I just watched a video on someone’s Facebook page that showed several Mothers describing how they saw themselves as Mothers. They were hard on themselves, and majority of them said they needed to have more patience with their children. Then the video showed what the children had to say about their Mothers. The children said things ranging from ‘my mom is so cool’ to ‘My mom is my heart, she is that close to me’ to ‘My mom is my hero’. Not surprising, when these mothers watched their child on screen, a few tears were shed.
We are all hard on ourselves. I know what it’s like to get caught up in the heat of the moment and raise my voice when I really didn’t intend to. When your child doesn’t understand why he’s not allowed to have any more candy and he yells, cries and slaps and after 2 full minutes of calmly explaining to him that he had enough candy and slapping won’t be tolerated, you just snap and start yelling back. GO SIT DOWN, YOU ARE NOT HAVING ANY MORE CANDY! CRY IF YOU WANT TO! It would have been so much easier just to give him the damn candy! So now we have a toddler sitting in his time out chair with a red, tear stained face and a mother with a headache who is tired of the same old fight over and over, yet she feels guilty for losing her cool.
This Mother was me…at lunchtime today. It’ll probably be me again sometime in the near future. I felt guilty for yelling and after time out was over I gave my son a hug and apologized for raising my voice. I couldn’t help but think that me raising my voice totally erased everything else that happened in the run of our day together. The morning snuggles on the couch, the tickle monster episode, the coloring, the walk, singing nursery rhymes, the heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes and the kisses. I was afraid that all he’d take away from today was the 30 seconds that I lost my cool.
I was wrong. How do I know that I was wrong? Because out of the blue, hours later, he stopped playing with his beloved tractors and dump trucks and came over to the couch where I was sitting and he put his hand on my leg and he said “I love you Mommy. Sooooo much”. Then he kissed me.
I melted. I knew then that to him I was bigger than those 30 seconds that caused me guilt. I gave him the biggest hug. This isn’t the first time he has said this to me (without saying it in response to me telling him I love him). The first time was in Walmart a month or so ago when he was tugging on my jacket. I thought he was going to ask for a toy, instead he told me he loved me and we hugged, right there in the laundry detergent aisle. He has said it a dozen times since. One morning at 6am he came into my room and whispered it in my ear while we snuggled. He says it when I least expect it. No matter how often he says it, I’ll never get sick of hearing it.
Since day one I have done so much for this child. I gave up so much of my life to be his Mother (and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing). You don’t really expect any thanks, especially at age 2, but that is what his words mean to me. A ‘thank you Mom for taking care of me and loving me’. It’s a reminder that above everything else, even if I do lose my cool and raise my voice, I am doing something right.
I am reminded of this every time he holds my hand. He will take my hand and hold it while we watch his favorite show. He likes to cuddle with our matching blue blankets and get as close to me as he can. He gives the best hugs and kisses. He even likes to play with my hair using either a toy screwdriver or a real brush, either way it feels like a day at the spa to me (sad or what?). I am savoring these moments of closeness because I know a day will come when he’ll outgrow these things. That’s fine too. I just hope he never ever outgrows telling me that he loves me.
When I watched that video I knew how those Mothers were feeling. Let’s stop being hard on ourselves and forgive ourselves for not being perfect. We may feel like we are expected to have superpowers sometimes, but we don’t. We are only human. We are Mothers. Which means we love and are loved…..sooooo much.
Hugs & Smiles,