As moms, we’ve all lived out the dreaded scenario of having our child buck-naked on a changing table in a public restroom, only to realize that that we forgot to replenish our diaper bag with diapers and wipes.
What if in our state of panic, another mom who had “been there, done that” had your back and had hidden a little bag filled with the essentials to help you out in your time of need? A “real-life diaper angel.”
It sounds made up, right? But it’s not.
Recently, Merissa Shayler — mother of a 3-year-old and 6-month-old — posted in my Neighborhood Moms Facebook Group, a picture of a package she had found in the bathroom at our local rec center. It was a Ziploc bag with filled with diapers, wipes, and a note that read:
“I once found myself in this exact same spot with a newborn with a crazy blow-out and NO DIAPERS or WIPES! An unmitigated disaster, that was! Just in case you have found yourself in the same sort of pickle, I brought some wipes and diapers to save the day!
The Unprepared Mom”
How freaking amazing is that? So damn thoughtful.
This mom didn’t shame another mom for being unprepared, but instead shared a little story about her own experience, and paid it forward by leaving a little care package to help a mom who finds herself in the same situation.
Bravo, mama. Bravo.
Merissa said that, on that particular day at the Rec Center, she was prepared and didn’t actually need to use the provisions left by the “unprepared mom,” but she recalled a time, not so long ago (a week ago, to be precise) when she wasn’t prepared, and it was a complete nightmare.
“We were at my daughter’s preschool and my 6 month old, Nora, had her third poop explosion of the day, and it was literally running down her little body,” Merissa told Scary Mommy. “Since it had been ‘one of those days,’ with multiple unanticipated accidents, we had already used all the diapers and wipes that I had packed for the day, so I was left having to be resourceful (which we know mothers are experts at) and improvise what with I had: a blanket and a pair of 2T shorts, in the dead of winter.”
She said it worked just fine, but that’s not to say there wasn’t a moment of sheer panic. “It would have been nice to find a package with the essentials in my time of need,” she said. “Finding that package a week later reminded me there are moms out there who want to help out, acknowledge that sometimes ‘crap happens,’ and offer support.”
She went on to say what all of us moms are thinking on a regular basis:
“Even though there are so many moms around at all times, sometimes motherhood can be such a lonely place. There is so much judgment on how you parent these days, that it has even become increasingly difficult to find moms who you can connect with and relate to.”
Cue the head nods in solidarity, because you hit the nail on the head, Merissa.
It’s beyond refreshing to see a mom who wants to help a sister out, without being a judgy turd. Just think how the world would be if all women acted just as the “unprepared mom,” instead of turning their head, and whispering about another mothers’ shortcomings.
We are all just doing the best that we can, and it’s time we just acknowledge that.
I’m determined to continue this random act of kindness. A small bag with an extra diaper, wipes, and a kind note. It’s such an easy, simple thing to throw together, but so meaningful to the mom who finds it.
“I haven’t searched for the girl who left the care package, and I have no intentions of doing so. I did make a post on the FB page just to acknowledge not only this person’s random act of kindness, but to give hope to other moms that not everyone is there to judge you, and we have all been through these moments.”
Merissa is a freaking badass. And you are correct, Merissa: moms do need to hear this, and thank you for sharing it.