If you’re a mom, you’ve messed up. More than once! And Dads, this certainly applies to you too.
My boys are all are in their 20’s now. Some married, some raising families, but the memories of their younger years are etched in my heart as if they were yesterday.
When I reminisce about these times, there are an abundance of joyful memories. But I’ve also got plenty of not-so-proud Mad Momma Moments too.
For instance, there was the time that Devin and I got sideways BEFORE he left for school. Awful timing! There was no time to talk things through or apologize for my sharp tone. The school bell was going to ring and I needed to send him out the door.
The morning’s guilt ate me up all day long and it was one of the worst days of my life. I couldn’t focus at work and had a sick feeling in my tummy, constantly replaying how I should have handled the conflict better. If I had only diffused the situation, I could have made sure he left with a smile instead of feeling hurt or frustrated. I worried that he was having a horrible day too.
I was SO relieved when I finally got my Momma hands on him. I was anxious to hug him, tell him I loved him, explain what I should have said, and apologize for the tone and words I used.
Can you relate to my Mad Momma Moment?
Sixteen years later, the memory still hurts my heart.
And unfortunately, that situation wasn’t the only ‘moment’.
- I would allow household chores to take precedence over time with my boys.
- I would cram too much into a day and consequently rush them around to accommodate my overwhelmed agenda.
- The hurried moments when I would just ‘do’ something for them instead of embracing a teaching moment.
- Letting six insensitive words leave my lips. Words I would never be able to retrieve, regardless of the heartfelt apology that followed. I know I deeply hurt my son.
- Not having warm clothes on hand for when the weather changed from hot to freezing, seemingly overnight (Yup, that often happens here in AZ!) and worrying my boys would be cold all day. For me, the thought of this is akin to the thought of them being hungry. It completely stresses me out!
- The time I forgot something so incredibly important to my son.
- Blaming them for telling a lie and later finding out it was the truth.
- Missing an opportunity to compliment, encourage, or support.
Lest you think it was all negative, it certainly wasn’t. I love my kids with my whole heart and gave them 110%, but even with that effort, I messed up. Repeatedly.
God doesn’t send our kids with an instruction manual. Even if you were an experienced ‘Queen Bee of the Babysitters’, raising your own babies brings a completely different level of responsibility and care necessary.
So what to do?
- Realize it’s NEVER too late to make positive changes.
- Declutter overbooked schedules.
- Reevaluate priorities.
- Plan and prepare to thwart stressful situations.
- Hold your tongue and practice patience.
- Take time to listen.
- Slow down.
- Forgive yourself for not being perfect.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Keep trying. Every day make it better.
This isn’t a permanent ‘Get Out of Jail’ card for your kids. It’s very possible to love, nurture and care for your kiddos without turning them into spoiled rotten, attention seeking brats, and you have a responsibility to do just that, every single day!
I’ve heard that being a parent prepares you for grandparenthood. The last two years have proven this to be true. I’ll drop everything to sit on the floor and play with my grandkids. Dishes stacked in the sink? Who cares! My patience knows absolutely no end. I choose every word, especially the ones which redirect and discipline, extremely carefully. Everything is a fun teaching moment. I delight in the messes and relish the ‘work’. I am appreciative for each and every second.
I wish I had more of the grandparent perspective years ago when I was raising my guys, but obviously we can’t be grandparents before we are parents! I pray, though, if you are still in the midst of navigating parenthood, this point of view will be helpful for you now.
Mad Momma Moments will happen; Lord knows we aren’t perfect. But embrace the challenge, strive to do your best, and celebrate your successes. Don’t just tell your kiddos you love them, but show them over and over again in your words and actions. Make the effort to be the amazing parent God desires you to be.
Care to share your own Mad Momma Moment story?
And check out this week’s Declutter Now! Challenge which focuses on decluttering our kids by clicking here.
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