“I always rely on the kindness of strangers.”


This post has been a long time in coming. I’ve had so many thoughts in my brain that have ended with, “I should totally blog about that.” I’m sure many of you have felt the same. Where would we be without our blogging outlet, am I right? Remember life without cell phones? Total insanity of the Dark Ages.

Anyway, on to the kindness!

English: Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Vir...

Note: This is not a picture of me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People are totally nice to pregnant women, as well they should be. Once when I was preggers, I was at the grocery store attempting to unload my cart onto the conveyor belt while also holding a fussy child. Another mom spotted me and immediately came over to quickly unload the cart for me, saying, “I remember being in this stage of life. Please let me help you.” She wasn’t even pausing to get an “okay” from me. She sort of seemed like she was in a hurry, but wouldn’t have taken no for an answer, even if I had (stupidly) told her not to bother. She quickly got the job done, wished me the best of luck and was gone practically before I could offer my thanks. Super cool lady.

Super cool old man story:

Final weeks of pregnancy

This is definitely not a picture of me. (Photo credit: storyvillegirl)

I was ready to check out at the grocery store when I had two youngins at this point and another obviously on the way. Then the worst happened: I didn’t have any money with me! Everything had been rung up by the time I realized it. There were, OF COURSE, several people in line behind me, as I, red-faced, apologized profusely to the cashier, realizing that everything would have to be taken back off the register and then returned to the shelves. How humiliating! Then the super sweet white-haired gentleman behind me with ONE THING to buy!! said he would pick up my tab. It came to $37, if I’m remembering correctly, and his item was only $6. Not a mega-amount, but still, right?! I was so grateful I hugged him and got a little teary-eyed (kind of like right now, years later, as I type this.)

And now, possibly the most amazing tale of all: the kind teenage boy story!

Yes, you guessed it, I was at the grocery store. (Do I do anything besides shop for groceries? Oh, yes, of course: I also do laundry!) Anyway, in this story I was also very pregnant with number three, with numbers 1 and 2 in tow, when I was unloading my groceries into the trunk of the car. As I did so, I looked around for the cart return and happened to glance at a parked


Like that dude on the right. Seriously, who does he think he’s fooling? (Photo credit: steph&vic’spics)

car nearby and see a teenaged couple sitting in it, watching me. As I finished up, the boy was suddenly next me, wearing one of those t-shirts with the bow tie sewn into the pattern of the shirt, which I at first thought was a novel idea, but now when I see them just get annoyed. He asked if he could return the cart for me. I was suspicious. “Do you want money or something?” He said, “No, I just saw that you’re pregnant and have kids and thought I could help you out.” I’m sure I was visibly taken aback. I was also a little embarrassed. “Oh, sure. That would be great. Thank you,” I responded. And off he went with my cart to the cart return before going back to his car. His girlfriend may have put him up to it, but nevertheless, an actual teenage gentleman! I don’t come across those often.

On another note, are there any other moms out there who feel an innate connection with each other that you just want to smile and give a knowing nod when you see each other on the street? I feel that way often when I see moms of little kids while I’m out with mine, or when I see a mom who’s pregnant and has a little child with her. Yet why does it seem I’m the only one around here who feels this way? (Okay, aside from the woman in Story 1.)  I try to make eye contact so I can give a commisserating look or something that conveys “Mom Power!” or “We’re on the same team!” but women just ignore me! What gives? I start singing that theme from Highschool Musical in my head, (“We’re all in this to-gether.” Don’t ask me how I know that.) but they’re off on some other plane. Okay, maybe they’re just thinking, “I did remember to bring money with me this time, right?”

Please, dear readers, share your stories of pregnant kindness and/or your experiences of fellow mommies’ cold-shoulders, or otherwise. I’d love to hear them!

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15 responses »

  1. I always try to give that commiserating look to other parents of young children. Sometimes I get the cold shoulder, but usually I don’t.

    I must admit that I don’t have any kind stories like this from my pregnancy. I have one story from the opposite end of the spectrum. A jerk almost hit me while I was legally walking in a crosswalk at eight months pregnant and then yelled out his car window to get the f*** out of the way, stupid b****. I lost some faith in humanity that day.


    • OH…MY…GOSH! That is so awful. I’m so sorry you had to endure that abuse from such a horrible person. I feel sorry for you, certainly, but also for that poor man! He is a sad, sorry little man. I’m going to try to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he just got fired and found out that his dog died on the same day AND that he felt really badly after having said that to you. One can only hope! I hope you were able to recover quickly. I would have been wounded for a week.


  2. Great stories, I love it when a stranger is kind and thoughtful! I also love it if I can be the kind and thoughtful stranger! A few months ago I was in some public restrooms and I was in a cubicle, and in the cubicle next to me I could hear a mother with what was obviously a toddler, the mother had just discovered that the toddler had pooped herself, and from the noises and what they were saying, I gathered that it was all quite messy (is this too much information?), and that the mother didn’t have any wet wipes with her. In my bag I happened to have a pack of make-up remover wet wipes, so I passed them under the dividing wall and said “Here would you like these?” She took them and thanked me profusely. I had left before they came out, so she never got to see me, but it must have been a funny story for her to tell people about the hand that appeared with wet wipes just when she needed them! I know that I’ve experienced random kindnesses from strangers too, but can’t think of the occasions right now!

    In terms of mothers giving the cold-shoulders, I know what you mean, but I think it’s because, as mothers, when we have young children, we’re used to people giving us disapproving looks if our kids are playing up (or we think people are disapproving even if they’re not!), so from the other side, I think sometimes if we want to give those mothers a supportive/understanding look, they don’t want to catch our eye thinking we might be wanting to give them a disapproving look! (Did you follow all that? hehe).


    • Yes, I did follow all that. Thank you for that perspective. You may very well be right, as you’ve just reminded me that when I had smaller kids, I was careful to keep my eyes to myself for that very reason. I appreciate your insight!

      Also, the wet wipe story–what a gift from God you were to that woman. Man. If I were her, I could totally imagine the relief. Thank goodness for you! Thank you for sharing, and for being one of those people!


  3. I was pregnant for the first time when I was chief resident. I had to take a shuttle from the parking lot to the hospital, and the bigger my belly got, the more often someone offered me their seat. It was really wonderful even if I did feel fine standing. Just to see people be so eager to help gave me a warm feeling. I hope I’ve instilled these good manners in my own sons. I’d be horrified if I found out they let a pregnant woman jostle around on a bus while they say comfy in their chairs!


    • That’s great! It’s enough to inspire a woman to wear a fake pregnant belly for a crowded bus or subway ride! Haha! I would never do that, though. And I did think of your sons with my last story. Would one of them be that teenage boy? You know–wearing one of those horrid t-shirts? 😉


  4. Pingback: Ruth Institute Blog » “I always rely on the kindness of strangers.”

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