I know that you have had some pretty questionable days that leave you feeling as if you are an unworthy parent. If anything, it was simply a tough day for you. The children were at each others throats again and you could not seem to get anything done around the house without dealing with their temper tantrums, screaming and crying, and, “Mommmmmmmm!” be called out all day long. So what did you do? You put one in timeout for hitting his little sister. You yelled at the other. You probably even threatened to punish them both from their games and television at some point.
Later in the evening after bathing the children and sending them to sleep you laid your exhausted body down and thought, “I was really harsh today. I should have been more patient with them. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did.” It is normal for us to grow weary after being frayed at the edges and pulled tight in every direction.
We tend to be highly critical of ourselves after having a stressful day with the kids. We truly make ourselves believe that we are inadequate parents and feel extremely guilty for showing tough love at times. The next day we may even fall into the trap of being a little too lenient with them due to the remorseful feeling that lingered on from the day before. We still have to remember to stay consistent about behaviors that are and aren’t acceptable in order to raise kids that will grow to be responsible adults with great mannerisms.
What you probably have not yet realized, is that our children have the most forgiving hearts that we could ever know and there is no need to be hard on ourselves for having days where we are emotionally and mentally strained.
I am profoundly humbled by my son when I have a difficult day with him. After yelling at him or placing him in timeout, he quickly forgives. It is almost as if he had forgotten that I just got after him. He still hugs and showers me with kisses right after. He looks at me with the most loving eyes. Our kids are no grudge holders. They do not hold the tough days against us. Even after him upsetting me I still feel annoyed a few hours later, but when I see how forgiving his heart is, it inspires me to be as forgiving as he. The next day all I can do is vow to have more patience with him and to remember to forgive as quickly as him.
Some things shouldn’t even matter like water being spilt on the floor, or getting their outfit dirty. We have to keep in mind that carpets dry, clothes get washed, but our babies, well, they only stay little for a little while so we must soak it all in while we have the chance. If only we had the forgiving hearts of a child, who knows how different the world would be today.
Your little ones still think of you as their hero. You still hold the keys to their pure hearts. They look up to you regardless of how awful you think you acted with them today. You could do no wrong in their eyes. So, tonight when you lay your tired head down and you are left in the middle of the night tossing and turning with a heavy heart, know that they have already forgiven you. They love you. They don’t see you as a monster even if they cried like you were one earlier. Tomorrow is another day and they will love you just as much if not more. You have been forgiven already and don’t even know it yet. You need only to have the same forgiving hearts as they and forgive yourself.