I am not perfect.
There I said it. Life is hard and sometimes my fuse is short. I let work stress, marital disputes, financial worries, climate change, you name it stress me out sometimes. I don’t always have the patience I should with my kids. It can feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all, to be all everyone needs.
Sometimes I yell and get angry and react in ways I know seconds later are totally disproportionate to the situation. My initial reaction or my response to chaos is totally uncalled for. I have nights where I make it that golden time when the housework is done, I’ve stopped checking emails and kids are in bed. I should just totally sink into my relaxation but I can’t because I feel guilt for how I poorly handled a situation. I know my kids deserve better in those moments, and I almost always am trying my very hardest, but I can still manage to fall short.
Accepting My Imperfections
But I decided long ago to accept my imperfections, to try hard everyday and in those moments when I still fail, tell my kids I’m sorry.
It doesn’t do myself or my children any good to pretend I can’t or won’t make mistakes. I want my kids to be able to understand and label their feelings so I try hard to demonstrate that to them. I let them know I was feeling frustrated or angry and apologize for how I reacted. I make sure I get down on their level, look them in the eye, sometimes I will hold their hand or end in a hug. I want express sincerely how I am feeling.
Our emotions are powerful and we can’t always control how we feel.
But saying I’m sorry and showing and expressing love is what I want my kids to remember. You know what’s better than perfection? Honesty and accountability are. I want to do my best to model these to my children and admitting to them I know I made a mistake is a powerful way to show them these things. Even big and powerful grown ups don’t know everything and aren’t perfect.
I don’t just apologize for their sake; I do it for my own as well.
Forgiving myself for my mistakes and moving on is critical to my emotional health. It can help me reflect on what I did wrong and attempt to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future. After I apologize, I can let go of the negativity I am feeling and move forward with the resolve to do better.
I am still their mother. As their parents, their father and I are the ultimate authority in their lives, but saying I’m sorry for my mistakes doesn’t diminish that authority. I hope it deepens the respect they have for me and will build more trust between us.
I hope my children will remember that I always expected a lot, but I gave every ounce plus some of what I expected. I loved and mothered with a strong passion. They saw me at my best and worst, just like I did for them, and we will always be there to love and forgive each other.