An Open Letter to the People Who Witnessed My Child’s Tantrum Today…

Today I had one of the worst experiences as a parent.

I took my three year old to get his hat embroidered. It would take a couple hours, so we had to leave the hat and come back for it. Well this was just unacceptable to my toddler. His dad bought him that hat and those mean men at the store were not going to keep it from him.

So we all know the drill, first the whining starts, I as the mother was trying frantically to calm him down before full blown meltdown occurs. All my attempts had failed. He then started crying, screaming, yelling the whole show in the middle of a very busy mall.

This would have been all fine and dandy because its what toddlers and children do from time to time. Hey I’m an adult and I can still throw a tantrum myself. But I grabbed him as quickly as I could looking for the nearest exit in the mall. Which by the way felt like a million miles away. I had to go down a hallway, get him down an escalator then down another long hallway then outside. All while he was screaming, crying, squirming trying to get down from my arms.

I wasn’t going to give into his cry’s for numerous reasons. I don’t think that is exactly the best tactic with a child, giving Karter what he wants would have sent him the wrong message besides his hat was already in the hands of the evil men in the hat store. (If thats how you parent, bless your heart just not how I always parent)

I was just going to get him out of the mall and either go home while he lets it all out in the car or distract him and calm him.

I felt I had it handled. Until…

The various looks and comments I received while I trying to handle the situation straight up appalled me.

Maybe these people didn’t have children? Or they are perfect parents with perfect kids? I don’t know. But it was upsetting.

“wow” said one guy.

“can’t she handle her kid” said an older woman.

“why doesn’t she just take him home?” said some other ass hat.

I felt like letting out a PSA:

“Asshole people, not only am I a mother trying to teach her child he can’t get everything he wants. But I’m a single mom who has to tackle every tantrum, meltdown, cry, upset whatever by myself when sometimes all I want to do is cry myself.”

But I just kept focused on Karter. I was able to distract him in the end and a couple hours later he got his hat back and was a happy camper.

If you see a parent handling a temper tantrum in public, sympathize and find some part of your soul to understand that, in that moment the parent is more than likely already embarrassed and frustrated with her child. Why fuel the fire and make that parent feel even worse. Maybe that parent was already have a pretty bad day, and it isn’t getting any better. Maybe there child is having a bad day and they didn’t have the option of leaving their child at home while they shopped. Who knows, because certainly that random stranger making comments wouldn’t know the whole situation.


But the poor parents do. One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel judged by strangers about one’s parenting.

I pride myself in being a good mom. I think it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done/doing. I love being his mom, and I think for tackling the big and small stuff relatively alone I’m doing the best I can.

So strangers in the mall who think I’m raising Satan, and I shouldn’t have a child because I clearly can’t raise him right based on the one tantrum you witnessed. Screw you.

But one day when you are in a similar or the same situation, I will sympathize with you and feel for you.

Because I was there once, twice and a thousand times and know how difficult it is to not break out in tears with your child.

So please next time you see a child having a tantrum in public maybe send the mom or dad a simple smile, or just keep your snide comments to yourself.


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