We were snuggled into bed with a book. Our nightly ritual. Her sweet little face of 5 short years turns to me innocently and says, “Shannon’s Mom is a good Mom. Her Mom never yells at her.” Ouch.
In the stunned silence that follows, she tells me that it hurts her feelings when I get mad and yell. I feel a taunting arrow aiming straight for my heart. An arrow that is trying to pierce me with proof that I’m not a good mom.
Years ago I would have let that arrow burrow deep down. I would have gotten defensive and tried to point out all of Shannon’s Mom’s faults. I would try to prove that she wasn’t so great of a mom, either. The difference now?
I know I am not perfect. I am done striving for perfection. It doesn’t exist. It’s exhausting and it’s soul-crushing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Perfection is a lie.
Dear Mom, you will screw up. You will get mad and yell. Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.
Be the encourager, be compassionate, and don’t expect your kids to be perfect either. Give lots of hugs and kisses. Be there when they hurt.
Love unconditionally – especially when your own feelings are hurt.
We finish our book. I apologize and she says, as she always does when I screw up, “It’s ok Mom. I still love you.”
Much Grace, my friends.
We all need it.