For parents with small children, especially those who have behavioral conditions, going out for basic shopping trips can be a nightmare. Trying to get everything they need, keeping their kids from running away or knocking something down, and waiting in long checkout lines can create an incredibly stressful situation.
As though that weren’t enough, the looks, sighs, and comments of other shoppers make things just that much more difficult. For single mom Taylor Myers, a trip to Walmart became an ordeal that inspired her to go online to push back against mommy-shamming.
Little did she know over half a million other people would read these words on Facebook!
It all started with a simple trip to get some groceries for the week. With her were her two kids, Sophie, who was 4 at the time, and Mylo, who was just 1. Myers and many other single parents would certainly love the chance to shop at their own leisure but don’t have the luxury. As Myers wrote, “I raise both my children alone. I’m doing my best.”
What makes things harder for Myers is that her daughter Sophie has severe attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). That day at the store, Sophie was having a really hard time keeping it together.
She had been acting out and angrily called her mom a bad word for taking away a bag of chips as punishment. When they got to the long checkout line, she had a meltdown.
To my strong willed childMy love, you have exhausted me. My eyes and my heart are heavy. You've yelled and screamed and…
Sophie didn’t just cry; she screamed and thrashed around. While Myers was trying to handle the situation as best she could, her daughter just couldn’t calm down.
As she wrote on Facebook, per Babble, Sophie is “relentless. I know this. I live with it. Her ADHD and obsessive little heart gets on these subjects of things she finds unjust and wrong and it doesn’t stop until she eventually falls asleep or something very dramatic happens.”
As Myers wrote, “I’ve walked out of stores hundreds of times because of her,” but this day she had to stick with her principles and get those groceries. If she gave in to embarrassment over causing a ruckus, she wouldn’t have what she needed to feed her children.
Then came the moment this stressed single mom had dreaded. A woman behind her in line lost it and stepped in. “Oh, for Christ’s sake give her a cookie so she’ll shut up.” While Sophie was driving her mom just as crazy as anyone else in the line, she couldn’t take it.
As Myers explained, “I could’ve explained to her that my four-year-old has pretty severe ADHD, I raise both my children alone, I’m doing my best, and had no choice but to wait it out for the groceries.” But instead, she let loose. “I heard ‘she’s four years old and you need to mind your own [expletive] business’ come out of my mouth.'”
Ashamed at the whole situation and brought to tears, she went to the self-checkout area to get away from the judgmental woman. And there, a kind stranger saw what was happening and came up to chat with her and Sophie, speaking calmly and gently to both of them. This made all the difference in the world.
“It only takes one comment to break someone down. You never know what someone’s going through. You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave. [Unless] you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge.”
To the good Samaritan, she was grateful. “Thank you to the woman in Walmart today, for showing that kindness to my children and I.”
— The Sun (@TheSun) August 1, 2017
That’s been the message of the Facebook page she created, Taylor Plus Two, after getting such an incredibly supportive response from parents all over the internet. She shares the trials and triumphs of being a mom with two difficult children.
For Myers, the point of the story and her posts on Facebook were that rather than attacking each for their shortcomings, “Mamas have to stick together.” An important message for all!
When you swear you hate everything with milk in it and your mom finally tells you the truth about yogurt… #ThatsSoSophie