Lately, all these gross parent fails have popped into my head. Last weekend my husband and I and another couple took a trip to the Rockies. I’ve done the whole Rockies and Pike’s Peak trip many times. It’s been some years though. I believe the last trip with my kids I wasn’t drinking alcoholically yet, but if I had been paying attention warning signs were there.
So, while on this trip, I was remembering the time it was me and my girls exploring Denver and Boulder while my husband worked. It was a really cool trip and we had a great time. I think my girls were about 8 and 10. Which makes sense because my boys stopped the boring family trips around then and they would have been 16 and 18.
I have no idea why, but a memory that had nothing to do with the Rockies got in my head and wouldn’t let go. My oldest daughter, Sydney, was 7 and it was Christmas season. Their school always had a Santa’s gift shop where the kids could get all their shopping done. I gave Sydney some money to do her family shopping. She came home all proud about her purchases. She spent all of her money on me. I was livid. I remember thinking, “how am I going to give her more money for her family gifts, get all the gifts I still have to get, crazy Christmas thoughts, etc.” I yelled at her and made her take back the gifts and spend her money more appropriately.
This thought of this image had me in tears for several days. I crushed that little heart that was so proud of what she bought me. I called her last night because I absolutely had to apologize. She laughed and told me she appreciated the apology, but it wasn’t necessary. She then gave me a blanket apology for her attitude past and future.
Sometimes while I am watching younger parents discipline their children, I want to grab them and say, “no”. Let’s not crush their spirit. I want to tell them we can teach with love instead of yelling. Walk out of the room and take a breath. You’re not angry with them. You’re overwhelmed with bills and crap and being perfect.
When I was parenting my children in their formidable years, I feel like I was just a kid then too. Good thing kids are resilient and they can get past our mistakes. My kids have grandparents that believed they were perfect. I know it’s all okay. It does feel good though, to be able to call my adult daughter and tell her I’m sorry that I hurt her. Funniest part, she doesn’t remember the incident.
I have some great friends that told me what I did was normal and we all shared angry mom moments for a second. Always do your best. Sometimes doing your best isn’t great, but it’s your best. It’s okay to mess up. I have great support these days. It’s been there all along. I just didn’t always know how to get it.