“‘YOU ARE BEING A BRAT!!!’
The words tumbled out before I could stop myself. As I watched my daughter look at me with tears in her eyes, regret immediately filled every inch of me.
My child was not listening, which seems to be a constant battle at this elementary school age. After watching her scream and flail on the ground, I had enough. I told her to head up to her room, that she needed to calm down, but instead, she continued to talk back. And that’s when it happened.
I yelled at my child.
It’s something I’m pretty sure every parent has done in their life and something I’ve done more times that I’d like to admit to. But what hurt my heart is what I said to her. I should never have called my 6-year-old those words.
My daughter went upstairs to her bedroom and slammed the door. I could hear her yell and cry in frustration. I sunk down onto a chair and cried. My daughter and I often butt heads. She knows how to push my buttons, probably because we have very similar, strong personalities. I sat there thinking about what I could have done differently. At that moment, I felt like I failed as a parent.
But as I calmed down, I realized there is no need to beat myself up over my harsh words. We make mistakes all the time. You live and learn. There is no handbook for parenting, so much of it is trial and error. And to be honest, there are days when being a parent is just so damn hard. It really is the toughest job around.
We try to be a role model and lead by example, but all the while we’re frazzled as we battle a lack of sleep, helping with homework and shuttling our kids to and from activities. We are often running on fumes, stretched to the limits.
I was in the nursery, changing the baby, when my strong-willed daughter walked in. I looked at her, unsure of what to say, and at that moment she ran up and hugged me tightly. In the silence of that sweet hug, my daughter quietly whispered, ‘I love you mom.’ Right then I realized, all was forgiven. Actions speak louder than words.
Being a parent isn’t for the faint of heart. Some days are better than others. And on those challenging days, all we can do is remember that tomorrow is a new day.”
This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more powerful stories from Stacey:
‘I was sobbing. Pregnant at 40 was the furthest thing from my mind. I was scared. 2 of my babies died within 2 months of birth.’: Mother of child loss says ‘bonus baby’ was ‘biggest surprise,’ now thrilled for surviving triplet to have a sister
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