Kesha Bernard was ready for a toddler-free vacation. But that was before she heard the baby on the plane.
As the mom of two shared on Facebook, with a 3- and a 4-year-old at home, she knows how difficult children can be. That’s why she planned a kids-free vacation — right up to the point she boarded her early morning flight.
Bernard settled into her middle seat. Then she learned there was a weight issue on the plane. As the passengers on the crowded flight grew more impatient, a baby behind her started to cry. She wrote:
So everyone is sitting in this full packed plane. And a baby starts crying. (Oh, God forbid right?) Obviously, I’m totally used to crying and whining, so I tune it out. Everyone around me starts huffing and puffing and mumbling.
While the passengers grumbled about the crying baby in their midst, the inevitable happened. The toddler started fussing as well. Bernard wrote:
This lady has her toddler having a full blown melt down over her seat belt being on. (Toddlers are dramatic. That’s nothing new.) No problem … I have mom powers and totally ignore it.
And the situation continued to unravel. A passenger began complaining to the harried mom about her children. Bernard wrote:
I hear a woman complaining to this mother (that’s alone with two crying kids) that her child need to stop kicking her seat. THEN I hear the mother say, “She’s three. I cant believe you just did that.” Apparently the lady reached behind her and grabbed the child’s leg.”
While this was going on, Bernard noted that the flight attendant just stood and listened. Meanwhile, the complaining moved up to Bernard’s row, though she quickly put an end to it:
The older men beside me make remarks like, “Obviously her way of discipline isn’t working.”
So I reply with, “She’s probably afraid to do anything … you cant do anything anymore,” and they stopped talking.
For 15 minutes, Bernard sat and waited on the overcrowded plane, thinking that someone near the overwhelmed mom would step in and help. When she turned around to see what was happening, it was worse than she imagined:
I turn around to see people mumbling and staring at this mother with her THREE kids ALONE. A screaming toddler/crying baby/and a very well behaved older child.
Bernard noted that instead of helping, one of the mom’s neighbors was sitting there with her hands over her ears, making faces. Unable to wait any longer, Bernard walked back to the stressed mom and offered to help. She wrote:
Being a decent human being, I couldn’t take letting this mother drown back there. (And let me tell you she was being so freaking calm you guys. Like I would have already been crying, but she was doing so good.) I get up out of my seat, go a few rows back, and go ask her if she needs help. (Apparently that’s so hard to do.) She immediately handed me her baby.
With the baby in her arms, Bernard returned to her seat for takeoff. The little one promptly fell asleep.
For Bernard it was a demonstration of how a bit of kindness can make a huge difference. And that instead of complaining and grumbling, we should reach out to help others. She wrote:
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 (words hurt). And back to the lady holding her ears … GROW UP.
The most shocking part was the fact that no one on the full flight did anything to help the mom. Bernard concluded:
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???? How we can ignore a human in distress beyond me. Please be kind. Please be considerate. Help one another … it makes everything easier.
In the few days since she posted it, Bernard’s story has been shared thousands of times. And many have commended her for stepping up and helping the overwhelmed mom. However, Bernard told Dearly that anyone with “a kind heart” would have done the same:
“I’m just a real person who understands the struggles of motherhood. I believe that if we all help each other the world would be a much easier and stress free place.”
Bernard added that she’s glad her example has inspired others:
“It’s upsetting to see kind acts being looked at as a ‘taboo’ subject. But I’m super happy and humbled that my act of kindness is touching people in the way that it is. Like I said … it takes a village.”