Recently one of my favorite young moms, I’ll call her Ann, called me to talk.
She was struggling over a meltdown that had happened with her little one.
The morning started like any other, except . . . she hadn’t slept well and an important work deadline had her in more of a hurry than usual.
Her little person woke up his typically pleasant self, but that particular day he had stronger than normal opinions about what he wanted to wear to school.
Now, Ann is very good about assessing each situation and choosing her battles carefully, but this morning fatigue and hurriedness took over and their opinions collided.
He needed to get dressed and eat breakfast…
But instead, precious moments were lost in a temper tantrum meltdown.
Ann still felt terrible hours later.
Can you relate?
It’s been years since I’ve had little ones in the house, but oh, I can still remember my momma guilt moments well.
As our conversation continued, she told me they had worked things out before they’d left the house.
She reminded her little boy that opinions were great, but temper tantrums were not and although what he wanted to wear may have been okay . . . she could not give in and let him wear it because of the way he’d acted.
They gave each other a big hug and kiss and each went off to do their day.
But Ann couldn’t stop thinking about it. She felt terrible.
If you can relate, I want to give you some encouragement.
Momma, life happens.
You are not perfect! You are not raising perfect children and that’s okay.
Sometimes you’re tired. Sometimes they’re cranky. Sometimes you’re cranky. Sometimes personalities clash.
Just remember, every less than perfect moment is an opportunity to demonstrate and teach your child grace and forgiveness.
As we continued to talk, I suggested Ann revisit the situation again that evening and tell her little one that she was sorry for her part in the way the morning played out.
She’d forgiven him . . . now she could give him an opportunity to forgive her.
And that’s what she did.
After they were settled in with his after school snack, Ann asked him if he remembered their morning.
He said, “Oh yes, mommy.”
She replied, “Well, we talked about how you might have acted better, but we didn’t talk about mommy. I’m sorry I didn’t listen better and hear more about what you wanted to wear.”
“Will you forgive me?”
He replied, “Sure mommy! It’s all right!” before running off to play.
You and I can talk all day long about forgiveness but actually showing our children the importance of doing it is the best way to teach it.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:6–7
What a blessing . . . this thing called forgiveness.
It’s wonderful, isn’t it?
It means to “let it go.” (Sounds like a song, doesn’t it?)
Forgiveness says, “You don’t owe me. I’m giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me.”
And our Father says, “I love you. Your debt has been paid. You don’t owe me.”
Love makes forgiveness possible.
Loved and forgiven people are loving and forgiving people.
So, ask your children to forgive you when you hurt them. It’s good for both of you.
And as for that mommy guilt thing…
Your Father wants you to let that go, too.
I mean, I get it. I’ve known plenty of “mommy guilt.”
But I’m learning to look back through the lens of God’s grace and mercy.
Because it is enough.
I begged the Lord three times to take this problem away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8–9
I’d love to have been a perfect mom. I’d love to be a perfect mom.
But I need a lot of grace. Maybe you do too.
God’s grace is the antidote for my imperfections and it’s the antidote for yours, too. It’s grace that covers every tired and cranky moment and it’s given freely all because your Father loves you.
So, cling to it and claim it.
Momma, you’re doing a good job. It’s a high calling to raise your littles. Just keep doing the best you can and love them with all you’ve got.
Isn’t that what you want for them..?
To know that even when they’re not perfect you will always, yes always, forgive them and love them and that they have a Heavenly Father who will always love and forgive them as well.
Yeah, that’s what I want too.
One more thing…
I promise that most of the things you’re beating yourself up over your children won’t even remember.
What they’ll remember is how much you loved them and all the time you invested in showing them just how much!
I’m always surprised by the funny things our children remember and all the things they don’t. Whew!
So, teach them grace and love them like crazy and leave the rest in God’s very capable hands.
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