PHOTO: ALY BROTHERS (FACEBOOK)
In just one photo, a single mother has shown how hard it is even just to go to the grocery store with your kids when you're doing everything yourself.
Aly Brothers shared a photo on Facebook of herself in tears after a particularly bad trip to the supermarket with her two young sons.
“This is motherhood,” along with the image.
“No fancy filters, no good lighting, no new lipstick. It's messy hair that's wet from the rain, yesterday's makeup that I was too tired to wash off, and tears.
Motherhood is HARD. Single-motherhood is hard. These tears started as the cashier of Giant Eagle handed me my receipt and continued for the entire drive home.”
Brothers explains that she and her boys were headed to the supermarket at 8a.m. because they were out of milk. And while her kids are usually well behaved, this particular day they were not.
Her youngest son cried almost the entire time they were in the store. "He didn't want to sit in the cart, he didn't want to be buckled, he wanted to hold all the groceries on his lap," she explains. "He got mad. He threw his shoe, he threw my wallet, he threw the three groceries that did fit on his lap. And he cried."
Her three-year-old wanted to be superman, so he stood on the cart, fell off and knocked over displays. "Then I made him get down and he walked too far ahead of me and opened all the freezer section doors telling me all the things he wanted to get," Brothers writes. "I tried to handle that. I stopped multiple times and composed myself and my children."
Then came the balloons.
"Oh, how my kids love balloons," she explains.
"They wanted the huge ones that cost $8.00. I compromised. We would get one balloon and share. They agreed. They each said 'share' and smiled as I picked the biggest Mickey Mouse balloon they had.
"But while we were checking out they did not want to share. They screamed, they cried, they fought. I handed the balloon to another cashier to be put back and they cried louder."
And people behind them weren't happy.
“The people in line behind me glared. The cashier glared. 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.”
Brothers grabbed her receipt, ran out the store and cried, purely from the frustration of being judged by people that didn't know her at all.
“They don’t know me as a mother. They don’t know my children,” she writes.
"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."
Brothers urges everyone to reach out to parents they see struggling. To say something nice, rather than judge.
“Please don’t glare with judgement,” she writes. “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.”
Since it was posted, Brothers post has been liked 32,000 times, shared over 15,000 times, and received more than 3500 comments.
It's safe to say, people think Aly Brothers is strong, and doing just fine.