A Mother's Advice

 

On this Mother's Day I wanted to reflect on one lesson I learned within the realms of parenting.

While there's many certainties within parenting, the one for today's focus is that I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Despite books read, counsel sought, and examples provided, again and again I find myself at the end of my line losing my temper and exploding on my kids. Clearly I'm not showing the best of examples erupting with frustration, but it does provide an opportunity for my kids to see how to start mending the relationship.

 

I ask forgiveness, quickly and often.

 

When you were growing up, were your parents perfect in your eyes? I know mine were, which left me with the fault of being wrong, all-the-time. Now I understand that wasn't the case. Though I was a tricky kid (I plead the fifth on any related charges), not all of my parents' outbursts where my fault. One time though, my dad admitted his mistake.

We were eating Mexican at our local restaurant. This was normal for us, but what was weird is that I made my brother cry. The odder thing - I didn't mean to do it. My parents assumed it was my fault and sent me out to wait in the car. I recall feeble attempts to explain my innocence of malicious intent, but it was quickly squashed. As those attempts rose the hostile climate, I sequestered myself in my room. The yellow walls didn't cheer my mood. I sat in the fetal position as I heard soft taps on my door. Slowly it opened and I saw my dad looking at me, sullen. I was really scared; I never saw him like that before. He met me on the floor, sinking down to his knees and explained to me that my brother shared what happened. I went from crying to wailing. My dad wrapped his arms around me and asked me for his forgiveness. We both had tears, but it was ones of reconciliation.

Like my dad's example, with my kids I want them to know I'm not perfect; I'm figuring out how to parent as we go along. I'll make mistakes, but hopefully the one I won't make is owning responsibility of my slip-ups, short comings, and failures.