Sarah-Jo Millar.
Sarah-Jo Millar.

Mum left stunned by shopper’s f-bomb slur

AN Ipswich mum has spoken out about a savage verbal attack by a fellow shopper as her children had a tantrum while leaving a Brisbane shopping centre.

Tivoli woman Sarah-Jo Millar said she was shopping at Mount Ommaney this week after her children, aged three and five, had a tantrum.

"A big up yours to the three women who felt if necessary to tell me to get control of my children and to the one who thought it was appropriate to swear in front of them, saying: 'F***ing school holidays brings out all the worst kinds of kids'," Ms Millar wrote online.

She said comments like that made parents never want to leave the house.

"It's people like you that make parents feel like total utter sh*t when all they are trying to do is get basic day to day tasks done."

Ms Millar received hundreds of messages of support from locals online, and said she hoped it would encourage other stay at home parents to leave the house in spite of the judgment of a few.

"In my five years of parenting, I have dealt with a lot of (judgments from strangers), and I usually sit back and go 'whatever', but this week in particular in the last week of school holidays, I know a lot of parents are struggling," she said.

Sarah-Jo Millar and her kids.
Sarah-Jo Millar and her kids.

"I did it for the fact that there might be a lady sitting at home with severe post natal depression who can't even leave the house to buy milk."

Ms Millar said she had been shopping before both kids started "screaming the house down".

"I have a drop it and run rule. It's basically a punishment for them but it's also about getting the hell out of there," she said.

In the 15 minute walk to the carpark, Ms Millar said she encountered three instances where strangers commented on her children's behaviour.

"I understand my children were very loud, but the first woman turned around and said: 'you need to control your kids'," she said.

Mum Sarah-Jo Millar and her kids.
Mum Sarah-Jo Millar and her kids.

"I ignored it and thought, I'd be grumpy too. I'd never say anything, but she was trying to have a conversation."

Then as she was walking past a coffee shop, Ms Millar heard a woman say something like: 'Oh my God, she cannot control those children'.

"And the death glares that were coming at me..."

"At first I thought surely they didn't say something. And then the woman replied to her friend saying what horrible behaviour it was."

Sarah-Jo Millar was the subject of a shopper's tirade over her childrens' behaviour in a Brisbane shopping centre.
Sarah-Jo Millar was the subject of a shopper's tirade over her childrens' behaviour in a Brisbane shopping centre.

The final incident occurred at the escalator, when a woman who'd pushed past her, was stopping Ms Millar getting on the escalator.

"I told her to move out of the way, and a woman said: 'F***ing school holidays brings out the worst kinds of kids'," Ms Millar said.

"My daughter looked at her and me and said: 'Mummy, she said the bad word'."

But at her car, Ms Millar said some people did stop and offer to help put her pram and groceries in the boot.

"My biggest thing behind the post was to vent, but then people started saying it happened to them too," she said.

"I suffered post natal depression myself, and there were days I could not get out of bed. I couldn't even do day to day tasks, and I relied heavily on social media and seeing mums do these things... it helped. I won't say it fixes anxiety and depression, but it definitely helps."

Ms Millar - who also shops at Springfield and Ipswich - said she often had similar experiences there too.

"The whole time, I did not say a single thing to any one of these people. Prior to kids, I was quite a confrontational person, but kids have shown me that they are always listening, and they're always watching," she said.

"I see these sorts of things happen in the shops all the time, and parents get so frustrated because they feel like they're being judged," she said.

"It's just so important to encourage them to leave the house."

Has this story raised issues for you? Help is available.