’s okay!” That’s how the responses have made me feel. I am going to pay it forward.

      Thanks for the love!

  8. if there’s a mom anywhere on earth who hasn’t experienced a moment like this – i’d love to meet her. although my kiddos are older, the memories still linger. don’t ever doubt your abilities as a parent. by no means is it easy and you’re doing a fantastic job.

    • Donna,
      It was so wonderful to meet you in person and thank you so much for your kind words. They mean so much! I look forward to sharing our experiences! It’s knowing that we are not alone that makes all the difference.

  9. Been there, done that. Thanks for the reminder to be forgiving to ourselves :)

  10. Hiya, popping in from Sunday Parenting Party. I have been that mum too. And i know what you mean about being more worried that they are unfairly judging your child. My friend remarked the other day that my son had changed recently because he didn’t have so many full blown tantrums. I was really surprised that that was her perception of him because i don’t think of him as having many proper tantrums – i guess either she has been there for all of them, or her idea of a tantrum differs from mine.
    So glad you have a mama tribe to turn to. I have a lovely one too.
    I’m pinning your post to the SPP pinterest board so others can also not feel alone.

  11. I was THAT Mum just last weekend and i’m so grateful to read your statement that when we see other Mums going through this we feel sympathy and yet when we go through it ourselves, we assume everyone is judging us. We were at a 4 year old’s birthday party last weekend and my son did NOT want to leave and screamed and cried – just not his usual style at all and none of our usual strategies worked. Of course the other parents weren’t judging me. I’m sure they all understood – a party, lots of sugar, 4 year olds playing with their friends and all the new birthday toys, of course the children didn’t want it to end. Thanks for reminding me we’ve all been there. Thanks as well for linking up to The Sunday Parenting Party.

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