Thursday, October 5, 2017

To My Fellow Moms Who Sometimes Feel Like You Are Failing.....

I caught these two kids helping each other and doing good in the world, so I sent their mom a note letting her know her kids were awesome even when no one was watching.  She sent me an email back thanking me for the note.  She said it came at a great time because she said she was having a bad day that day, and felt like she was drowning and failing at everything, "but maybe in this one area, the best area, she was doing an ok job, but I really can't take credit because my kids are somehow miracles of bravery and tenacity."

I was like, hold up, WHAT? "I'm doing an 'ok' job." "I can't take the credit..."  

This email left me a little dumbfounded because she totally strikes me as brave and tenacious, and I don't even know her that well.  
How could she say "maybe" or doubt her impact on who her kids are?  Then I looked a little deeper and remembered just hours before telling my daughter's teacher that "I wish I could take credit for her behavior but she is just a really great kid."   

Why? Why do we do this?  And by "this" I mean, why do we feel responsible for every mistake that our children make, yet when they do good, when they show that they are good, we say, "Well, I wish I could take credit for that, but they are who they are."  

Who hasn't felt like they were at times drowning or failing? When we've burnt dinner, missed a deadline, forgot to get the poster board for that project that needs to be done tonight, forgot to get dog food (again).  Then your kid gives you a hug or something and you say, maybe I'm doing okay here.  I'm want you to listen to this.  You are doing better than okay.  You are rocking this mom thing.  Here is how I know.....

You say your children are BRAVE and TENACIOUS, and I will add INDEPENDENT, FORGIVING, and KIND. Well, here is how they got to be this way.

You children see that things don't always work out the way you planned or the way you wanted.  They see you stumble, and they also see you pick yourself up and get back to work rebuilding.  They see STRENGTH and TENACITY.  

They see you heartbroken.  They see you disappointed.  They see the world fall apart around you.  They see you grieve for things that did not turn out the way you would have liked, and then they see you put your heart back together and push down your fear.  They see you put on your big girl pants, a smile, and like a boss, get shit done.  They see that you can be scared and not sure of the future, but you move ahead anyway.....That is BRAVERY. 

Oh, they see you alright when you snap at them during a PMS moment, and more importantly they hear you apologize to them and own your own behavior.  They see HUMILITY.  They see you taking RESPONSIBILITY for your actionsThey see you ask for forgiveness, so they learn how to FORGIVE and how to ask for FORGIVENESS, and they see you FORGIVE YOURSELF and they learn how to forgive themselves.

They see a self-sufficient, kick ass, beautiful woman. They see that you have faith in them that they too can be self-sufficient, kick ass beautiful humans, and they emulate you.  They see INDEPENDENCE in action.

The good that I saw that day brings me to my last and the trait the world definitely needs more of today. I saw a child reach out a hand to help someone who needed it, and I saw a child reach up and take that hand.  I saw these little people act with KINDNESS, and just as importantly know when to ACCEPT KINDNESS.  

They see the GRACE and COURAGE with which you go through life.

So, YES! take credit for how your children behave. You earned it. 

And when your kids are buttholes, which every single one of them will be at some point, remember, it is NOT your failure.  It's your teaching moment to remind them that they can do better.  They can be better, and then you will continue to lead by example.  Better an asshole moment at age 8 or 10 then a lifetime of it as an adult. 

Our kids see us because they are looking to us to show them how to deal with life, so don't hide or be ashamed of your failures because your children are going to fail too, and they are learning from you how to respond.  They look at you and they see you can fail and not be a failure, unless you fail to get back up, and I know you won't.  They know you won't, so rest assured they too will get back up when they need to just like you've shown them.

We are preparing our children for the road, because as much as we might try to prepare the road for our children, at some point we will no longer be on that road with them.  That day will come much more quickly than we realize.    

We are teaching them how to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep going, and some days that is so hard.  So, for those days girls, I want you to know that as much as you may feel like you are drowning and failing, you are rocking it in all the ways that matter. 

One final thought, we are quick with our judgmental eyes when things go wrong (me too, I'm not throwing stones), so why not 
tag or send this note or a note of your own to a mom (or dad) who deserves to know they are doing a great job?  They just might need to hear that today.

No comments:

Post a Comment