"This is motherhood," starts Aly Brothers's post to Facebook accompanying a tearful selfie. "No fancy filters, no good lighting, no new lipstick. It's messy hair that's wet from the rain, yesterday's makeup that I was too tired to wash off, and tears. Motherhood is HARD. Single-motherhood is HARD."
After a necessary 8 a.m. trip to the grocery store with her boys that didn't go as planned, a defeated Brothers resigned to tears that lasted the entire way home and wants the experience to serve as an important message to others, whether they be parents or not.
My youngest cried almost the entire time we were in the store. He didn't want to sit in the cart, he didn't want to be buckled, he wanted to hold all the groceries on his lap. He got mad. He threw his shoe, he threw my wallet, he threw the three groceries that did fit on his lap. And he cried. And people stared. That was fine, I could handle that.
My three-year-old wanted to be superman and stand on the cart. That was fine. I told him to hold on and stand straight. He did not. He fell off, he leaned backwards and knocked things off their displays. He leaned back and bumped a stranger. Then I made him get down and he walked too far ahead of me and opened all the freezer section doors telling me all the things he wanted to get. I tried to handle that.
I stopped multiple times and composed myself and my children. . . . And then we saw balloons. Oh how my kids love balloons. They wanted the huge ones that cost $8. I compromised. We would get one balloon and share. They agreed. They each said "share" and smiled as I picked the biggest Mickey Mouse balloon they had. But while we were checking out they did not want to share. They screamed, they cried, they fought. . . . The people in line behind me glared. The cashier glared.
Everyone's eyes were on me as if to say "can't you control your own children?"
"The glares and whispers and judgments are hard," Brothers continued. "If you see a parent struggling, if you see a kid throwing a tantrum, if you see a mom on the verge of tears . . . please say something nice. Please don't glare with judgment. And to all moms out there having a day like mine: I see you, I know you, I love you. You are strong and you are doing just fine."