Wednesday 25 March 2015

5 Random Acts of Mummy Kindness

It's been a rough couple of weeks lately, as Jimmy came down with some kind of virus. The kind where he was coughing and hacking, had a runny nose and horrible nappies and was just generally miserable. Because it's a virus, there is nothing to be done except ride it out and offer him comfort. It's been exhausting. He can't sleep well lying down so constantly wants to be held. It's one thing to wear him during the day, but quite another for him to be wanting it at night too.

His illness also coincided with a really busy weekend where we couldn't cancel any plans. Consequently, I'm more than a little tired, and there is only so much that coffee can do, especially when I'm restricted to one (rather large) cup a day in order to keep the breastmilk supply up.

I have always known that people can be really nice, thoughtful and helpful in a crisis. People rallied and helped us out where they could see a need. I am surrounded by friends and family who have their hearts and intentions in the right place, as do most people really. It's when there is no crisis, during the every day grind of life where sometimes those little acts of kindness can also make a huge difference to someone.

You know the times I'm talking about - standing in the checkout line, driving to do the daycare drop off, juggling shopping and baby while loading up the car, frantically running around the shopping centre to stock up on necessities. I think even on a good day, mums (and dads!) could use a helping hand - whether it's an understanding smile at just the right frazzled moment, or a surprise offer to drop over some baked sugary goodness.

With that in mind, here are five random every day nice things you can do next time you see a mum out and about:

  1. Listen intently. Often we are caught up in our own little worlds, and we forget to slow down and listen. If you ask a mama how they're doing, really slow down and listen to their response. If they want advice, don't be afraid to offer it, but if not, don't be afraid to just sit there and let them say what they need to. A sympathetic and willing ear is really a wonderful gift sometimes.
  2. When out without kids, or even if your kids are older and better behaved, skip that premium right-at-the-door parking spot with the hope that a mum who really needs it will get it. While I know it's not guaranteed and there is a possibility some young unappreciative thug will snag it, I hope karma will point someone who really needs it to the spot.
  3. Visit a mummy friend today and distract her kids. Whether that means you play endless tea party games, take them to the park or run around in the garden. Remember how nice it is to have an hour or so just for your very own? Offer that to a friend. Bonus points if you bring along something sugary and delicious.
  4. That friend with a newborn or a sick toddler at home? Call her from the supermarket while you're there and see if she needs anything. There is not much worse than running out of an essential at home and then having to bundle the kids into the car as an extra punishment for running out to pick up said essential. With very little effort on your part you can save a frazzled mama friend that effort on hers.
  5. Speaking of shopping, next time you're out and there is a tired, harassed looking mama with a screaming, wailing child... look at her and smile. Not a creepy grimace smile, but a really understanding smile. Perhaps help her out loading her groceries onto the conveyor belt. Hold her trolley while she extracts the fit-throwing monster kid. Give her a kind word. We've all been there. Maybe next time you're the 'mean' mama who won't buy the lollies, people will be understanding and realise that you aren't usually so grumpy and your babe isn't so loud/bratty/wailing.

Have you received or given a random act of kindness lately?

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