Days 3 and 4 were about compliments. I made it a point to tell people they were doing a good job or working hard. I told a lady how precious her little baby was. Oh man. He was adorable.
I’ve been praying that God would lead me to people that need an encouraging word.
Yesterday, as I was checking out at Target (I’m afraid this little blog project is going to reveal how often I really do go to Target. Please don’t tell anyone. It’s kind of embarrassing.) I noticed that the lady in line behind me was buying one thing. And that one thing can only mean one thing. She was buying “Mother’s Milk Tea.” If you’ve never heard of this it is supposed to help you with your milk supply while nursing. I used it 12ish years ago after I had left my 3rd child for a long weekend. When I came home my milk wasn’t what it had been, it was almost gone. You may not understand that this can be agonizing to a mother. When you want so badly to nurse your baby and you just can’t it hurts your heart deeply. So, I drank the tea…following every step. Part of the process is to steep the tea for a really long time, maybe 15 minutes. I think it is a mental game as much as it is a tea concoction. When I saw that this is what she was buying, the one and only thing, I knew she was suffering. So, I very bluntly asked if it was for her and if she was struggling. She said yes and proceeded to tell me how stressed out she had been. Here’s basically how the conversation went:
“Is that for you, are you having a hard time with your milk?”
“Yes, it’s awful. This is my 3rd store, and I finally found it. My baby won’t latch on and so I pump and my supply is really low. I want to nurse her so bad, I know it is the best thing but it is so hard. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I hope it works.”
“It will. I used it 12 plus years ago. You have to follow the directions. Steep it for as long as it says. How old is your baby?”
“She only a month old and I already feel like I’m not doing the right thing.”
“Is she your first?”
“Yes, so I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“You know what. This is going to work. You’re going to get your milk back. But, if for some reason it doesn’t you are going to give your baby formula and she is going to grow up. She’s going to be smart, and perfect and beautiful. She’ll be ok. You’re doing a great job. I can tell you’re a good mommy. And look at you! You look so fresh and beautiful, like you even took a shower today. You’re doing it! It’s ok.”
(Very sincere)”Thank you.”
And I left. Now, I’m not going to claim that I made some huge difference in the sweet woman’s life. Or that this conversation didn’t likely mean more to me than it did to her, because that is entirely possible. She wasn’t super young. My guess is that she either waited to have a baby or had to try really really hard. She wanted so bad to do the right thing and moms put so much pressure on each other. It’s crazy town. I’ve seen the other side. They grow up no matter if you bottle feed or breast feed. They learn to walk and talk and read and how to surf the internet and text boys past 10:00 even when they’re not supposed to. They learn to drive and how to cook dinner…they look at colleges. I’ve even seen kids grow up and leave their families to start their own lives. This has yet to happen to mine, but I’ve heard rumors that it happens to all of them. I just wanted her to know.
So, onward I go. I pray the Lord helps me know to whom I can show kindness. I pray He gives me the courage to speak and to not say stupid awkward stuff. The above conversation could have been super weird. I’m glad it ended the way it did.