By Heather Keenan
Lose it, feel guilt, apologize. Lose it, feel guilt, apologize.
That has been my week. For whatever reason, the Universe decided to test me. And test me it did. This was one of the most up and down weeks I have ever had with my kids, and believe me that is really saying something. I feel as though all I have done is lose my cool, instantly feel super bad about it, and then over apologize. I can not even begin to think how confused my kids must be. I suck.
Or do I? I am not sure if you noticed the “apologized” part of the last paragraph. I mention it because even though, we all know, that an apology can not fix every situation, it sure can fix some. I am a mother, however; I am a human first. I make mistakes and sometimes they last for a few hours and others, case in point, can last for a week.
I have no idea, really, what put the bee in my bonnet this week. Unfortunately, for my kids, I was determined that it was their fault. The little one won’t sleep, so I am sleep deprived. The middle one has no earthly idea what those little appendages on the side of her head are for, so I have to yell at her for her to understand me. The big one, well, she has decided that she is no longer 6, but 16, so I have to lay into her at every opportunity because I refuse to raise and ingrate.
Problem is, they aren’t truly to blame. They were just being who they are. The little one has never slept, she loves me, or hates me, so much that she has always much preferred my bed over her own. The middle one can’t help it that she loves life so much that she doesn’t have time to slow down and listen to why she can’t have a play date with her school friend this week. The big one has always been older than her years, and at some times that is amazing while at other times it is not so amazing. So, honestly, my week of apologies had nothing to do with them, other than the apology part.
As I sat down to finally have a moment of peace at the end of the week, all I really wanted to do was to go wake them up, travel back seven days and have a re-do. Obviously not happening. So after crying in my Blue Moon for a few minutes I came to peace with myself. I am human. I am human and I mess up. The real problem lies with the inability to admit fault. Those that you have let down should know that you are sorry. That it did not leave you un-phased to know that you may have hurt their feelings or treated them in a way that was unfair.
Moral of this story, apologize when it is needed. Your kids will understand. I know that we love to consider ourselves “Super Moms”, and that’s great, but I promise an apology will not tarnish that image in your child’s eyes. Now, don’t get it twisted, if you tell Sally no more jelly beans and she throws herself down on the floor of the movie theater in a fit of rage, which ends in you having to leave half way through, do not apologize. What I am saying is that we moms mess up, too, and it will make all the difference to your little ones, and to you, if you are big enough to say you’re sorry when you’re wrong. It doesn’t make you less of an authority figure, it makes you a better one.
Disclaimer: By “lose it” I mean I yelled, no children were harmed for the writing of this blog. My kids have no clue what the word “spanking” even means.