When you see a mom in need, throw a rope.
What does it mean to “throw a rope?” It means to help, lend support and let the mom know she is not alone. This can happen in many forms. But for today, a short story. Several weeks ago, I walked into a library which has the entrance to the children’s room close to the main entrance. As I walked in, a woman with two young children, a boy about 15-18 months old and a girl about 2 1/2- 3 years old was leaving the children’s room. Her son, grabbed the small basket of cut up stickers on the circulation desk that the children are allowed to pick a sticker from and tossed the stickers across the entrance to the doorway.
We have all had something like this happen. The woman dropped down and started picking up the stickers while also telling her son that he had to help clean up. She was doing everything right by trying to teach him that what he did was not okay and that he was responsible for cleaning it up with help from mom. Luckily her little girl just stood there and didn’t take the opportunity to wander off.
I had recently seen an article on Twitter about “throwing a rope”. Now, the thing about throwing an actual rope to someone in need is that she has to grab the rope and use it to pull herself up. In the proverbial manner, however, the rope can be thrown and “grabbed” through a simple acknowledgement and acceptance of assistance. Pulling a mom up with a rope can happen internally by helping her feel less alone and less out of control in her situation. So, I too dropped down, picked up stickers, encouraged her daughter to do so (which she did) and commented to the mom about how “we’ve all had things like this happen.” The mom seemed overwhelmed, kept her head down, while trying to keep an eye on both kids, get her son to help clean up and clean up the mess herself. After a couple moments, she looked up and thanked me for helping. I imagine this was a delayed response once she was able to process some of what I was saying and was able to feel less embarrassed or frustrated with the situation.
It is situations like this that I believe are imperative to moms supporting one another. This mom is now more likely to help another mom, even if it’s just with a reassuring or knowing smile or kind words. A few kind words and a couple minutes of time can go a long way towards making someone feel less alone or less self-conscious. When you see a mom (or any caretaker) in need, throw a rope. I assure you it will pull them up in ways you may not be able to see.