Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Kristin}

Right when I needed it, a stranger provided a random act of kidness-and all I thought I was getting was a Starbucks.

There we sat in an unusually long drive-thru line at Starbucks. The Raffii Children’s Pandora Station playing “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”, my one-year-old subtly whining because he threw his pacifier out of his car seat, and my almost-three-year old asking if she could have a snack, and her water bottle, and her stuffed animal, and a wipe, and a kitten (what?!) repeatedly – her voice growing louder and more impatient with each request.

I unbuckled my seat-belt, twisted my body sideways and backwards and retrieved my son’s pacifier and placed it in his little expecting hands, then dug all of my daughter’s requested items from my backpack (sans a kitten!) and handed each one back to her. (Side note: investing in a backpack instead of an over-the-shoulder diaper bag when I went from one child to two has been LIFE CHANGING. Two free hands to wrangle my tiny crew and a whole lot of room to pack a lot of “stuff” – maybe even big enough for a kitten!)

It was a normal morning in this seasons of life — I wasn’t feeling particularly stressed or tired or overwhelmed — in fact we hadn’t even experienced any meltdowns so far — I was chalking it up as a good day!

After ordering my “usual”, I pulled up to the window and offered my credit card for payment.

“That won’t be necessary, ma’am. The woman who was in the car in front of you just paid for your order,” the barista said.

I stared at her blankly, my arm still extended towards her with credit card in hand. I didn’t understand.

“What’s that?” I turned down the Raffi Children’s Pandora Station which was now playing, “Old McDonald Had A Farm”.

“Your coffee and breakfast is taken care of,” the barista confirmed what I thought I’d heard the first time.

“Oh! Great! Thank you!” I was shocked.

As I pulled out of Starbucks with my coveted coffee and blueberry scone, tears started rolling down my cheeks, I was so struck by this random act of kindness.

Who was this woman who had bought my coffee? Did she see me in her rear-view mirror while we were waiting in line and think, this lady looks like she needs a random act of kindness today? Maybe she saw me reaching into my backseat, to the kiddos, a few times? Maybe she didn’t see me at all, and had pre-meditated her random act of kindness for whomever was behind her in line that day, and I was just the lucky recipient.

I’ll never know.

But the thing that struck me even more than that random act of kindness, was my reaction to it; tears! And I’m not a crier. I don’t tear up at Hallmark commercials and it takes a REALLY sad movie to get me teary-eyed. But here, after this random act of kindness, I was all tears.

Maybe deep down I really needed that gesture, that unexpected kindness from a complete stranger — a metaphoric pat on the back that said, “Here, let me brighten your day, mama.” Or a small sign from the world that said, “I know this season of life can be hard sometimes, here’s a little pick-me-up.”

A seemingly normal day in my “mom life” brightened by a woman who I never met, who I never will meet, and who I can never properly thank.

I’ve bottled up this overwhelming feeling of gratitude and plan to pay it forward to another mom who’s just going about her business with her tiny crew on another seemingly normal day — maybe in another Starbucks line, maybe somewhere different — whenever the moment seems right, or the person seems like she may need a metaphoric pat on the back.

So, thank you to the woman in front of me at Starbucks; your gesture has been well received and will be passed on to another mom, who will hopefully be moved enough to pass it on to another and that other to another, and so-on.

And the pure and simple thought of moms spreading kindness to other moms, anonymously — not for the recognition of it — now that’s something to get all teary-eyed about.

Right when I needed it, a stranger provided a random act of kidness-and all I thought I was getting was a Starbucks.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.


Kristin Helms of The Mommy Project San Diego.Kristin is a mom to a 2 year old daughter and 6 month old son. Pre-motherhood she worked in the corporate marketing and public relations world. She is now a stay-at-home-mom and writer, penning all of the emotions, joys, and hardships of motherhood. You can find her writing regularly over at Tribe Magazine or follow her daily #momlife shenanigans on Instagram @KristinHelms_writer.