I hope someone told her


The waiting room was crowded. I found one seat but not two together. M stood by the door and waited.

The crowd was what you might expect. Adults looking very uncomfortable and trying to distract themselves from their full bladders. One gentleman in a wheelchair. A few people clearly waiting for someone who had already ventured back to the exam rooms for an ultrasound or xray.

Poking out of a stroller, just two seats down from me, was a cast. A tightly wrapped cast concealing the bottom half of a baby leg. I couldn’t see the baby behind the hood of the stroller but the legs said it all. Glorious baby pudginess, right down to the cast.

The stroller faced a woman about my age with blond hair pulled back into a ponytail. Next to her a boy, probably about age 4 or 5, hung onto the arm of her chair.

The baby seemed content but the boy, he required some entertaining. He and his mother talked about waiting. He asked why they were waiting. She compared it to being in school and waiting in line. She played clapping games with him. She watched him with a smile as he taught the game to the baby in the stroller. They talked about lunch and what they would eat when they returned home. The boy whimpered in some kind of pain and the mother quietly comforted him. The baby in the stroller fussed and she tended quickly and quietly.

Not once did either child reach the stunning octaves that I know uncomfortable children can reach. Not once did they fuss for longer than a few seconds. Not once did the mother’s tone exhibit any kind of edge.

Through it all, the mother kept calm. She was patient and she was steady. She did not fluster.

A door opened to my right and a nurse called out a name. The mother looked up, calmly corrected the nurse’s pronunciation, and began to collect her brood. As she wheeled the stroller towards the door the nurse exclaimed, “And what happened to you!?”

“Oh she and I fell down a hill together. It’s been a crazy week!” The rest of her explanation was drowned out by the boy, eager to share the story behind his sister’s cast. I could hear him talking as they walked down the hall. I could also hear the nurse, reacting to the story all while prepping the boy for the tests he was about to undergo.

Before they even walked to the door, before I learned that the cast and their trip to the radiology department were unrelated, before I witnessed the mother calmly recounting what sounded like a hellish week to a nurse she had clearly met before, I was in awe of this woman.

Where did her calm come from? With two children clearly experiencing some kind of pain, how did she stay so zen?

And, let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter whether she breastfed or bottle fed or cloth diapered or disposable diapered or any of the other things we’re supposed to be at odds over. She was more than Mom enough.

I didn’t stop her to tell her how amazing I thought she was or how lovely her children were. I wanted to, but I didn’t. Caught up in my own reasons for being there that day. Nervous that what I wanted to convey would not come out through my words.  I didn’t give her that boost that I know we all need as moms. I wish that I had.

But I hope someone, somewhere, gave that woman a hug that day. I hope someone told her that she is doing an amazing job.


linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.


linking up with YeahWrite. Go vote!


  1. I LOVE this! What an example she was.

  2. Wow that is amazing. I was in walmart one time and I was clearly having a tough time with my kids and this woman walked up to me patted me on the back and told me that some days are harder than others but I was doing a great job. I wanted to break down in tears sometimes a little encouragement from other people make a world of difference.

    • Oh how lovely. I’m so glad that there are people out there who do reach out to other moms. I hope to be one of them some day. And I’m glad she was there for you that day.

  3. I loved this! I think, more often than not, we see moms like this when we are out and about and never say anything. That mom needed a hug, and good word, or even a smile from a stranger that day. Heck, she deserved all of those. Like you, I hope she got them. This has convinced me that if I see a great mom, I need to get out of my own way and encourage her right then and there. Thanks for writing this.

    I wrote for PYHO this week too. I hope you can check out my post 🙂

  4. Wow! I bet that mom did not know who was watching or the positive thoughts she would get for acting that way … she was doing what she thought was best in being a mom for her kids! We never know what kind of impact we can have by the things we do and don’t do in life …
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. What a beautiful story! I’ll bet the next time you notice something like this, you tell the mom 🙂 And nice choice of words about her being “mom enough.” I found all that headline implied to be so, so icky.

  6. You’re right- all those little things don’t matter- she sounds like an amazing mom!

  7. Oh my goodness. This post was incredibly touching. Hit a nerve indeed. So well written and so well said. Thank you for sharing. I hope someone told her, too.

  8. I wish I had that calmness…more than anything. I can’t stand to hear myself sometimes when I get overwhelmed and anxious. I wish I knew her secret.

  9. Unfortunately, I have never been that mom that is super calm and her kids are calm too. That woman’s an inspiration! But I’m pretty sure that’s not in my future.

  10. I’ve had those moments too, where I see a mom doing such an amazing job and I want to tell her but I just don’t and then hope someone else does. I need to stop and do it more often.

  11. Wonderful that you noticed, took the time to describe so eloquently, and posted it. You might not have told her, but you have told others, and given us something to strive for. Thank-you.

  12. lovely…i too want to get a bit of that zen…i am the mum whose ‘pretend i’m calm’ voice becomes so high pitched dogs start howling!!!!

  13. by the way forgot to say…stopping by from the linkup…lovely to visit again! i am at 3 and 5 this week xxxxxx

  14. I hope someone told her too!

  15. I am sure that that woman felt the positive energy in some way. And this blog post was a wonderful idea!

  16. Yes, she was awesome. But I bet she didn’t feel that way.

    I wish I could be that mom. If only.

  17. What a beautiful message! Thank you for sharing. I’ll be smiling for awhile. 🙂

  18. what an amazing example of what women are capable of when the cameras are off, when it is only their life they are trying to lead not speaking on behalf of every woman. and while you may not have stopped in the moment, you did her a sweet justice and celebrated her here. love that 🙂 thank you for inspiring me to notice other women and give them that extra encouragement.

  19. I hope someone told her, too. Great observation.

  20. I needed to read this story today. Thanks! I think sometimes I get wrapped up in what is going on in my own life that I fail to think about what I’m projecting to others. A quick frustrated snap at one of my kids in line at Wal*Mart doesn’t bother my kids much but it probably doesn’t reflect very kindly on me. Sigh.

  21. But you’re spreading beauty in the interwebz and that’s almost as good. Thank you!

  22. You’re quite lucky, raising humans. I’m not sure that all of my children could be thusly categorized as such.

  23. I’m always amazed by calm mothers because I was such a nervous Nellie as a young mother. I sure could have used words of praise, so this post was a nice reminder to give encouragement to others.

  24. It’s so hard being a mom sometimes but I’m sure that at least someone tells her once a day how great she is. i’d hazard to guess that her son tells her quite often. I hope everything was okay with you that day!

  25. So impressed with her. Wish I could channel that kind of energy on even my best days, much less the ones like she was having.

  26. What an impressive woman! I would NOT have it that together.

  27. My wife is just like this, and it kills me because I don’t have a quarter the patience that she possesses. I know that having well-behaved children is 50% effort and 50% dumb luck, but any parenting credit earned in our family goes almost exclusively to her.

    Good post!

  28. I love it. I hope one day I’m that kind of mom.

  29. I am in awe of a woman who can take two small children into a situation like that and maintain calm.

  30. Love it!!! I hope someone told her too! And what a great tribute you just gave to her.

  31. Awesome post. I too have had that experience, wishing I could go back and tell the mother, “Wow, you are impressive. Good mom!!”

  32. I hope someone told her too. I also hope, selfishly, that I can exude the same qualities when I have those situations before me. Hope!

  33. What a wonderful tribute, very heartfelt! I hope someone really appreciates her. You as well, very selfless of you to write this!

  34. Great story. Isn’t that what we all want? Now a little gold star on our Mommy report cards, but a heartfelt acknowledgment that we are getting it right once in awhile. You have inspired me to take a moment the next time I see a Mom getting it right to let her know that I “caught” her doing it. LOVE THIS PIECE, Erin

  35. Ah. Thanks for sharing this. Inspiring for my life of crazy.

  36. What a lovely observation. I believe parenthood is a skill, the more we practise it, the better we become 😉

  37. Love this post! What an inspiration – both that mom for her calm and you for noticing it, admiring it, and bringing it to our attention 🙂

  38. I think we worry that what we say will be taken the wrong way and worry about offending or sounding patronizing (or maybe that’s just me!) I think it’s great that shared that story!

  39. I just loved this – I recently posted on my FB page a judgement I’d made this week about a mom who (I felt) exhibited the opposite of this mom you saw – bad parenting. She was ignoring her child so she could shop and it really bugged me. Anyway I witnessed it in silence like you witnessed that other mom – we moms see so much out there in the world of parenting. One time I was in the potty helping my then 2 year old to go and it took a really long time and when we came out back to the restaurant a woman – another mom – came up to us and told me how she was so impressed with the way I parented. just from overhearing what I said to my child in the potty! That one stayed with me. But on the flip side there are other times I’m glad that lady wasn’t in the stall next to us hearing me be not so patient! (-: Great post.

  40. Nothing makes me happier than when someone compliments me on my child in public (or, rarer, on my raising of him). I try to tell people when I see them, or at least smile at them and their children, to let them know I noticed and it was nice to see. It’s hard when we’re wrapped up in life. She sounds like she really had it together in a tough situation!

  41. Love this. I see mom’s like that sometimes and I wonder where they find their peace (and wish I could absorb a little)! I love the way you told this story.

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