Tracy Bennett, a mom of two and frequent shopper at Costco, recently spoke out about an awkward experience she had in the big box store while shopping with her sons, 2-year-old Elliot and 7-month-old Isaac. Upon realizing she misplaced her membership card, Tracy made her way to the customer service line to get a replacement. About 15 minutes later, Tracy got an earful from a man who felt the need to publicly mom-shame her, so she wrote him a letter in response and shared the now-viral letter on Breastfeeding Mama Talk.
"To the man at Costco today who glanced over at me on my phone while my babies were fussing and felt the need to say, 'You see these babies? They fuss like that because they want your attention. Maybe you should get off of your phone and give them your attention,'" she wrote. "First of all, I had no idea the toddler saying, 'Mama, pizza, mama, pizza' over and over and the baby making pre-cry warnings to alert me that if we don't move soon he's going to lose it wanted my attention. Thank you for that brilliant analysis of the situation."
Tracy continued to rightfully lay into the stranger, explaining that sometimes keeping kids occupied is harder than it looks. "I pulled out books, snacks, patty cake, and even took to creepily pointing out items in buggies as customers left the store to entertain them," she said. "You had been in the refunds line next to me for a total of two minutes or else you would have seen the smiles and laughs and interaction."
"Lastly, after 15 minutes, these babies got a bit fussy. And on the meltdown scale, they were barely even at a 1," the mom of two explained. "Sensing the meltdown brewing, I took out my phone, downloaded the Costco app and texted my husband to ask what our log in is in an attempt to just get my membership card on my phone. Because I ran out of tricks and my kids ran out of patience and now my goal was to just get us out of this line as quickly as possible before they released the kraken."
"Thank you for seeing a stressful moment and deciding, 'I think I'll make this worse for her.'"
Despite the fact the man had absolutely no idea what was really going on, Tracy sarcastically "thanked" him for his expert input. "Thank you for your parenting advice," she said. "Thank you for taking the time out of your day to shame a young mother with two tiny children. Thank you for seeing a stressful moment and deciding, 'I think I'll make this worse for her.'" Ouch.
Now, Tracy is reminding parents that bringing little kids along on errands is hard enough without hearing from the peanut gallery.
Everyone, if you see a parent with young children out in public ANYWHERE, assume he or she is stressed out. Assume she is trying her damndest to get through the situation. Assume this is the very last place she wants to be. Assume she'd rather be home cuddling, playing, running around with her babies. Assume she probably has had no sleep since her first child was born. Assume she is hungry because her toddler decided he wanted extra eggs this morning so she gave him her breakfast in addition to his own. And if you have nothing kind or supportive to offer her, please mind your own business.
Our babies are healthy, our babies are happy, despite the fact that they are not currently pleased with standing in line at Costco, and our babies are loved fiercely by us. And for the love of God, our babies can wait two minutes while we try to solve a problem on our phone.