Why Couldn’t We Be Grandmas First?


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.