Sometimes we witness people acting in a way we feel is wrong and the downpour of negative thoughts is hard to stop. Oftentimes bystanders even act on these thoughts, saying judgemental or hateful words to complete strangers in the heat of the moment.

It’s important to remember, though, that everything isn’t always as it appears. And we don’t know someone’s story, or hardships, merely by looking at or observing them.

Love What Matters recently published a young, single mother’s story after she found herself in tears over the harsh looks and words of strangers on a day where she was doing the best she could. It’s a story everyone should read:

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This post came after a tear-filled day caused by the judgment she received while taking her two young children to the grocery store. While she tried her hardest to calm her children down, they proceeded to cry, scream, yell, knock down items, and throw things, having the kind of day all toddlers sometimes do. But instead of kindness and understanding, all she received were glares and harsh words. If you don’t read her whole story, then read this part:

Everyone’s eyes were on me as if to say “can’t you control your own children”. One older gentleman whispered, “she’s pretty young for two kids” and I lost it. She handed me my receipt and I cried. They don’t know me. They don’t know me as a mother. They don’t know my children. They don’t know I was married before I started a family. They don’t know I left that marriage because of abuse knowing I would have it just as hard as a single mother. It’s hard people. The glares and whispers and judgments are hard. Sometimes I can control my children and sometimes I can’t. Sometimes they listen and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I can handle it and sometimes I break down. I know these days will pass, the tears will stop, the fighting will cease, and my babies will be grown. And that will be hard too. So if you see a parent struggling, if you see a kid throwing a tantrum, if you see a mom on the verge of tears…please say something nice. Please don’t glare with judgement. And to all moms out there having a day like mine…I see you, I know you, I love you. You are strong and you are doing just fine.”

Her message is an important one we can apply to all situations in life: Don’t judge, and be KIND.  Next time you see a single mother, or any parent, struggling with their children tell them they are strong. Tell them they are beautiful. Tell them that you know they are doing the best they can, tell them bad days pass. Just tell them something kind, and those might be the words that get them through their day.