“A big part of parenting is showing our children we are human—and how we resolve and reconcile when we fall short of being a decent, good human being.
I know I’m a darn good mother…90% of the time. The other 10% consists of me yelling, feeling angry for too long, comparing my kids, not cleaning right away, etc.
Jackson wanted some Oreos with milk. He was pouring some milk into a cup for himself, but the milk gallon was too full and heavy for him, so he ended up spilling half of the gallon on the floor.
Me being sleep-deprived and walking into the kitchen to grab a bottle of milk for Joah, I reacted with impulse when I saw the kitchen floor filled with milk all over.
I yelled at Jackson, ‘What are you doing, Jackson Thao!? Why didn’t you ask for help! Urgh!’ I was clearly annoyed and angry at the mess and not necessarily at Jackson.
Jackson saw how angry I was and broke down immediately because he doesn’t like it when I’m angry at him, ‘Mom, I’m sorry. It was an accident. I tried to do it myself. I’m sorry, next time I’ll ask for help. Please don’t be mad.’
I saw Jackson cry in shame and felt instantly bad and ashamed of myself. I’m the adult. I’m the mother who needs to model kindness and calmness. Why was I so impulsive and upset? I didn’t allow myself to respond. I reacted instead with my impulse.
I immediately got on Jackson’s level and apologized to him, ‘I’m sorry, Jackson. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that. Mommy was wrong for doing that, and it wasn’t nice.’
‘You’re so mad at me. You hate me?’
‘I don’t hate you. I reacted because I was upset at the mess. I’m not mad at you for spilling the milk by accident. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that.’
I hugged Jackson and told him sometimes when we’re not feeling the greatest, we may react in a way that is not very nice or healthy. But when we catch ourselves doing that, we have to recognize and make things right with the people we end up hurting.
We have to take care of ourselves, so we can feel our best and give our best to the people we love and care about.
I told Jackson the spill is not a terrible accident because we can clean it up. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as we do our best to fix them and show we are truly sorry.
Joah walked by and saw Jackson wiping the milk off the floor, so he decided to help Jackson too.
Sometimes we make mistakes as parents, and we have to model kindness and humility to our children: we have flaws too, and we are capable of taking a step back and apologizing to them because we’re not always right—we’re not always cool-headed.
It’s okay to show our kids we are human, and we make mistakes too. What matters is we reconnect and reconcile with our kids.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Bad Modern Woman. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit 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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