So I had something happen recently.
Something kind and reassuring and therefore (unfortunately) unusual in the world of parenting.
(I know I promised unicorns, but you'll have to wait until the end for them.)
One of my Littles has a hard time with loud noises when stressed, as well as having trouble keeping it together while hungry or tired. These two combined during the singing at church and this little person couldn't handle being in there until it was time for nursery. I ended up in the lobby with a kid who was stressed out and barely keeping it together.
Awhile later another Mama came and sat down and talked with me about how we sometimes expect little ones to change their attitudes on the spot, without considering how hard that is even for us adults, or thinking of how long it can take us to let God change how we feel about something.
Now this isn't a "my church is the nicest place to be" post but I will say that it's probably one of the only places that that was likely to happen. Even as other parents we live with these invisible blinders on that make us look straight past the parents who are struggling. When most of the time that "bad" behavior is actually the result of good parenting. That kid you hear screaming in the grocery store could probably be silenced with a trip down the candy aisle, but is that going to make the kind of adult that you'll want to deal with some day?
One of the strange things about parenting is that the superficial interactions just explode when you have a baby, but you disappear during the dirty work (or worse, face the disapproving stare or comment). So much so that one person cutting us some slack and saying that they've been there is a memorable event. So maybe I'm just saying that you could be that person too. It's so easy. Just an understanding smile and an "I remember that age!" or "Good for you for not giving in!". Because it's hard to keep your patience and resolve when people are acting like you've brought a unicorn out in public (either their eyes skip over you like their minds can't process what they see, or they look down their noses as if to say that respectable people wouldn't be seen in public with mythical creatures).
So please, don't hate the unicorns. Say nice things instead. ;)
(Maybe I should start a unicorn awareness campaign. Would you join? Lol)