This morning was one of those mornings. The kind where you woke up on time and should NOT have been running late, but ended up being late because after telling the kids to get dressed 10 times, you look in their room and they’re standing there, still in their underwear, arguing over one little bear, out of their 60 stuffed animals. It was the type of morning where they had been arguing from the first minute they woke up at 6:50am, and now 2 hours later, you’ve just had enough. It was the kind of morning where reminding them that they should be grateful for what they have and share their toys, or separating them in rooms, or putting them in time out didn’t work, so I resorted to yelling. It was one of those mornings.
At first I pretended to be satisfied. I had gotten my point across, after all. But after a few seconds of the crying and hearing Aspen say between sobs “I do love you Mama. I do love you.” I couldn’t take it any more. All I wanted to do was run up there and hug them all.
So I did.
I went up there and I held them while those little tears ran down my arms and I told them that I love them. I told them I was sorry. I said that Mama shouldn’t have gotten mad like that. And then I just held them.
There wasn’t any more fighting this morning. But there were lots and lots of tears and cries and sadness.
I’ve learned a lot throughout these 12 years of being a mother, the main one being that time goes by fast, so we need to enjoy it while we can. And the second one being that we can’t undo what we’ve done, we can only fix it and move on.
I used to wish there was an erase button, so that we can undo those bad moments; but there isn’t and we can’t. There’s no fast forward; no rewind. But as I live longer and experience life and parenthood, I can honestly say that I’m so grateful that we don’t have erase buttons. That life is real and raw and painful. Because then we grow. These moments hurt like crazy, but then growth comes. And that’s what life is all about. Learning and growing and hopefully becoming better.
So here I was holding my 3 youngest children, all in tears, all hurt by the words of their Mama.
But, these little kids know me and they know their Mama is not perfect. They know I make mistakes. They know it’s not okay to get mad like that, so their Mama apologized. They saw a moment of anger that was not okay. There was so many better ways to handle the situation, but instead I yelled. So we lived it and learned from it and can now move on and do better.
Let’s face it, we all have moments like this. Maybe not yelling in that way necessarily, but moments of anger where we say things we shouldn’t or do things we shouldn’t. I’m sure you hate these moments as much as I do. And years ago, I would have let these moments consume me, making me feel like a horrible parent, which in turn makes me LESS patient, LESS happy, and LESS confident, OR we can see them as a mistake that we can learn from and just move on to do better and be better.
It’s too easy to feel like we’re horrible and bad and weak and pathetic. It’s too easy. But unfortunately, it’s hard for anything good to come from these feelings. Instead, we can admit we did something wrong, see it as that, and move on. MOVE ON. Do better. Think of ways we can be more patient. And if we fail again, which we probably will, then we keep trying. And we keep trying, and we keep trying.
And we don’t ever give up.
Because I can honestly say that mornings like this for me are rare. They didn’t use to be. But they are now. My kids fight and yell and scream, and usually I can keep cool. It’s not easy, and I retreat to my backyard to the porch swing A LOT but I get better and better at this patience thing because I keep trying. Days like this are a small step back, but as long as we’re facing in the right direction and we keep moving forward, we’ll be just fine.
So this morning, we pulled up to the school late and the girls got out. I told them again that I was sorry and that I love them. I want them to always know that. Aspen looked at me with those big brown eyes, kissed my cheek, and ran off to class. Bella handed me the following note and said “I’m sorry Mama” before blowing me a kiss and heading off for the day.
The morning could have happened so differently, but it didn’t. This is how it played out. So we fixed it and we moved on.