Today was a great day. I was a fantastic parent. I woke up to discover my kids sneaking lollipops to eat. I said, “I don’t care that much. But make sure you brush your teeth.”
I made them a blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese and strawberries on the side. It was amazing if I do say so myself. One couldn’t stand it.
They played and laughed for an entire hour! When one of them pushed a car down the stairs and it crashed, I kept my calm. I let them have two packs of gummies at snack time. I made them go outside and play in the snow. When they climbed the snowman I made yesterday trying to destroy it (after I already told them I didn’t want them to), I ignored them. When one thought the other was pushing them off and bit her, I handled it. I got the culprit to make her a card to make up for hurting her sister. Things were smooth.
Until I went to the garbage can.
You see, we have a million, trillion, gazillion papers. The girls bring home lots from school. Coloring pages, puppy pages, worksheets, you name it. They litter the floor, the countertops and my desk. And -according to the girls- they ALL are important. We also do lots of projects at home from drawing to collages to origami. So needless to say, it’s hard to move around some days due to all the paper.
So I decided to pick up the papers littering the floor. And the countertop. And one was a doll-sized construction paper “crown” made for me by my daughter. To be honest, I’m pretty sure it was only made “for me” after her sister gave me a beautiful puppy picture with my name on it. So her sister felt the pressure to give me something too. She had it in her backpack and decided it would work as a present.
It’s not like I can actually do anything with a doll-sized construction paper crown. And I have so many other nice papers the girls have given me, so…..
I threw it out. In a pile of other papers. Face down so my daughter wouldn’t see it.
The other kiddo is paranoid when I clean as she has seen me throw things out before. So if she sees me go to the garbage, she waltzes up there shortly after and checks out what is in there.
Yup, she dug through the garbage and took out the crown. And showed her sister. And confronted me. (And I was by this time steaming out the ears!)
“Mom” she says dramatically holding up the crown, “Autumn feels so sad that she made this for you and you just threw it away.”
My anger flared. Inside, I hated the fact that I had disappointed my daughter and I’m blaming her for digging in the garbage every time I throw something out. Mama was not happy.
So I bent down and yelled at my sweet little girl, “Well, I’m angry that YOU keep digging in the garbage after me! You need to stop!”
Poor girl just opened her mouth and screamed! So I opened my mouth and snottily mimicked her scream (not my finest moment). Then my helpful garbage saver ran into the toy room and told her sister, “Mom yelled in my face!”
And I felt horrible. It felt like all this effort from the time I got up until then had been blown out of the water. I was now an uncaring mom… who yelled in their children’s faces when they called her out about it.
Man. So much wrong with that picture. Sad face.
I set down their lunch. I had made it for them with love in my new sandwich maker. I had made sure to include something filling, some healthy fruit and some crunchy veggies sticks. Still, I was resigned to knowing they would be angry and resentful toward me all afternoon. I said, without any hope, “Sorry for yelling at you.” and “I’m sorry I threw your gift away.”
And much to my surprise, they said back, “That’s okay!”
And we had a pretty wonderful afternoon after that.
Thank goodness. I am far from a perfect parent. But I do feel that parenting these days demands more than I can provide. And I’m highly emotional which makes it challenging.
I am so grateful that my girls who fight and are highly emotional as well, can forgive. They forgave me, and they forgot. Because they know that I really truly love them so much no matter what. And I tell them that often. Especially at bed time. 🤟🏻
Sending love to all you imperfect parents out there… and your precious children. Keep coming back after the humiliating moments. Keep showing your love, your imperfections, and how to apologize.
I’d love to hear your drama parenting stories. Feel free to share in the comments below:
2 thoughts on “When You Disappoint Your Child And It All Burns Down…Another Parenting Fail”
Love this! Parenting takes a log of courage. It’s even more daunting when you are the grandparent, getting to watch your kids make the same mistakes as you did, knowing that they don’t want to hear any advice on how to not do it!!
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Wow, you are right- I haven’t looked at it through my parents’ eyes yet!