Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time Out

It's been a long two weeks.  That may be the understatement of the year.  Twelve days at home with sick kids.  I don't even have the words. 

What I can tell you is that after a run like we've just had patience is running on empty.  I have been nurse, short order cook, cleaning lady, laundromat, and comforter for 288 hours straight.  Tonight I hit my breaking point. 

I won't bore you with the play-by-play, but it basically involved three kids, lots of mud and a garden hose.  I lost it.  Now, I could say that an eight year old knows better than to smear mud on the sliding glass door or to spray her brother with the hose in 50 degree weather, but, as my mother reminds me so often, "she's only eight".  Should she do those things? No.  Did she deserve to be yelled at? I don't think so. 

I am so grateful that tonight my attitude didn't get in the way of my guilt. (As it often does.) After starting some mac-n-cheese, I called the girls out to the kitchen and apologized for my actions and asked for their forgiveness.  The smiles on their little faces said it all.  This mattered to them.  They needed to hear that I was wrong and that I was sorry.  Because I was. 

I don't tell this story to pat myself on the back.  If you were standing in my backyard at 4:30, you would certainly know better.  Instead, I hope it encourages us to say we're sorry.  To be honest with our kids and admit our mess ups.  They need to see that we aren't perfect and that we need grace and forgiveness just as much as they do. 

Also, I hope today has reminded me to take a step back.  Stop taking this motherhood thing so seriously.  I'm not suggesting that we eliminate boundaries and consequences, but I do hope that our focus to "raise" our kids doesn't demand they act as grown ups.  Does a little mud on the glass really hurt anything?  Couldn't I just let them enjoy the moment?  Ask them to clean it up when their done?  Wouldn't it be great if we could miss something every now and then?  Give them a chance to cut a corner or make a mess without immediate consequences?  Oh, how I would hate to have someone tapping me on the shoulder every time I screwed up! 

Maybe for the first time, we can allow our kids to see us for the mess-ups we really are and we can let them do the same.  Who's with me?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so with you. I'm encouraged by mom-friends like you who keep it real, but who don't settle there either. Kudos.