Yesterday morning was crazy. My husband threw me into a bad mood and from there my thoughts were scattered among at least ten different projects/people/chores I was responsible for at that time of day. My kids, God love them, were just not with it. They rarely are because they’re super young, but yesterday was unreal.
They’re always given little tasks to do such as get you socks and shoes on, here are some clothes, please get dressed, or put your breakfast dishes at the sink. Those are mostly for the biggens, but the littles have chores too. Anyway, what normally takes about thirty minutes total took well over an hour. We were trying to get out the door so we could play at the park before going to gymnastics. We’re always ready so early, I thought we’d make the most of it that morning.
I used to (as in last month) get myself so worked up trying to get everyone and everything ready before we walk out the door in the morning. I was the sort of parent who would say, “C’mon c’mon let’s get going!” “Kid, what are you doing? Get over here now!” Slowly getting louder and louder, speaking each child’s name between gritted teeth, suppressing my anger until it finally explodes! Well, I haven’t been doing that; I’ve been attempting to be patient and not hurry my kids along. I’m trying not to create these anxious kids, because I found myself working on my calming down, and my patience but still teaching my kids to do the things I was working extra hard to quit. Whoa! That sentence sounds messy, I’ll try that again.
As I work to break bad habits of hustling, fretting, and being anxious all too often, I found I’m simultaneously teaching my kids to hustle, fret, and become anxious. If I were into hashtags, I’d say #momfail.
I was working my tush into the ground to make these changes for myself, and yesterday as I stood in the center of myself reclaiming all those bad habits, I wanted to cry. I was embarrassed. I was embarrassing myself in front of my baby hooligans. I was failing in that moment. I stared into my four year old daughter’s eyes and could see her thinking and evaluating the situation as she looked at me, and I wondered if she was disappointed in me. I had to do something to stop this madness and fix this painful morning.
I called everyone to the front entrance and we all held hands, including little baby. I looked at each one of them and I said, “Momma’s going to pray out loud. I want you to listen.” I prayed in front of my children asking God to give me patience and to calm my body and my voice. I asked Him to give each child patience while mom is having a bad morning. I asked God for forgiveness, and gently said “Amen” with a sign of relief. My house was still, my kids were looking at me (hopefully not wondering if I was going to yell at them again). While the waited for me to speak I gave a warm smile and said, “I’m so sorry for making you hurry this morning.” Then I squeezed each on in the tightest, most authentic hug I could give and whispered “I love you.” in their sweet little ears. Those ears that weren’t listening just moments before, were now being called to be hear my prayers.
It was that easy!
Later as we drove to gymnastics class, I thought about the many lessons I unknowingly taught my kids at that moment.
1. I showed them to call on God when life begins to come unglued.
2. I showed them how to talk with God from the heart.
3. I let them know that grownups make mistakes too sometimes.
4. I showed them what it meant to be sorry for my actions.
5. I also showed them to own up to those mistakes and to say sorry when you feel sorry.
6. I’m sure there’s more I’m just not thinking of right now.
Yesterday was hard, but today I feel like it was a beautiful hidden treasure.
Thank you God for yesterday.