A Bad Day Doesn’t Make You A Bad MamaMari Hernandez-Tuten
I know. I know. I know. You hate that you lost your temper. You’re feeling the guilt for yelling at your child. You’re frustrated at yourself because he heard you curse as you walked away. And once again you grounded him for a month knowing well that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Mama, you’re not alone. We all have our bad days. But whatever you do, remember that a bad day doesn’t mean you’re a bad mama. Don’t go to bed tonight feeling the guilt because today you couldn’t hold it together. You were exhausted. You didn’t see it coming. You’re not perfect. Don’t worry he will not be in counseling for the rest of his life because you yelled at him today. There is grace for you and me, accept it.
You handled the temper tantrums just great at dinner time but when putting on his pajamas turned into a battle of the wills the dam broke and you screamed, “STOP! ENOUGH! WHY MUST YOU MAKE EVERYTHING SO HARD?” His little face goes from angry to pathetically sad and those big brown eyes looking back at you are filled with fear and sorrow.
Sweet mama don’t let this go unattended. Go back in the room. Go back and look into his tear filled eyes and say those powerful words that break down walls, “I’m sorry. Forgive me for losing my temper.” Your child needs to know that you’re human and you make mistakes. More importantly, he needs to know that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions and will work toward making peace.
Don’t listen to those whispers of guilt that say, “You’re an awful mom. You really messed up now.” They are lies; you’re an amazing mama who had a bad day. Redeem this bad day by modeling reconciliation and working out differences in relationships. Your child will see that you also make mistakes and you can learn from them. They learn from us how to deal with mistakes.
And in the words of my 6 year old, “When you fall down, you get back up.”
5 Tips on Apologizing
1. Take a moment and remove yourself from the situation. Calmly say, “I am upset right now and I need a moment to think about what just happened.”
2. Humble yourself and apologize.
3. Your apology shouldn’t include an excuse. For example, “If you weren’t so whiny I would not have yelled at you.” It should also be specific: “I am sorry I yelled at you. Will you forgive me?”
4. Follow up your apology with action. Work on this area. If you need accountability, share it with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable.
5. Forgive yourself.
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