I once heard someone say they never heard their mom yell. Wow, I am a long shot away from being that person. I often wish I could be calm all the time and never raise my voice, but I am not. I try really hard, but so far I still have my moments when I yell. Maybe you have been there too? Lot’s of things going on in your day. Your toddler is whining and crying at your feet. You feel utterly overwhelmed by all your duties and you snap. You yell at your tiny child, they scurry off, and you feel awful.
I can’t speak for you, but when I lose my patience and I yell at my toddler, I feel awful. I begin to obsess about how bad of a mom I am and how I am most likely ruining her. I begin to think she will probably grow up and think I don’t love her. Trust me I go to extremes and beat myself up.
Yes, I try daily to avoid yelling, but it happens. I pray God will help me have patience each day, but I am human and I do mess up. I have begun to accept this, obviously not accept it to not change it, but accept it to give myself grace when it happens. You see, when I give myself grace in the moment, instead of obsessing about how bad I screwed up, I humble myself and tell my daughter sorry. By showing my child that I am not perfect and I do mess up, but am willing to take the blame and ask for forgiveness, it teaches her that we don’t have to be perfect, but we do have to own up to our mistakes.
The other day it seemed like everything was going wrong. I was in a bad mood and my child was sleep deprived. I laid her down for a nap to go bask in some peace and quiet. Except she continued to whine and cry in her room. After multiple times going in semi-calm, I finally had had it. I angrily stormed toward her room from the kitchen yelling the whole way down the hall and into her room. The entire way my brain was telling me “you are being quite ridiculous, calm down and speak like a grown adult”. But my emotions were getting the better of me. When I finally reached her bedside I immediately felt regret as I saw her huge eyes staring up at me like I had just lost my mind. Instead of beating myself up over how awful of a mom I just was, I decided to immediately say sorry. I told her, “mommy had a bad moment and yelled. She is so sorry and there was nothing you did to deserve that kind of treatment.” After probably blabbering off something else, she pops her paci out of her mouth and gives me a big smack on the lips. Over it, forgiven, just like that. How I wish I had the heart of a child.
Do all sessions of sorry go like this? Not at all. Sometimes it takes me a long time to apologize for my actions. Sometimes she continues on with whatever she is doing and seemingly ignores me. All the same, I have learned saying sorry and humbling myself to my child is so much better than beating myself up over how horrible I just was. I am learning that it is much more important to own up to my mistakes vs. acting like I never have them and secretly obsessing about how horribly I am ruining my child. So today my friend, I write this to spread some grace your way. Stop thinking you are a bad mom, you are not. You are an amazing mom who makes mistakes as does every single other mom in this world. Your children don’t need a perfect mom, they need a mom who is willing to lay down the pursuit of perfection and pick up the pursuit of progress.