mistakes accepted but not forgotten

Parenting.  The place where perfect people go to crash and burn.

Seriously, I’ve yet to meet a parent who says they knocked it out of the park.  I mean, a bunch of us think our kids are turning out pretty great and all, but there’s always that one thing…oh hell, who am I kidding, there’s usually a bunch of things we look back on and think huh, would’ve done that one differently if I had the chance.

As I’m constantly telling my kids, though, we deserve grace.  We need to be gentle with ourselves, accepting we did the best we could at the time with the knowledge we had.  I’m doing pretty well on this particular front…but that doesn’t mean certain mistakes haven’t dug a little deeper into my memory banks than others.

My most important role is as advocate for these babes ‘o mine.  Not in a wrap them in bubble wrap, cushion their falls, pipe fresh oxygen into their rooms overnight sort of way.  But I’m meant to champion for them.  To speak up loudly and as often as necessary.  To teach them how to grow into advocates for themselves.

I have one parenting regret in particular that sits in my gut.  Times when I should have stood as their advocate, but instead I asked these sweet souls to carry a burden that was never theirs to bear.  I actually required these kiddos to tolerate yelling from an adult.

I think back on it now and am beyond befuddled.  We’re not talking about times when my kids showed their rear ends and got called out on it.  Shoot, I do that all the time.  We’re talking full volume, voice raised, yelling at my children, and nobody’s allowed to do that.  Right, wrong, whatever – if it’s holler worthy then it should probably show up on my doorstep.

But that’s not what was happening.  And I’m ashamed – deeply ashamed – to say that for years I told my kids to be tolerant of an adult who couldn’t control their temper.  I asked T-man and Bear to be empathetic, to imagine what sort of stress pushes someone past their limits, to walk away if they needed space.  Instead of advocating for my children, putting their well being first, I chose to make excuses for inexcusable behavior.

I eventually apologized to T-man and Bear, explaining that I never should have expected them to endure being treated like that.  We learned a lot from that experience, not the least of which was that sometimes parents make mistakes, and we’re on the right path now.  I’ve found grace in understanding once I knew better, I did better.

16 thoughts on “mistakes accepted but not forgotten

  1. I think we do the best with what we know to be true at the time, as being a parent has to be adapted and changed based on the individual child.

    I have learned this recently as I raised my 15 year old not to be afraid to voice his concerns, yet if his opinion conflicted with mine we were in deadlock…

    How could I be such a hypocrite and tell him to believe in his thoughts and be open to others when I wasn’t open to his?

    But that’s why parenting is so rewardingly exhausting, and at least you have the gift on being able to reflect, review and share…

    So others, like me, know that we’re not alone. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. It IS hard. We’re trying to teach our 13 yr old that fine line between expressing a different opinion (which we’ll listen to) & disrespect (which we won’t).

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  2. Had you always tolerated the adult who yelled? It’s interesting to me, on a personal and anthropological level, what we will allow for ourselves and not our children. In some ways, that’s how we make the world a better place — just trying to make it better for them.
    I agree, there’s always stuff. Conscious parenting is the key, and you’ve got that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, it’s quite complicated since we’re tied together in several ways. I tried for years to keep the peace, model appropriate parenting, be “empathetic.” She was too smart to yell at them in front of me – only if they were out playing alone – because you’re right. I’ll tolerate a lot, but smack down my kids in front of me & it’s on…

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  3. No, I meant that is is always best to forgive and bless others by praying for those who you think need help. Help and bless them rather than judge. You never know what others are facing until you spend time in their unique shoes. Just something to consider.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing, Delores. I agree, forgiveness and prayer is where we go first. The problem with this situation is that the anger reached a level I considered abusive toward my kids, and I never should have allowed it to continue. That has nothing to do with judgement and everything to do with modeling self-worth for my children. I still hold her in prayer and encouraged the kids to do the same.

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