Image: Patrik Giardino/Getty ImagesWith the kids being on school vacation, we decided to head to the Boston Children's Museum on Monday. It was loads of fun, but also pretty chaotic with so many kids out of school in our area. A friend decided to join us since she had the day off too. She doesn't have any children but is expecting her first and is a doting aunt who is quick to get involved in entertaining the kids. But we weren't at the museum for ten minutes before she looked at me and said, "Do other moms drive you crazy?" And while I felt bad saying it, my honest answer was "yes."
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Don't get me wrong, not all other mothers drive me crazy. But when you are in a busy place and there are dozens of high-strung mothers circling, they can ruin everyone else's good time. I understand that keeping your eye on your little ones in a busy public place is a big deal, but bowling over everyone in your path with your stroller to reach your child who is only three feet away from you is probably (err, definitely) uncalled for. The least you can do is let go of the stroller for a moment (I promise no one will steal it) while you grab your runaway child who isn't really running away but just exploring the museum you brought them to enjoy and learn from (so that they would get into the best kindergarten program on the planet).
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But when the importance of not sweating the small stuff really hit me was while I was watching a woman with her family who came into the popular bakery where we went for lunch. My own family almost had a meltdown when we walked in the door as well because it was crowded, there was no place to sit, and despite all the people they were ready to take our order before we'd even had a chance to look at the menu. I really wanted to try this bakery I had read so much about recently so I quickly glanced at the kids menu and had my kids pick what they wanted, I ordered the first thing I saw that interested me on the menu, and I let my husband take his time and order separately because I knew my kids needed to eat and that he would be flustered and annoyed if I rushed him. But this other mother walked in with her giant stroller, started barking at her husband about how they couldn't possibly stay because she had to get the toddler down for a nap, and then proceeded to to push her way into a spot at a table, barked at her husband some more, and made umpteen trips to the counter busting through the crowd with nary an "excuse me." She was on a mission to feed her family and get out of there. I swear her head looked like it was actually going to pop off, and I wanted to say to her, "Lady, it's just lunch."
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So what's the point here. I'm not writing this to vent about other mothers. My point is that stressing over the little stuff is so not worth it. Those mothers I saw not only came off as rude to the general public, but they also probably didn't have a very good time that day. What's the point of planning fun things with your family if you can't actually enjoy them? Not only that, but in the grand scheme of things, the things that were stressing these mothers out were minute. I've had a rotten week since we got home from Boston. We ran out of oil that night (our own fault), I spent Tuesday in the ER, and yesterday our entire basement flooded and is going to cost a bit to repair. And all of this while I've got the kids home on school vacation and contractors working on the house for other projects. I could be really stressed out and become one of those mothers that drives me crazy, but despite everything that has happened, I've got a healthy family, my house is still standing, we didn't lose any major belongings, and I've got great friends who helped me this week. Things could be so much worse than this and certainly much worse than having the bakery be crowded or having my toddler get three feet away from me in a museum so the next time you feel the stress coming on, take a deep breath and think about how you can solve the issue without becoming one of those mothers for your own sake.
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