Parenthood
After stranger tells mom to get off her phone in store she claps back
Tracy Bennett had been in a store line for 15 minutes with her kids and they were getting fussy. She took her phone out, but didn't expect to be shamed over it.
Mary Rose Garra
10.05.21

We are living in a digital age. Almost everything is electronic nowadays.

Since the global spread of COVID-19, it has become even more virtual. There are lessons to be learned and benefits in doing your agendas online nowadays.

However, it is also the medium through which people pass judgment.

Bashing is experienced by artists, politicians, well-known personalities, and even ordinary people.

Pexels - Charlotte May
Source:
Pexels - Charlotte May

And being ‘bashed’ is not far from being embarrassed.

One example is mom-shaming.

According to Intermountain Healthcare, “mom-shaming happens when people criticize a mother for making parenting choices that differ from the choices they have made or would make themselves.”

An example is that “if you don’t breastfeed your child, you’re doing it wrong.”

Pexels - Büşranur Aydın
Source:
Pexels - Büşranur Aydın

One incident that could be considered “mom shaming” occurred at a Costco while a mother was on her cell phone.

As we know, shopping with children can test any parent’s patience. Parents are unsure whether their kids will be on their best behavior or have a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store.

Pixabay - StockSnap
Source:
Pixabay - StockSnap

Tracy Bennett, a mother of two sons, knows all about the stresses of juggling kids while grocery shopping.

She shared her own experience at Costco when a stranger made things worse.

Bennett stated in her Facebook post that she had been standing in the Costco membership line for fifteen minutes. While standing there, her two sons (who were two years old and seven months at the time) became agitated. The toddler wanted pizza and her younger son was getting fussy.

So, Bennett got out her phone and began working to try and get the membership online so they could leave.

Flickr - Mike Mozart
Source:
Flickr - Mike Mozart

That’s when a random stranger decided she should be paying attention to her fussy kids instead.

According to Bennett, the man said:

“You see these babies? They fuss like that because they want your attention. Maybe you should get off of your phone and give them your attention.”

The mom was taken aback.

What did the stranger overlook?

Bennett had her hands full.

He didn’t notice that she was on the phone with her husband to get more information about her Costco membership. The man didn’t get to see everything she tried to do to keep her babies entertained.

Unsplash - Paul Hanaoka
Source:
Unsplash - Paul Hanaoka

She later wrote an open letter to the man, which was posted on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page.

“First of all, I had no idea the toddler saying, “Mama, pizza, mama, pizza” over and over and the baby making pre-cry warnings to alert me that if we don’t move soon he’s gong to lose it wanted my attention. Thank you for that brilliant analysis of the situation.

Secondly, I had been in the Membership line for 15 minutes already. I pulled out books, snacks, patty cake, and even took to creepily pointing out items in buggies as customers left the store to entertain them.

Thirdly, you had been in the Refunds line next to me for a total of two minutes or else you would have seen the smiles and laughs and interaction.

Lastly, after 15 minutes, these babies got a bit fussy. And on the meltdown scale, they were barely even at a 1. Sensing the meltdown brewing, I took out my phone, downloaded the Costco app and texted my husband to ask what our log in is in an attempt to just get my membership card on my phone.

Because I ran out of tricks and my kids ran out of patience and now my goal was to just get us out of this line as quickly as possible before they released the kraken.”

Flickr - Lisa Pinehill
Source:
Flickr - Lisa Pinehill

Despite the fact that the man had no clue what was going on, she decided to “thank” him for his advice.

“But thank you for your parenting advice. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to shame a young mother with two tiny children. Thank you for seeing a stressful moment and deciding, “I think I’ll make this worse for her.”

Flickr - Lisa Pinehill
Source:
Flickr - Lisa Pinehill

Bennett called on people to take a step back and consider what a mother is going through before making judgments. She said:

“Everyone, if you see a mother (or father) with young children out in public ANYWHERE, assume she is stressed out. Assume she is trying her damndest to get through the situation. Assume this is the very last place she wants to be. Assume she’d rather be home cuddling, playing, running around with her babies. Assume she probably has had no sleep since her first child was born. Assume she is hungry because her toddler decided he wanted extra eggs this morning so she gave him her breakfast in addition to his own. And if you have nothing kind or supportive to offer her, please mind your own business.”

Pixabay - Victoria_Borodinova
Source:
Pixabay - Victoria_Borodinova

Indeed, opinions can be hurtful, which is why we must be cautious and only spread the goodness. Be sure to check out the mom’s entire letter in the Facebook post below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Mary Rose Garra
hi@sbly.com
Mary Rose Garra is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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