Dear fellow mom,

I wish I had said something. 

I pulled up behind you at the gas station and saw you and your son. He was beaming ear to ear, because his little hands were pushing on that gas handle so hard. He was the one pumping your gas. You were chatting with him, showing him the numbers on the pump. He was thrilled to be learning about the process, and you two were having a moment…


The car came out of nowhere, and I heard the woman telling you something. I wasn’t totally sure what she was saying but I heard,

“Kids… cancer… DON’T DO THAT.”

And everything changed. You tried to cover up what your son was doing. You kindly pushed him away from the gas pump, because you were being judged and reprimanded on how to care for YOUR son. I saw the expression on your face. A mix of frustration, anger, and sadness. I’m not sure your son noticed. But here’s what I think.

You are a good mom!

That stranger did not see the learning opportunity your son was experiencing or the bonding between the two of you; she immediately jumped to judgment about what she thought you should — or shouldn’t — be doing.

I saw it, though! I saw everything. And I wish I had told you what I saw, because we moms need to stick together! With all the social media mom wars and the judgments passed, I think we get the brunt of it. People think they can judge us the moment we get pregnant. They think they know what is best for our children. From the comments about being pregnant, to breastfeeding, to brands of baby items, to teaching our children, they think they know best.

They don’t!

We moms know what’s best for our children because we are trying our best. We are up at night reading, researching, snuggling, feeding, consoling. We are worrying, caring, teaching, and we are what is best for our children.

I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. Because I’ve been there too. Next time, I promise to tell you how good of a mom you are. I’ll tell you not to worry about everyone else. Your son was so happy to be helping, to be learning from you, and you were both smiling. Those are moments we need to cherish and think about.

So, let him help pump your gas. Teach him the difference between regular and premium. Show him how to use the credit card in the machine. And enjoy the moment!


A fellow mom

Krystal Avila
Krystal is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the 'burbs and is now loving the city life in Roslindale with her husband and 3 boys (9, 6, and 1). She and her husband met downtown working at a restaurant together, and since then their love of restaurants has kept their date nights exciting as they try out the latest places. Learning Spanish has been something Krystal has loved ever since middle school, and that has become her passion as a Spanish teacher, wife to a Salvadoran, and mother raising her children bilingual. Loves: family, friends, playing with her kids, a comfy hoodie on the beach when the sun goes down, nachos, baking, Christmas movies. Not so much: loud music, putting away laundry, terrible threes, and black pepper.