A few days before Christmas, I took my 8-month-old daughter and my 4-year-old son to the grocery store to get last-minute essentials for Christmas dinner. My list was blurred with coffee stains and my eyes were foggy from the heavy bags of no sleep hanging from them. I sent out a silent prayer to the universe for help, because I knew the store would be insanely busy and my kids would be less than thrilled to be forced to go.
Let’s just say, all my predictions came true. By the time I got back to the car, I was in tears.
Sometimes parenting is hard in a raw and ferocious way that’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t been in those trenches. I don’t care if you’re rich and famous or one of us regular folk — it ain’t easy. Which is why I was especially touched when I came across a late-night tweet by Pink, in which she shares the touching story of meeting a mom in the grocery store.
“A really sweet Mama came up 2me tonight at the grocery store and told me some nice words about how she gets strength from my parenting cause I’m not afraid to f*ck up in public,” her tweet begins. “We cried together. It’s so hard. Y’all. I wish us mamas could give ourselves and each other a break.”
I don’t know about you, but that right there made me feel some serious mom tribe feels.
For starters, I’m not sure I would ever have the nerve to walk up to PINK of all people, but I’m so glad this lady did, because it’s clear that her honest words were just what Pink needed to hear in that moment. And truth be told, the emotional exchange —and the fact that Pink shared it with her millions of followers — has an incredibly important reminder in it for moms everywhere.
In sharing the story, Pink is nudging us all to remember something we all know in the back of our minds, but rarely say out loud or put to practice: When moms take time to support each other, with some words of encouragement or even just a darn hug, it matters. Motherhood is hard enough as it is, so when you know that you have a tribe around you — even that “tribe” is online, made up of people you don’t know by name — it makes all the difference in the world. Getting some words of encouragement, instead of a glare or a passive-aggressive judgment about your parenting, can make a totally awful day turn around.
We need to feel supported. We need to feel encouraged. And we need to feel that we’re not alone in this.
Since becoming a mom for the first time 6 years ago, following the birth of her daughter Willow, Pink has shown us time and time again that she’s totally unafraid to admit when she too makes mistakes. Case in point: Just before Christmas this year, the pop star shared that she accidentally forgot to move her kids’ Elf on the Shelf — for three whole days. And of course, her daughter called her out on it. (Been there!)
Despite all the fame and fortune, Pink is about as real as real gets. She gets mom shamed (like that time she posted about cooking with her kids, and the sanctimommies came out to criticize her for wearing her baby); she’s not ashamed to breastfeed in public (like that time she breastfed back stage before a show and shared a photo of the moment on Instagram); and she even pokes fun at the challenges and minor triumphs of parenting (like that time she posted a pumping selfie, counting down the minutes until she could have a glass of wine).
In short: She is one of us. So the next time you see a stressed-out mom with her kids who’s having a hard day, give her a knowing smile or offer to help. You never know just how much that could mean to her — or when you’ll need some encouragement yourself.