Skip Nav
Parenting
This Mother's Reaction to Her Son's Fit of Anger Can Teach Us All a Lesson in Parenting
Gift Guide
11 Brilliant Gifts For Your Fashionable Mom
Holiday For Kids
20 Elf on the Shelf Ideas For the Lazy Mom

Mom's Letter to Woman in Target Who Said She Spoils Her Baby

Even If You Think You've Read Every Open Letter to Mom-Shamers, This One Is Too Important to Skip

"If only you knew what I know," begins a heartbreaking open letter from a mother who was shamed in the aisles of Target by a woman who believed she was "spoiling" her daughter by carrying her around the store in a sling instead of pushing her in a cart. Kelly Dirkes continues her letter to the woman by explaining that her daughter was adopted and for the first 10 months of her life was completely alone, surrounded by the bars of a sterile, metal crib with nothing and no one to comfort her.

If you only knew what her face looked like the moment her orphanage caregiver handed her to me to cradle for the very first time — fleeting moments of serenity commingled with sheer terror. No one had ever held her that way before, and she had no idea what she was supposed to do.

If you only knew that she would lay in her crib after waking and never cry — because up until now, no one would respond.

If you only knew that that baby in the carrier is heartbreakingly "independent" — and how we will spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years trying to override the part of her brain that screams "trauma" and "not safe."

Dirkes's letter continues, and though it's addressed to this one woman, its message should speak to every single person out there: you don't always know what someone is going through.

Read the rest of her heartbreaking letter above.

What Do You Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied on the Bus?
How to React When Your Child Breaks Something
How to Squeeze In a Workout at Home
Mom Accepting Daughter With Autism
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds