Mum's powerful post about a toddler's tantrum goes viral for a super important reason
We've all been there.
It's a Saturday morning, and you're in the middle of Tesco. The place is heaving with shoppers and trolleys and other children and everyone is just trying to get their shopping done as quickly as humanly possible to get the heck out of there.
And then your three-year-old throws a tantrum so epic and so unexpected (and over something so miniscule) you can literally feel the sweat dripping down your back and forehead as you are trying to negotiate him up off the floor, making sure others don't trip over his flailing arms and legs.
But one mum has made a powerful plea for "support instead of silence" the next time you see a mum in a similar situation.
Writer and mum-of-two Katie McLaughlin went viral last year after her post about being a witness to a toddler meltdown of "epic proportions". Even though it was a year ago, the post still rings true and has been doing the rounds online again for that reason.
"Behind me at the checkout, this 3-year-old was kicking and screaming and flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water.
"I tried to catch the mom’s eye and give her an empathetic look, but she was too busy wrestling with her daughter to notice me."
Kate said that the mum had been doing everything "right": remained calm; spoke to her daughter in a "gentle, reassuring tone."
"She was as attentive as she could be while also attempting to pay for her assortment of $10 tees and seasonal decor.
"But despite her best efforts, the meltdown only got bigger and bigger. The mom still stayed calm, but I noticed her cheeks were very flushed as she apologized profusely to the cashier.
"Say something kind to her, I thought. She’s embarrassed and alone and feels like a terrible mother. Remind her that none of those things are true.
"But then I thought, No, it’s none of your business. LEAVE THE POOR STRANGER ALONE."
Katie went on to recall how she took her time leaving the store, and could hear the little girl "screaming at the top of her lungs all the way to the parking lot."
"She fought fiercely as her mom strapped her into her car seat.I felt exasperated just observing, so I knew the mom’s blood pressure must be sky high.
"Go to her, Katie, I thought again. This time I did.
"'Sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to say you’re doing a great job.'
"She looked up at me, blinked twice, and then visibly melted. Tears started streaming. 'I think I feel as bad as she does.'
"I nodded. 'I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but you are rocking this.'
"More tears. 'You have no idea how much I needed to hear that.'
"I did though. Every parent does. So let’s start saying it. Let’s take the risk. That mom could have looked at me funny. She could have told me to mind my own business. But I took the chance and we are both better for it.
"Empathy instead of judgment. Support instead of silence. Community instead of isolation. This is the parenting revolution."