There are moments as a mother, when I am far from perfect. Moments when emotions overtook my logical brain. Moments when I made mistakes. As humans, it is TOUGH to face up to our shortcomings and share openly of our Mom failures but I’m sharing this personal story to hopefully reach out to YOU, a work-in-progress mummy who is working hard towards being master of your emotions. To demonstrate that we are all works in progress. At the same time, it is possible to repair ruptures in our parent-child relationships even as we are working towards it.
Recently, I lost control over my own emotions at my toddler’s misbehaviour (she used her scissors and cut up my favourite books 😱). I berated, shouted, slammed the bedroom door and locked myself in the room for a long time, leaving her to cry outside 🥺 Being a more self aware & conscious parent now, these were actions which I regretted almost immediately. I was modelling to her how we can react when we are angry (ie yelling & slamming doors) and imagined her doing the same thing to me during her tween & teens 😥. After calming myself down, I went out and apologised to her in a calm and gentle tone.
👩🏻: “Mummy is sorry that I have shouted & slammed the door on you. I was feeling angry at you for cutting up my favourite books. It is okay for me to feel angry but I should not let out my anger by shouting & slamming the door. It must have been scary and hurtful for you. Mummy will work harder to use her calm voice next time. I am sorry, can you forgive me?”.
To my surprise... my almost 3 year old toddler said with tears in her eyes and limited vocabulary:
👧🏻: “Sorry mummy, I cannot cut your books”.
We hugged for 20 seconds and I could feel that the relationship was repaired 😭 It was a moment of connection for us in a raw moment of failure for myself.
I want to be the parent to model behaviour and qualities which I want my child to have. But, I’m not perfect, I make mistakes. I am learning and growing. Even in moments like this when I lose my cool, I can still model how to give a sincere & calm apology. I am telling my child, it is ok to make mistakes, you don’t have to be perfect. You can repair things. (Experience sharing by Sara!)