I made the rookie mom mistake of agreeing to go to a friend’s house so she could meet my brand new baby (note: everyone comes to you). Of course my baby was tired and cranky after our visit, it was torrentially downpouring, and there wasn’t a cab in sight. Baby and I were standing on a street corner sobbing (sans umbrella, naturally) when a cab pulled up next to us and the passenger insisted we get in. It was a mom who said she had so been there – she promptly dropped us off at home (after giving us a pep talk). I was too frazzled to even catch her name or contact info, but whoever you are, you are f-$*ing awesome and I hope you read this!!!
Another wonderful human helped me in the most unexpected way — she posted a photo of my daughter’s lost lovey on a neighborhood message board, letting everyone know where it was found and that she would kindly leave it at the yoga store. My daughter was so happy to be reunited with her special blanket!
Our first plane ride, we were lucky enough to be seated next to a mom. We had just gotten off of the jetway in 4-degree weather, and our 3 month old was screaming inconsolably. My wife was panicking, I was desperately trying to get baby to nurse to no avail. This woman just looked at us calmly and said: “Don’t worry, it happens to all of us, and it’s okay.” And just like that, we could breathe again.
I ran into an old coworker at a wedding – we were both still nursing, so we went together to pump in the venue’s back office. Well, turns out I’d packed my bottles but not the actual pump… or flanges. She not only let me use hers but sat with me while I pumped after she’d finished… and we both watched the couple’s first dance on a fuzzy security camera screen. “Well, that looks fun,” she said cheerfully, in a dank room with my boobs out. That was kindness personified for me.
The first time I nursed in public, another mom stopped to thank me for helping to normalize public breastfeeding. I had heard so many horror stories about nursing mothers being shamed, so I really appreciated the affirmation.
My husband’s friend’s wife, who had a toddler of her own, dropped her child off with family and drove to scared and sad me to help with my newborn. She brought TONS of yummy food and taught me the eat-activity-sleep cycle: She basically provided the instructions babies should, but don’t come with. And lifted a very dark cloud off of me.
My mom, a veteran mom of three, took the nighttime shift with our baby so my husband and I could have our first full night of sleep together since… the day he was born. Which is exactly why I call her my best friend.
My husband and I took our 6 week old to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend (note: never do that). We were on the car ferry and the baby had a MAJOR blowout – exploding poop through the diaper, all over his clothes, up his back… my husband ran to the car to get the diaper bag. He fumbled around but no diaper bag. While we packed up our whole house as panicked new parents, we forgot the most important bag of all. A woman nearby handed me a diaper and wipes and said, “don’t worry, it gets easier”. As I continue to find out, she was lying through her teeth, but so kind nonetheless!
Just after my separation, my daughter was only one and obviously too young to make something for me for Mother’s Day. A friend (I still do not know who) mailed me a card, filled out from my daughter. I will never forget this person’s endeavors – the fact that she never wanted to be known, even after the fact, showed me how selfless her act was. Whoever you are, I heart you!
After standing in line for a very, very, very, long time to see my toddler’s favorite musical group, we reached the entrance and were told the theater was completely full and they could not admit any more people. My daughter was heartbroken, and I was almost in tears myself. But then (miraculously!) an employee told me that my daughter and I could go in. Turns out the mom that had been standing in line in front of us volunteered to keep her child in her lap and to give the seat next to them to us. I couldn’t even watch the show I was so grateful and choked up over her act of kindness.
At the end of a flight, the woman seated next to me and my daughter remarked with wide eyes, “Why she’s been such a calm pleasure to be seated next to.” Regardless of if whether that was true or not, the gesture was much appreciated!
One of my dearest friends gave up her time to come and tape my baby girl’s preschool graduation because I was stuck at a meeting two hours away and unable to make it. That’s a really good friend.
One of the nicest things another mom did for me was to come over one morning when my first son was about 5 weeks old, and hold him so that I could take a shower!! My son cried whenever we put him down, so this wonderful friend came over so that I could relax and enjoy a clean self – what a gift! That was 20 years ago, and I still remember it with gratitude.
My husband and I were told by a fertility specialist that we would never have children, so we splurged and bought a big, beautiful new home. We were there one month when I found out I was pregnant, and we had NO room in our budget for maternity clothes. I told a friend about my dilemma, and a few days later, she dropped off two large bags of designer maternity clothes. She had called a friend of hers who had just given birth and was no longer in need of the clothing and asked to borrow them for me. I am forever grateful for this particular act of loving kindness and generosity and have been paying it forward even since.
I had rushed my daughter out of the house to get to the grocery store before it closed, and she was NOT happy about it. Once the cashier rang me up I opened my purse to find that I didn’t have my wallet (guess which toddler thinks mommy’s wallet is a hilarious toy?) I shrieked, which immediately set off my daughter, making us a VERY sad sight at the check-out counter. The woman behind me in line quietly leaned over and said “let me get this one for you,” as if it was a coffee. Who does that?! A saint.
The mom who was there in the split second that my son stepped back into the closing subway doors to retrieve his backpack. (I, of course, still OFF the train, watching in horror as it sped away to the next EXPRESS stop.) To hear my son tell it, the nice lady talked to him all about Minecraft as they traveled to the next stop…and then got off the train with him and waited until I showed up from the next train. That mom kept my son so calm he had no idea anything bad had happened until I showed up, sweating and hysterical. Meanwhile, that 15 minutes aged me 15 years.
We dumped a bag of pacifiers at my neighbor’s door, my 3-year-old son only momentarily brave enough to “gift” his beloved pacis to her infant. That night he sobbed as I reminded him that now the new baby had his pacifiers, and in the morning he announced that we needed to go take them back. He opened the door and found a card signed by the baby, thanking him for being such a big boy and saying how much the new baby loved the pacifiers. He was so thrown by the surprise card – from a baby! – and proud, that he managed to handle another day without his pacis. She sent a few more cards over the next few weeks, and managed to make the very painful process much easier.