For When You Lose it With Your Kids

IMG_2068Let me be honest, this is one blog post I don’t want to write. It’s embarrassing and shameful and full of regret over something I did this week.

If you had been at Michael’s this Wednesday around 11:30 am you might have seen a mom in aisle seven losing it with her kids…and I’m sad to say that mom was me.

I’ve written of this before, the ever-obvious fact that I am not a perfect mom. But this time…Yikes! This time I even surprised myself with how quickly I went from feeling fine and dandy to last-straw-losing it with my six-year-old.

The matter that caused my erupting anger to spew like wild lava wasn’t even her fault. I knew it wasn’t her fault. It was an accident. It was one of those annoying inconveniences that come with motherhood, with six-year-olds, with things that can’t be helped. (I’ll avoid details but I will say it was messy, time consuming, and soooo NOT what I needed at that moment.)

I knew all of this, but what did I do? Did I extend grace to the child? Did I treat the child the way I would want to be treated. No, not even close.

I yelled. I pushed. I shamed.

I spat out punishment. I seethed anger. I piled blame on innocence.

When I replay the situation in my mind and remember what I said, what I did, how I reacted, my heart breaks. It breaks for the broken mom I am, and it breaks for the broken child left standing in my wake.

The anger, I wonder? Why such anger? Because the anger, in the moment, is what feels good, feels right. It’s the release, the instant gratification, for feelings so hard to control.

But the anger, it’s the coward’s way. It’s for the weak, never the strong.

 The strong, the brave know that anger, apart from righteous anger, is never good and never right. And while it may yield instant release, it lingers forever in wounds that ache and rarely heal.

The strong, the brave, they know that though it may be hard, the feelings they can be controlled. They know we have helpers, they know we have allies. A Holy Spirit to help us see. A Savior to offer a different path. A Father always ready with grace for the moment, with mercy for the coward.

And this mama needs her allies. I need to see the miracle that is the child. To choose the path that turns toward love. To accept the grace and fill on mercy so grace and mercy overflow.

And my child? My child knows grace and mercy far better than I, for when my anger cooled and my heart ached to say I was wrong, to say “I’m sorry, dear girl. Can you ever forgive me?” her little arms hugged my neck. Her toothless smile spread wide. And her precious voice whispered, “Yes, mommy. I love you.”

There are no perfect moms. There are no perfect children. But there is perfect grace.

Perfect grace that helps the broken, cowardly mom come to her senses and ask for forgiveness.

Perfect grace that flows freely from the mouth of innocent babes.

Allied grace that performs a crimson stain clean-up on aisle seven.

And somehow lets this losing-it mama gain everything in return.