I had yelled at them.. almost on the brink of out right screaming. They looked back at me with such sadness. I was so tired.. just completely exhausted by life. It was my fault, really. My fault I was so tired. I ran myself ragged to keep up with everything on my mental to-do list… at the expense of my patience with my kids, among many other things.
Were they being naughty? Definitely. They were pushing my buttons like many other days but that day it seemed to break me. That day, I lost control of my tongue. I lost control of my anger and yelled so loud I scared myself.
I still think about that day, and how those little eyes looked back at me. Concerned, sad, sorry, scared, startled.. so many emotions flashed in their eyes. I have yelled and scolded plenty of times before. But this time was different. This time I had thrown all my cards on the table and showed them just how angry and upset I was. I had no filter. I had no mommy love or lesson wrapped around the scolding.. I just screamed.
There have been a lot of things that have surprised me throughout motherhood. How much infants poop, how stubborn toddlers are, how as they get older they seem to have to be reminded to do things more than when they were little. How tired one human being can feel, and how little sleep is actually required to function properly. But the main thing that has surprised me in the motherhood is, how forgiving children’s hearts are. My children have forgiven me and moved on quicker than any other individuals I have ever met in life.
There have been so many times they could have used my exhaustion or lack of patience against me. They could have made me feel bad about things that I should be feeling bad about, because I was a not a great mom in that moment. They could cry and tell me how awful I was to yell at them, but they don’t.
They get out of time out, or wake up from nap or get home from somewhere with daddy and they run to me. The reach up with open arms and love me and kiss me. They hold my hand tight and look for me when they are feeling broken themselves. No matter what the day looked like for us, they always unconditionally love me.
They forgive me, easier than I can forgive myself.
It’s a gift that I know may fade as the teen years come, but it’s a gift that has taught me to forgive much more quickly myself. It’s a gift that has taught me what true goodness and love looks like. It’s a gift that will continue to surprise me over and over again.
I’ve heard how you can see God’s love through a child, more than any other person on earth, and it’s so remarkably true. They don’t hold grudges. They can laugh as quickly as they can cry. They can love bigger and easier than any adult could possibly imagine. But most importantly they forgive and give grace just as our Heavenly father does each day.
So my hope for you, no matter what today may bring, is to remember this: Momma, they will forgive you. It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to mess up sometimes and seek forgiveness, even from your littlest ones. Because just as you love them unconditionally, they also love you, and that is the kind of love that needs to be protected, and savored. It’s a love that gives us reason to try harder and be better each day.
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