Drive By Meanness

Today I was pushing Emily in her stroller while she ate a snack. We were on our way to music class. I scrolled through my phone as we walked and checked my Facebook feed.

Out of nowhere a woman walked close to me and with an intense anger looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t text while you’re pushing your baby in a stroller. Your baby can’t tell you that you’re a NEGLECTFUL mother.”

Yes. A stranger- a woman I have never seen before (and hope to never see again) said those exact words.

She did not stop walking as she spewed her venom but just continued on her way. I, on the other hand, stopped and froze in complete shock.

There was a moment while I stood frozen when I could have reacted in anger. I could have said a lot of horrible things to her in return. But I’m a good mom and I would never want Emily to see me act that way.

Once the woman, who I’ve since deemed “angry mean scarecrow lady”, was far away, I looked at Emily in her stroller. She contentedly ate her puff cereal and her eyes struck me as particularly blue and pure in that moment.

I’ve had time now to get my bearings. I’ve talked it through with an empathetic friend and I’ve cried. And here’s what I want to say.

To judge another person so quickly. To just look at someone and decide to inject them anger and hostility. That must feel really, really horrible.

That woman must be miserable. She probably feels pain inside all the time, and she tried to spread to me.

Instead of internalize her absurd statement, I’ve decided to do what the wise Daniel Tiger says. “When something’s seems bad, turn it around. Find something good.”

So, if what that stranger did today was drive by meanness, I would like to start up some drive by kindness. Starting tomorrow when I notice something nice about stranger I’ll tell them. Whether it’s saying, “I know how hard it is and you’re doing great”to a hardworking mom or nanny or simply telling someone “that’s a beautiful hat!” I’m going to spread me some genuine kindness.

So, I’m sorry angry mean scarecrow lady, but your attack was not successful. I am going to continue to be the dedicated mom I am and I’m not going to let some hatred get in my way.

PS- This is a picture I drew of her when we got home. Something about drawing this was very therapeutic!

Emily squishing scarecrow lady’s face 🙂

9 thoughts on “Drive By Meanness

  1. My dear Lord. I hope she didn’t confuse texting and driving with texting and strollering 😀 Angry Scarecrow Woman was having a bad day and took it out on you. I hope she’s feeling better today. I love how you dealt with it and the Daniel Tiger reference made smile the biggest. So your post, in and of itself, made me smile. And that’s good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE this post! 🙂 You’ve demonstrated the best of humanity in the face of the worst if it. I wish I could say I would have reacted ad kindly, but I doubt I’m sure I’d be writing in anger… which would mean the troll had won.

    The sad thing is… they probably thought they were doing some good in the world. “Good for me. I helped a neglected baby today.” Instead they made a snap judgement and created negativity… a baby doesn’t want to see their mother cry after all.

    Bravo! There’s clearly one winner in this drive-in encounter… and it’s you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I work in mental health so this type of thing is pretty regular. I consider it trolling- just like people do on the internet but in real life. That lady is probably carrying around a burden. Maybe she couldn’t have kids or will never have a family. She projected that problem onto you. It made her feel better for about a second to say that to you but nothing will change her internal state!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness! You got quite a shock! I think it caught you off guard. To feel so judged when we as parents are our toughest critics! You are obviously an empath and absorbed her pain, so thank you for choosing love at the end of the day. Envision her scarecrow outfit unzipping and turning into a beautiful white swan because that is what is underneath her outfit of pain. Maybe Emily could draw that next -transformation! Sending much love xx ps hope you don’t run into her again lol

    Liked by 1 person

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