a lady at trader joe’s made me cry

it’s not christmas, but i was walking around trader joe’s with my one-month-old daughter wrapped tightly to my chest, softly singing jingle bells. for some reason, when she starts to fuss, it’s the only song that ever pops in my head. i actually changed the words and now sing mila bells, mila bells…

so, i’m picking out a bag of chips, patting my daughter’s back and singing mila bells, when this lady at trader joe’s made me cry.

she descended like an angel from heaven and told me: “you’re doing such a good job, mama.”

okay, she wasn’t really an angel. and she didn’t really descend. she just walked over in her chic high heels and long black trench coat to find her own bag of chips.

i said thank you.

but she wasn’t finished. this woman – who could have easily just smiled at me, or ignored me altogether – made sure i heard what she was saying.

“seriously, you are doing a great job. congratulations.”

my heart melted.

i thanked her profusely, then turned away from her and my husband and cried.

mila is a great baby. she is calm, sweet and happy. she rarely cries, and when she does it’s because she needs something. she sleeps enough that i feel pretty well rested for a brand new mom. i’m lucky, i know.

but it’s still hard. when she cries because her belly hurts, i feel like a failure for not being able to fix her. when she has a little rash on her belly, i wonder if it’s because i didn’t use the right detergent. i fall asleep wondering if she’s going to be warm enough all night. being a parent is hard; we need all the encouragement we can get.

i challenge you: the next time you see a mom out with her little, make her day. let her know she’s rocking this parenthood thing. do more than just smile. tell her she is doing a great job.

we need to encourage each other. we need to make other moms feel good about just getting out of the house.


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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

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