Some days can be exhausting as a mother, believe me, I have five kids – I KNOW. And while many times I enjoy the energy and giggles (…ok more like shrieks and screams) in my house, sometimes it just WEARS on you. I know. I sometimes just want to sit in my room in silence and lock all the doors. I GET IT.
But the other day I had a conversation that literally caused me to choke back tears, not because I didn’t relate in some form to the mother, but because I realized at that moment how horribly mean us mothers can be.
Yesterday I was talking to another mom about how her Christmas Break had gone – and I kid you not, she gave an exaggerated sigh, rolled her eyes and said in a loud voice, “My kids are driving me CRAZY!! They are SO annoying! I just can’t wait until I can give them back to the school to deal with! Like I love them, but I need them gone!”
Stunned at her boldness, I quietly managed out the words, “Oh, that’s too bad.” And looking at my shocked expression, she softened her tone and gave me a smile, “Oh it’s not THAT bad, but it will be nice to have them gone so I can sit in peace again.” And I nodded, regaining my composure and smiled back, “I understand.”
Truthfully though, that conversation has haunted me all day. It broke my heart. Because one thought plagues me…what if her child had overheard her?
What if any child had overheard her?
I can’t imagine the pain of overhearing my own mother say that about me. Luckliy, I grew up in a much different time, where mothers simply didn’t say such things about their children.
Now, that same day, my six-year-old son came back from his Sunday school class with a picture in his hand. On the paper he held there was a question: “What makes you happy?”
His response? “Mom and Dad”
The contrast of those two moments are forever burnt in my memory.
Mothers, it’s okay to have hard days. It’s okay to break down in tears. It’s okay to need space. It’s okay to leave the room. I TOTALLY understand.
But you know what’s not okay? Saying hurtful things about your child. Period. Even if you’re joking around.
It is OUR JOB to pour out unconditional love on our undeserving littles, not the other way around. But more and more I see the roles being reversed and children loving their parents unconditionally, while their whiny parents complain about having to put up with them.
This is not okay.
I’m so far from perfect, it makes me want to cry. Often I have to go back to my kids and apologize for hurtful and careless things I’ve said…again and again and AGAIN.
But more and more our culture is getting callous to these mean hearted “authentic outbursts.”
Let’s not become callous to them. Let’s not find them funny. Please, let’s just not go there. Because under each tiny child is a soft, tender heart – yearning to be loved by YOU.
So watch your words carefully, Moms, for the sake of your little one who – when asked what makes them happy, responds ever so sweetly: “My mom.”