When I pulled in I picked a random spot in the same area I always do. This time I was parked next to a mother who was standing with the rear door of her car open and I could hear a tiny baby crying. I could tell it was a very new baby just by the cry, but the look on this moms face also made it obvious. She was pulling the baby out as he screamed and trying to comfortably get him into an Ergo carrier. Now I love my Ergo, but those first few times I was trying to get Addison in by myself were tough. The buckle on the back was always my worst enemy.
I was watching her struggle with the buckle and she was getting overwhelmed and her baby was screaming louder and she was on the verge of tears. In the moment I felt like I was maybe being weird but mom solidarity takes over in that instance so I just got out of the car, walked over and said "Do you need some help?" and of course being a new mom with all the emotions and the desire to do everything on her own she said "I'm good. I think I can figure it out."
I didn't blame her for that. I would have said the same thing. I responded with "I know you are good. You are doing great! Those Ergo's back buckles are just tricky. I have one too." It took her a second but she she looked at me and said "would you mind?" and she let me buckle them in. Afterward she turned around and asked me if it looked like she was carrying him properly and I helped her adjust a little, explained that she should be able to kiss his little head, and that his legs should be in a seated position.
She told me that this was her first time taking him out in the Ergo, and her first time taking him out alone as her husband just went back to work. She talked and I listened in the parking lot of a mall for more than 10 minutes. I don't know her name. I don't know her baby's name. I just knew the look she had all too well, so I had to tell her the things I needed to hear in those moments.
"You are the best mother for this child."
"You are making the right choices."
"It gets easier."
"As long as you are trying, you are being the best mom you can be."
"You are doing an amazing job."
I said goodbye to her and her happy and snuggly baby, and I walked inside to get my cookie(s). I spent the remainder of my kidless afternoon thinking about my kid. Just a few hours prior I was questioning my own parenting. Should she be eating this? Should I be making more of her food myself? Should I be spending more time teaching her this? Should I be taking her there more often?
To this very moment I am wondering if I am doing this parenting thing right. I can't help it. It is just a natural mom feeling. But what if we all didn't think twice and took a moment to offer another mom a few friendly words of encouragement when we see that they are falling down the rabbit hole? How much better would the world be for us moms? I am not sure, but I would love to find out.