A California mom’s positive encounter with a stranger at the grocery store shows how much small gestures of kindness can mean to struggling parents.
Earlier this week, a Napa mom named Hannah Young reached out to KTVU news anchor, Frank Somerville, to share a heartwarming experience she had while shopping at Trader Joe’s with her children. On Thursday, Somerville re-posted her story on his Facebook page.
“As a stay-at-home mom, going to the grocery store can sometimes be like a battlefield,” Young explained in her post. “With a fully walking 11 month old boy, and a completely independent ‘three-nager,’ I find myself stuck between two wild meltdowns on a daily basis.”
That day was particularly trying, the mom wrote. When they entered Trader Joe’s, both of her children started throwing tantrums.
“I felt the overwhelming embarrassment of ‘everyone thinks I’m a bad mother’ washing over me,” she recalled. “Then this angel of a woman walked over and said, “Don’t worry honey, just remember no one is gonna die right now!”
Moved by the reassuring stranger, Young was able to refocus, and her children calmed down. The two women chatted briefly about parenting, and then continued shopping separately. But when Young’s 3-year-old daughter had another meltdown, the mom started to panic again.
“The woman noticed my impending tears, came back over, and said to my daughter, ‘I saw a bunny over there, will you help me find it?!’” the mom said. “Instantly my daughter’s mood changed and she pointed my daughter toward the hidden bunny,” she added. “I was then able to wrangle my baby boy off the ground, grab my grocery cart, and follow them.”
The “find the bunny” game was a godsend for Young and her kids, and they continued to play it even after the kind stranger left the store. Overcome with gratitude, the mom praised the nice woman and shared a photo of her in the store with her daughter.
“It was so simple and so sweet, but sometimes people are quite judgmental about small children, so this woman really made my day!” she wrote.
Young concluded her post with an equally simple but powerful message: “When you hear a screaming child in the store please remember that their parents just want to buy food, so give them a smile or make a joke, it goes further than you think!”
The mom’s story clearly resonated with other parents, as the post has received almost 10,000 likes on Somerville’s page. In the comments section, the news anchor shared his perspective on the importance of reaching out to strangers, even when it feels daunting. “So often we’re caught up in our own stuff.. or we over think the situation.. and convince ourselves out of doing what our heart tells us is right.”
Here’s to supporting frazzled parents and everyone else who needs a little extra help sometimes.