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An Open Letter to the Mom Who Leaned In

Leaning In PhotoI’m fairly certain that since becoming a contributing blogger here at SMB, that I have not shied away from the fact that my 5 year old is quite the “spirited” child. He definitely marches to the beat of his own drum, which is usually drumming at a high rate of speed, and I love him so very much for that. However, it absolutely makes our days so very challenging.  Add up many of these challenging days back to back, and I am sure that I look worse for wear at times.

Recently there was quite a string of challenging days in our household. It seemed like there was no end in sight. The meltdowns, the theatrics, the standoffs, the excessive volume levels were all catching up to me and eating at devouring my patience. One afternoon, I was picking up my son from school and he was having a hard time gathering his things to leave. One of the other mom’s in the classroom turned to me and said, “You are so patient with him.”

I wanted to cry.

Not because I felt as though she was implying that my son was difficult, but because she simply and politely acknowledged my struggle. She took a moment to realize that my son wasn’t simply being defiant. She saw that he had a hard time with transition. She wasn’t passing judgement on me for the sense of tired in my voice.  She took a moment to convey that she noticed I was trying so hard to keep myself together, when I really wanted to lose it and just get to my car already.  Whether she knew it or not, her single comment helped. It just helped.

Thank you to the mom in my son’s class who leaned in. You took a second to realize that something as simple as leaving for the day, isn’t necessarily simple for my son. You took the time to acknowledge a run down mama who needed a word or two of encouragement in that very moment. You were kind, sincere, and everything I wish other mom’s would be to each other in the glimpse of a struggle with a little one who’s emotions are sometimes too big for him to handle.  Thank you.

Situations like these serve as a reminder to myself and to many that we truly do need to lean in. While kids are fantastic at being kids, sometimes taking a second to realize the difference between a tantrum and a child’s inability to process his feelings can make all the difference.  Sometimes rather than saying “my child would never do that…,” it helps to take a minute to think about how all kids are different and all parents are doing their best. Sometimes it just helps to take a minute and acknowledge another mom for doing the best she can. We all are.

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4 Responses to An Open Letter to the Mom Who Leaned In

  1. Meagan Johnson April 6, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    Very well written and heartfelt. I absolutely sympathize with you. Big hugs! You are an amazing human being. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Lindsay Alvey April 6, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      Thank you, sweet friend! This parenthood gig is quite a wild ride, isn’t it? Miss you!

  2. Jeff Mccoy April 13, 2016 at 2:01 am #

    Really its heart touches story i just love it, Such a sweet you are, Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ellie Davis April 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    Don’t you wish more moms would do that?! We could ALL use a mom leaning in at some point in our day!, maybe some women will read this and try to encourage just one other mom! Maybe you will start a Be kind to Moms trend!

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