“It only takes one comment to break someone down.”
By Caroline Bologna
Taylor Myers was at the end of her rope.
The single mom was exhausted and trying to get through a grocery shopping trip while her 4-year-old daughter with ADHD threw yet another tantrum. But the kindness of a stranger helped Myers get through a low point and reminded her of the power of “the village.”
On July 26, Myers shared the story of what happened on Facebook, along with a powerful message.
The mom explained that she’d been standing in line at Walmart with a shopping cart full of groceries while her daughter Sophie whined, fussed and moved around in the cart ― angry about a bag of chips Myers had taken away as punishment for misbehaving and calling her a “butthole” in line.
“She’s relentless. I know this. I live with it,” Myers wrote. “Her ADHD and obsessive little heart gets on these subjects of things she finds unjust and wrong and it doesn’t stop until she eventually falls asleep or something very dramatic happens to snatch the attention off the obsessed about subject.”
Myers, who also has a 1-year-old baby named Mylo, decided not to give into the whining to avoid reinforcing Sophie’s bad behavior. After telling her daughter once again to sit down, she heard a woman behind her in line say “Oh, for Christ’s sake give her a cookie so she’ll shut up!”
Wrote Myers, “I could’ve responded in a nicer way. I could’ve explained to her that my four year old has pretty severe ADHD, I raise both my children alone, I’m doing my best, and had no choice but to wait it out for the groceries.” Instead, Myers lost her composure and snapped back with a profanity-laced response and soon after began to cry out of anger, hurt, and exhaustion.
In that moment, another woman walked up and started talking to her daughter. “She asks her questions to distract her, but backs me up when Sophie begins to go on about wanting the chips. ‘No, you can’t have those today. You have to be good for your mommy. She needs you to be good for her. I have a little girl just like you. How old are you? How old is brother?’” the mom recalled.
Myers said she was incredibly grateful for the stranger’s compassion. She concluded her post with a message:
“It only takes one comment to break someone down. You never know what someone’s going through. You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave and unless you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge me. But It also takes one small act of kindness to make a mama feel comfort and validation. Thank you to the woman in Walmart today, for showing that kindness to my children and I. Thank you for walking us out. Thank you for backing me up. Mamas have to stick together.”
Myers’ post received more than 500,000 likes and has been shared over 150,000 times.
The mom told HuffPost she often shares stories about her daily life as a single mom on Facebook and, following the viral fame, launched a page called Taylor Plus Two. “I like to give others a chance to read about what happens to and with us, because I know a lot of people find solace in knowing they aren’t alone in the chaos and craziness of life,” she said.
Myers said she’s been touched by the overwhelming response to her post and the support she’s received from strangers around the world. “It’s really shown me that the kindness of one person can reach the hearts of thousands and continue to spread,” she said. “It’s been refreshing.”
Ultimately, the mom wants this simple story to inspire a sense of empathy and love in others. “I hope that people who’ve read our story will see parents struggling with their children in public and meet them with kindness, rather than judgement,” Myers said.
“I hope that people see that all children, especially those with ADHD and other added struggles, need consistency and compassion in order to thrive,” she added. “They are not less because of their disorders, just different and we, as parents of these different and amazing little people, need support and empathy as well.”