"And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”


And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

- Iain Thomas

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Our First Unlearning SuperMom Story: A Trip To The Drugstore

May 24, 2017

Image credit:  Kathy L. Detzer 



I was living in the hot and densely populated concrete city of Phoenix, Arizona in the early 1990s, and felt holed up with a six-month-old infant and a chatty three-and-a-half-year-old boy. In the summer in Arizona with two little ones, there is not much to do. The three of us went from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air- conditioned store. Sometimes, I would meet other moms at the local McDonald’s ball pit and sip on Diet Cokes while the kids played in air-conditioned comfort.


One day, I decided to embark on a trip to the air-conditioned drug store, because, who doesn’t love a trip to the drug store? Ridiculously, I had visions of perusing the make-up aisle and dawdling among the unneeded items on which I could spend money. My six-month-old son could just barely sit in the shopping cart seat with the aid of the straps. I gingerly attempted to keep the baby from tipping over, and was beginning to realize that perhaps him sitting in the cold metal-wired cart was not such a good idea. My older son, Noah, was hopping around, very excited by the temptations of the toys and candy and items on the shelves and not staying close by, as I had instructed. I was getting edgy, impatient and beginning to lose my temper.


There were a few things already in my shopping cart, but with my bulky diaper bag on my shoulder, I unstrapped the baby with one hand and hoisted him on my hip, while grabbing Noah’s tiny fist with my other hand, yanking him in a cartoon-like gesture that practically hoisted him air borne. I stomped outside the store, leaving the cart behind.


Once outside and on the sidewalk of the strip mall, I squatted to Noah’s eye level and really let him have it. This was in full view of anyone inside the store through the big windows. Then, after gaining some composure, I said we would “try it again” and I marched back into the store and resumed my position at the helm of the shopping cart, with the now-whimpering Noah.


An elderly clerk behind the make-up counter was watching the entire drama unfold as if she had never witnessed anything like it. Her mouth was literally agape, then she actually said, “Tsk. Tsk” with a click of her tongue and reminded me, “He is only a little boy.”


I was embarrassed of my behavior and humiliated by her judgement, which definitely took my self-imposed SuperMom status down a few notches. I do not remember exactly what happened after that. I think I probably gathered my kids and my things, left the half-full shopping cart in mid-aisle and left the store. I do remember sitting in my mini-van, crying and Noah patting my shoulder consolingly and promised me everything would be all right.


I never went back to that store.

A huge thank you to Kathy for submitting this post!  If this is your first time here don't forget to check out the Free Stuff we've made for you.

 And, if Kathy has inspired you to share your Unlearning SuperMom story, come check out the Contribute page with details on how to submit.  




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