A Letter to the Crying Mama on the Plane

I was lucky enough to go on holidays with our family last week and we were very spoilt to have our parents and siblings share the load of looking after and playing with our three kids.  We had made our way up separately but when we returned home, many of us were on the same plane, seated next to each other on the way back to Melbourne.

Seated a few rows ahead of us was a mum with her little girl who was probably two years old or not quite.  Before the plane even took off she and her friend, who also had a little one, were already having conversations with the flight attendants regarding their seats.  It seems they had booked one for themselves and their children but only received one and a half each.  A few people were eventually moved and they got their seats to themselves but as the plane was readying for take off the little girl began screaming and became quite upset.  From there it became quite difficult for her poor mum.

Dear crying Mama on the plane,

I saw you desperately trying to soothe your little girl and calm her flailing arms and legs as she was attached to your own seat belt and how hard it was for you to keep your cool, especially knowing the whole plane could hear her wails.  I watched as the flight attendants came over to try and help you out and my heart was filled with warmth as one of them held your little girl for you so you could take your jumper off and tie your hair up again.  I saw her bend down to reassure you as you put your head in your hands and cried.  I thought you were incredibly brave.

You tried again to sit your little girl on you and she continued to scream.  There were the usual people who put their earplugs in and looked annoyed, and there were the others who had been there before like you and felt your pain.  My little girl on my lap had three books to read so we quickly chose the most interesting one to pass up to you.  The lady diagonally opposite me who was also a mum, passed That’s Not My Elephant to you and you took it but it was quickly brushed aside by your little one and you tried desperately to find something else that might appease her.

Your little girl’s cries and thinking of how you must be feeling broke my heart.  I wished you had someone close you knew right next to you to help you.  Finally you moved to the window seat and your little one stopped thrashing about so that the plane could finally take off.  Unfortunately she continued to scream until the plane levelled out.  I wanted to give you an encouraging comment afterwards or come and give you a hug.  I know you don’t know me but I wanted you to know that we’ve all been there at some point and that I hope you didn’t feel guilty or ashamed.  Anyone with kids knows that sometimes these things happen.  It seemed like you had had a difficult day even before you got onto the plane.  I wanted you to know, I hear you mamma, and I hope your day improved.


Another mama on the plane




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