Society would like us to believe that all women are against each other. That’s the narrative we hear all the time, anyway — that we struggle with jealousy, are endlessly catty, and silently judge and critique one another at every turn. But I refuse to give in to this myth; I think women are warriors, who support each other every day, in big ways and small. It’s that sisterhood that binds us — even, in some cases, with strangers.
A recent story shared on the Facebook page Love What Matters is the perfect example of just that. In the post, Mackenzie Murphy recounts an experience she had on a recent flight, while watching a nearby mother of twin babies.
Now, flying solo with a baby can be an incredibly stressful experience for any parent — it’s one that I know I tend to avoid at all costs, due to all the anxiety it gives me. But this mother’s experience sounds particularly stressful.
In the post, Murphy explains that it was “a very packed flight” that day, and the woman’s car seats were taken at the gat, meaning that she had to then hold both her babies for the duration of the flight. Or at least, that’s what she thought — until she went to take her seat, and the flight attendant “immediately told her she couldn’t hold both babies, and would have to leave the flight.”
I can only imagine the woman’s panic at this news; I know I would have been devastated myself. After having gone through all the preparation required to travel with babies — from getting through check-in and security, making your way through the airport carting ALL THE THINGS, plus two infants — only to be turned away at the last moment. What a nightmare!
But that’s when a complete stranger stepped in to help.
“A mother sitting in front of me, with permission from the other mother, volunteered to hold one of her babies for the entire flight,” Murphy recalls. She didn’t even hesitate to take on this responsibility.
But the part that really amazes me? The kind stranger had her own young daughter with her at the time.
As I read this story, I found myself wondering if I could have done the same. If I were traveling alone, I’m hopeful that I would have been happy to care for the infant — but if I was solely responsible for my own children at the same time? Unfortunately, I fear that I would have already been too concerned about how they would behave on the flight, and would feel that I already had my hands full.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case for this mom in need. And it’s a good thing, too, because according to Murphy, the flight was only supposed to be 45 minutes long, but the plane ended up sitting on the tarmac for 2 1/2 hours! Murphy says she was amazed by what she saw throughout the flight, as the multitasking mother fed and burped the other woman’s baby “without a complaint.”
“She then went on to hold him, sing him songs, and then he slept the entire flight without even a cry,” Murphy added.
She also mentions what happened when the woman’s own daughter began to cry:
“This mom, so calmly, went on to explain to her young daughter that ‘Our job is to help other people. This mom is all by herself with no help, and really needs another mom to help.'”
What a beautiful way to explain the importance of helping others to a child. It’s certainly a powerful lesson — one her daughter won’t soon forget — and a great example to others, as well.
“My heart still feels fuzzy,” added Murphy, before offering up some advice to readers: “When you see people needing help, do the right thing and help them.”
Amen to that.
As women, and fellow humans, we are here to support one another — even if our hands are already full at the time. After all, you never know when you’ll be the one needing the help.