What do you think when you see a stressed looking mum in the supermarket? Do you judge them? Feel support for them knowing how hard parenting is? Or do you not really even notice them? Here is my open letter to that stressed mum in the supermarket. If it is you then do have a read.

Young boy standing in front of products in a shop

Dear Stressed Mum,

You walk around the supermarket with your little ones. The basket balanced on the pushchair and a littlest one trying to reach things. The older one wandering off and asking for everything they see.

I see the stress in your eyes and all that mum guilt because you fancied a bar of chocolate for you in the basket. The nappies hooked on to the handle and the little one starting to cry you look worn out. This isn’t a criticism it is because you probably are worn out. Children are hard work and you can not possibly take them on great days out all the time, shopping is a necessity and unfortunately, so are tantrums! When they start school you will miss them!

Blonde woman in blue shirt staring at the camera

You probably feel like everyone is staring at you as the little one screams. Then the older one throws himself to the floor because you wouldn’t buy the teddy bear ham that you know he doesn’t even like! In your eyes they think you are a bad mum, you aren’t you are a good mum remember that!

I know some people do stare. They probably have never had children so have no idea what it is like. Most people though, like myself, are looking in admiration. We know the upset child might have just had their tonsils out and be under the weather still, they might be being bullied at school, or just having one of those days, that’s parenting!

I have seen you in the supermarket many times over the last few weeks. You must live near me as I’ve seen you about. Your children always look clean and happy. That is a huge achievement especially if you are weaning, food gets everywhere, doesn’t it! What about during their time teething, all those different foods you buy to try and relieve their pain.

A fridge filled with stock in a shop

They might be screaming for something new but they are lovely kids. I see that as do many others. We are not judging you we are admiring the job you are doing. You are sticking to your guns and refusing to buy them what they ask for. I don’t blame you.

Your children have great manners and usually are doing as they are told. This is a sign of such a good mum. You are probably tired and not feeling like a good mum right now but you are.

When someone like me glances across at you we may be looking in admiration, not disgust. Please don’t worry about what other people think of you because you are doing a great job. Your children are fed and clothed and in the most part happy. You let them run wild outdoors and they love being busy, what more would a parent want?

Two children standing in front of a fully stocked supermarket fridge

Don’t be hard on yourself and let them be kids asking questions and having opinions about what they want to eat. Kids do this and it is ok.

You see me and many others who are walking about getting our shopping childfree. Maybe you envy us but we also envy you. I certainly do anyway. Personally, I loved taking my little boy to the supermarket when he was small and him riding in a trolley asking what everything was.

I would love to be able to offer you a hand with your shopping one day, Maybe having a chat to your children while you are checking the dates on the bread but fear you would see that as a criticism.

A family playing with a shopping trolley in the store

If you see me or someone like me in the supermarket please don’t worry. Not everyone is judging and smile and be proud you are doing great!

Remember that wine or coffee for later! Maybe add a little bit of chocolate too, after today you will need it I’m sure! They are only young once, one day you will look back and wonder how you coped, but you did, you are coping.

Love Jen xx

An open letter to the Stressed Mum in the Supermarket

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