Something happened this evening, I threw an adult temper tantrum aimed at my kids.
As it was happening, all I could see in my kids’ eyes was fear. That fear stopped me in my tracks and instantly gave me an attitude adjustment. But the damage was already done.
As I write this, I want to tell you that we have had a very long weekend and week of sickness. I want to recount how badly my two-year-old has slept the last four nights. I want to explain that I was already really frustrated cleaning the George Foreman grill that has been sitting dirty in the kitchen for days because my husband and I were playing the “who will cave and clean it first” game, and I lost. But my spirit knows that those are all just excuses. I snapped, yelled (like crazy scary mommy yell) and instantly felt awful.
I could have left it like that and vowed to do better. But I know I want to teach my kids that we all make mistakes and the power in owning those mistakes. So, I went to my five-year-old, looked him in the eyes, and let him know how sorry I was that I yelled at them.
I explained that we do not talk to each other like that and I expect better from myself. I apologized and asked if he could forgive me, which of course he did. Then I repeated that with my two-year-old. She didn’t understand as much, but we hugged and I thought hopefully that was that.
I immediately felt the consequence of my actions because my two-year-old started throwing tantrums, yelling and completely mimicking my behavior. I know that my actions and the way I speak to my children directly effects the way they respond and speak to me and others in their lives. I can not in good conscience get upset with them for lashing out and raising their voices if I am doing the very same thing to them.
Unfortunately, sweet reader I do not have a magic epiphany for you today on how I plan on turning myself into a calm mom. I know that, for me, I desire to be led by God and the Holy Spirit in my motherhood journey, and I intend on continuing to seek His Grace and peace in our home. Mostly I wanted to share my experience from today as an encouragement.
Maybe you have had a bad day and you sent your kids to bed after getting angry with them. Maybe you are laying your head down at night thinking about all the things that you did or said today that you wish you could take back.
Every day is a new day full of grace and new beginnings. Take tomorrow and be encouraged that we can begin again. Maybe you need to sit down with your kids and apologize for something, what a good example we can be for them in how to handle a mistake and then how to be better.