Mum breaks down after toddler’s epic tantrum – then a gang of mums save the day

Posted in Behaviour and Discipline.


An exhausted and very pregnant mum was struggling with her tantrum-ing toddler at the airport when a gang of superheroes stepped in to save the day.

The struggle is real

Not only was this mum struggling, she had in fact burst into tears in the busy terminal, after the juggle got a little bit too frustratingly real. 

Beth Bornstein Dunnington explained on Facebook that she was taking a flight from LAX to Portland, when she spied this mum in trouble. She shared the story of what happened on this particular day because it’s bolstering – and might inspire others to lend a hand.

A toddler who looked to be eighteen or so months old was having a total meltdown, running between the seats, kicking and screaming, then lying on the ground, refusing to board the plane,” Beth began.

All too much

Beth says the toddler’s overwhelmed mum had reached her limit. Unable to convince her little boy to settle down and comply, she basically fell in an exhausted, embarrassed and defeated heap.

“His young mom, who was clearly pregnant and traveling alone with her son, became completely overwhelmed … she couldn’t pick him up because he was so upset, he kept running away from her, then lying down on the ground, kicking and screaming again.”

“The mother finally sat down on the floor and put her head in her hands, with her kid next to her still having a meltdown, and started crying.”

Toddler taming

At this point Beth – who was on a different flight – sprang into action. She was not the only woman to step in to help, and recalling the collective response brought Beth herself to tears.

“The women in the terminal, there must have been six or seven of us, not women who knew each other, approached and surrounded her and the little boy and we knelt down and formed a circle around them,” Beth says.

“I sang “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to the little boy. One woman had an orange that she peeled, one woman had a little toy in her bag that she let the toddler play with, another woman gave the mom a bottle of water. Someone else helped the mom get the kid’s sippy cup out of her bag and give it to him.”

Something extraordinary at LAX today… (writing this on the plane). I was at the gate, waiting to get on my plane to…

Posted by Beth Bornstein Dunnington on Friday, 2 February 2018

Rescue rally 

Beth says no discussion happened prior to the women offering assistance, en masse, and they didn’t chase afterwards either. They all simply did what needed to be done, helped each other to help the struggling mum and then calmly went on their way.

“It was so gorgeous, there was no discussion and no one knew anyone else, but we were able to calm them both down, and she got her child on the plane. Only women approached. After they went through the door we all went back to our separate seats and didn’t talk about it … we were strangers, gathering to solve something.”

Beth says the way the helpers rallied without fuss made her truly appreciate the power of women working together.

“It occurred to me that a circle of women, with a mission, can save the world. I will never forget that moment.”

“We get the job done”

Facebook followers were equally heartened by the women’s response, with many teary-eyed.

“A beautiful testimony to why we need women in charge,” one wrote.

“A circle of women is the most powerful structure in the world,” another said.

“When these kinds of things happen, it restores my faith in the world. And re women? To misappropriate the line in Hamilton: ‘we get the job done'” someone else confirmed.

What a gorgeous, helpful and life-affirming story. Big thanks to Beth for sharing it.


Get more babyology straight to your inbox