When mum-of-two Kesha Bernard found herself flying without her kids, did she put her tray table down and bless her good fortune as she ordered a little bottle of wine and some crackers? Nope!
Here I am on vacation away from my kids (who I absolutely love to death but sometimes you need a break from toddlers)…
Instead, she reached out to another mum who was struggling with three kids on her own, on the flight, offering a much-needed extra pair of hands as other passengers directed passive aggressive and outright annoyed responses toward the overwhelmed mum.
The plane had been delayed on the tarmac for some time, and the woman’s kids were finding it hard to sit quietly as they awaited take-off. Anyone who has travelled with children knows that it can be an epic challenge. On this particular day, three kids are coping with the delay just as you’d expect.
“A baby starts crying,” Kesha explained in a Facebook post about her helpful encounter – and the behaviour that prompted it.
“Obviously I’m totally used to crying and whining so I tune it out. Everyone around me starts huffing and puffing and mumbling. Then I hear 2 kids crying (holy s!#$ right?) This lady has her toddler having a full blown melt down over her seatbelt being on (toddlers are dramatic thats nothing new) No problem. I have mom powers and totally ignore it.”
“I can’t believe you just did that”
It seems that Kesha’s understanding tune-out approach was not shared by any other passenger on the packed plane. Impatient folk, trapped like sardines, began to focus their anger on the poor mum and her noisy kiddos.
“I hear a woman complaining to this mother (thats alone with 2 crying kids) that her child needs to stop kicking her seat,” Kesha says. “THEN I hear the mother say ‘She’s 3 I can’t believe you just did that’. Apparently the lady reached behind her and grabbed the child’s leg.”
Nobody came to the woman’s rescue as things began to escalate, in fact people were simply observing and judging.
“While this is happening the freaking flight attendant is just standing there… listening. Not even doing anything. And the older men beside me make remarks like ‘obviously her way of discipline isn’t working’.”
Kesha said she couldn’t believe the uncaring and intolerant response, with some passengers even covering their ears as the children tried to settle in.
“You guys. This is a full plane and I sat here for 15 mins waiting on someone closer to this woman to offer her help… because I’m surrounded by caring adults, right? Wrong.”
“I turn around to see people mumbling and staring at this mother with her THREE kids ALONE. A screaming toddler, a crying baby and a very well behaved older child. One grown ass woman was holding her hands on her ears and making the ugliest faces at this mother.”
She knew she had to act and save this poor mum from her hostile travel companions. The act of reaching out reaped instant rewards.
“I get up out of my seat go a few rows back and go ask her if she needs help ( apparently thats so hard to do) she immediately handed me her baby. (This lady was like HOLY HELL YESSSSSSSS!) So ya know I take her baby and then I have to go sit down for take off. The crying stopped (its a miracle👀) So I’m sitting here holding this precious baby that so happens to fall asleep (swooooon)”
A little bit of kindness and understanding went a very long way.
Kesha was as upset by the other travellers response to the stressed-out mum and her kids as the mum in question was.
She shared the story later on her Facebook profile, in the hopes that it would rally others and encourage them to step in when someone is in trouble.
“Be nice and considerate. If someone needs help for God’s sake HELP THEM. Complaining and mumbling doesn’t do a damn thing except make the person that needs help feel worse. This flight should be ashamed of themselves… you’re telling me I’m the only ONE out of a full plane that was willing to help?”
Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, reaching out to help and simply being compassionate are the best responses when someone is in need.
“How we can ignore a human in distress is beyond me. Please be kind. Please be considerate. Help one another… it makes everything easier.”
We couldn’t agree more.