Dear stranger,

(Is it weird to write you this letter? Perhaps. But I doubt it is the weirdest thing I’ve done since becoming a mom…)

Well, here it goes.

I see you watching me. Certainly my attention is focused on these two children of mine, but still, I know you are watching.

What are you thinking? Well, it all depends, but I'm writing you this letter—hoping that you will choose to give me a little more grace.

You see, I put a lot of thought into leaving the house today. I attempted to schedule this necessary outing around naps and fussy moods. I debated whether my errands were even necessary, or whether they could be put off for yet. another. day.

Before I left home, I put on real clothes. I attempted to apply makeup to cover the dark circles under my eyes and the persistent breakouts. I even dressed my kids in trendy outfits.

I might have forgotten deodorant, but no matter, I don't plan on invading your personal space. I did all of this so that I don't stick out in a crowd.

Perhaps I am shallow and fake because of my facade, but honestly, I'm just trying to blend in—like the chameleon at our local zoo. (I prefer instead to let my walls down around my family and closest friends.)

So, please, give me a little more grace.

Honestly, the crown jewel of running errands is to be unnoticed by any and all. I’d love to be able to sneak in and out of a store, hardly making an impression on anyone. But to those of you who are watching and to those of you who do notice, please know this... I'm trying. Truly I am.

So if I look like I'm struggling or out of patience or tired or frustrated or barely holding tears back—it's because I am. If I had it my way, you wouldn't notice those things, and I'd greet you with a genuine smile and happily report that "I'm good and everything is great!"

So please, give me a little more grace, and I'll love you for it.

When you see me struggling to get through a door with my stroller, please help me (even if I say that I don't need help.)

When my kids are screaming in a store, please smile at me with understanding.

When I am changing a blowout diaper in the trunk of my car, please don't judge me.

When I have to nurse my baby in public, please allow me privacy.

When my smile falters after you tell me that my hands are full, please remind me that I'm doing a good job.

When you think you know better than I do, please consider that I am trying my very best and however well-meaning your words may be, they are hard to hear from a stranger.

Would you please give me a little more grace?

Every one of us could use that extra encouragement in life, and unfortunately, these little people of mine don’t deliver in this area…

But what happens when you do give me an extra allotment of grace?

All of a sudden, it’s like the sun breaking through on a cloudy day. I can see the light at the end of my tunnel. Your kindness to me—a stranger—lets me know that I am seen.

I am seen as a human and an individual.

I am seen as more than just a mother who can’t seem to get it together.

I adore my kids and most days their small inconveniences don't get me down, but other days are really hard. Sometimes it feels like running a three-ring circus—with me as the clown... Please, please, give me a little more grace on those days.

I hope that we can all remember the power of judgments, looks, and words. I'll try not to judge your glances and body language, but could you try to not judge me for my imperfections that I'm trying to hide behind my sunglasses?

Could you give me a little more grace? We are all in this together. It takes a village, and, whether you know it or not, you happen to be in mine. ♥


THAT mom