‘I had JUST pulled him out of the pool and he began a meltdown. Then a woman my age said, ‘It gets easier, I promise.’: Tired mom thankful for woman’s compassion, ‘I needed your words more than you knew’

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“I walked out of the bathroom stall and a woman my age looked at me through the mirror and said, ‘It gets easier, I promise.’ It was as if the world had stopped for just a single second, but I could still hear Bodhi crying in the background and I could feel the fire in my feet.

I had just pulled him out of the pool because after 3 hours, I was spent and it was about to close to be sanitized anyway. Bodhi, of course, didn’t understand why we had to leave and began a usual meltdown. I was already so exhausted. Exhausted from the broken vase before we left. Exhausted from the night before because I could feel jabs of his kicks while he laid next to me in bed and tossed and turned. Exhausted from correcting behavior. Exhausted from all. the. meltdowns. My dear son, I love him with every inch of my being, but damn, this stage is no easy feat.

The woman, or in my opinion, my hero, began to tell stories of her own son and how she managed challenges at this age. I stood there just listening when all I really wanted to do was hug her. I don’t usually receive this kind of compassion. I’m usually avoiding stares while strolling a hysterical 3-year-old down the aisles of the grocery store or making a fool of myself attempting to redirect his emotions with snacks we haven’t paid for yet.

I’ve gotten good at ignoring the stares because this is just our life and I know it won’t last long, but today I wanted to run out of there as fast as I could and never come back. But the woman in the bathroom today gave me the kind of grace I needed to walk out of there, confident that I am not alone in this world. And isn’t that what we all need to hear sometimes?

I held back tears on the drive home as my boy slept soundly in his car seat because even though this stage is hard, I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. It really does get easier, and surely one day I will miss this. To the woman in the bathroom at the pool today, thank you. Not many people will stop a stranger to offer a compassionate hand. I needed your words more than you knew.”

Little boy jumps off diving board during a summer pool day wearing floaties
Courtesy of Amy Bowser

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Bowser of NY. You can follow her journey on InstagramFacebook, and her blog. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos. 

Read more from Amy here:

‘Stay with me!’ My body was septic. I’d never carry our child. ‘There’s a baby at the hospital. Do you want him?’: After losses, couple foster to adopt, ‘He’s the redemption to our pain’

‘His mom is a crackhead, isn’t she?’ The woman in line was relentless. She just didn’t get it.’: Mom reflects on complexities of foster care, ‘We are merely called to love’

‘We need to teach kids perfect moms DON’T exist.’: Woman talks ‘roller coaster ride’ of motherhood, ‘We’re in this together’

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