"Ma'am, your milk is leaking" and Other Cringe-Worthy Mommy Moments

5 years ago

I'd had a long day.

We'd been late for preschool and the dinner had burned. My third grader had forgotten his spelling list at school and we were out of training pants.

By the time I got to Target that evening it was late. And I was the kind of tired known only to mothers and lumberjacks after a third shift. I made it through the aisles in a daze. Paper towels? Check. Laundry detergent? Check. Pull-ups and paper plates? Check and check. A few more grocery items and I was done.

I stood in a line that looked too good to be true: a woman with a single item was the only person ahead. And you know what they say about things that are too good to be true. It ended with a manager and a scanner problem and one frustrated individual: me.

When it was my turn to check out I felt half-dead. My mind was on the list of jobs that stretched before me at home. I was roused from my daze when I heard the voice of the young man at the register.

Ma'am, your milk is leaking.

My what? Before I knew it my hand was on my chest and a flood of irrational thoughts was unleashed.

Why can't I feel anything?

Can he see through my shirt?

How long has it been since I nursed her?

Suddenly the answer to that last question floated to the surface. A year and a half.

The cashier looked confused, then pointed to the counter with a nod.

The milk. Was leaking.

Oh, ok, I said, relieved. I'll just get more.


There was an older man walking into my line by then, and as I passed him I casually stated, I'll be right back. My milk is leaking.

His eyes lowered to my chest. Awkwardly, I said nothing.

By the time I made it back to my line the man was gone.

Motherhood is filled with cringe-worthy encounters.

As moms, we are experts in the field of Awkward.

The child who innocently asks why that lady smells bad.

The woman who inquires about your due date when the baby is three.

We smile, teeth gritted, then laugh with our girlfriends over too much chardonnay.

In the end, that day at Target turned out to be a happy memory. Leaking milk and all.

What is your most cringe-worthy mommy moment?

Visit My 3 Little Birds and let me know!

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