‘But Mommy, can you try to listen to me too?’: Mom shares important reminder on validating children

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“I lost my temper this morning.
It’s Monday.

We were running late.
I was trying to frantically shove tissue paper in the teacher’s appreciation gifts, and nobody was listening to me.

So I yelled.
And slammed cabinets.
And said some things I regret.

I took out all my stress and pent up anxiety on my kids, particularly my son.
And he yelled back at me.
So I yelled some more.

And it wasn’t until I was tossing Uncrustables into lunch boxes that I finally looked over at my son on the couch.
And he was crying.

Not the ‘I’m throwing a tantrum loud enough to wake the dead with my whining’ type of crying.
But the silent type.

He sat quietly, putting his shoes on, with tears falling onto his cheeks.
I dropped everything I was doing, walked over, and pulled him into my lap.

I told him I was sorry for yelling and saying hurtful things, and explained I was just tired and stressed out and not having a very good day, but I need him to listen when I ask him to do something.

He said he accepted my apology, and said he would try harder to listen, but then he said something that almost knocked me out. ‘But Mommy, can you try to listen to me too?’

He explained he was also having a bad morning, didn’t get enough sleep, and was feeling overwhelmed.

He told me he tried to say something during breakfast, but I was so flustered and on a rampage, I didn’t hear him.

I was blown away.

I realized sometimes I get so lost in my own stress and frustration that I forget my kids can have those big, scary feelings too.

And just how I seek validation, grace, and acceptance when I’m struggling with my own mental health, I need to give it to them when they need it as well.

We both lost our tempers this morning.
And that’s okay.

Because we also both apologized.
We listened to each other.
We talked it out.

I smothered him in kisses, and told him that even when I’m having a bad day, even when I’m yelling, I still love him more than words could ever say.

And I know he loves me too.”

young son walking into school after getting out of his mom's car
Courtesy of Mari Ebert

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Mari Ebert. You can follow her journey on  InstagramFacebook, and her websiteSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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