A neighbor posted this story of an overwhelmed mom after she yelled at her kids in the store and then offered an apology. As a former overwhelmed mom making my way through the holiday crowds with small children, it reminded me of one of the most important ways to get through it – love. Holidays, grocery stores and meltdowns are stressful, overwhelming and hard.
They are also beautiful if we remember what matters most like this mom did. It warms my heart to know that one day her kids will remember her example and do the same when their own lives get hard and they mess up. We’re going to mess up and we’re going to get stressed sometimes, but we’re also going to see magic in our relationships too.
In all of this challenge of conflicting things, we get a chance to show grace, forgiveness, and love when the hard part takes over and we can even offer it to ourselves. Apologies truly are the superglue that brings our kids back to us and they are very powerful things to model. Thank you, Meridith, for sharing:
The Apology Superglue
Dear Mom at the Costco this morning,
I don’t think you saw me, but I definitely noticed you. That frantic and overwhelmed way about you was instantly familiar. You had two adorable kiddos – maybe four and five – with white blond hair that made them normally easy to spot, but in this moment, only one was visible and you were panicked. Fortunately, he turned up relatively quickly – just long enough for your blood pressure to go through the roof. You came unglued, both with relief and fury, and the kids watched you a bit wild-eyed as you fell apart. It brought me right back to the time that I lost my then 2-year old in the grocery store and have not been back to that store because thinking about it is like touching a tender bruise….even after all these years.
But here’s when I really noticed your family. I saw you again, a few minutes later, in a different part of the store. You had squatted down and were holding the kids by the hands. You looked right at them and said “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that I yelled and that I lost my cool. I am feeling really stressed by being here on such a busy day, and I got scared. I’m sorry I took it out on you.” Their faces lit up and they reached out to hug you. And I cried next to a five-gallon jar of pineapple as I witnessed loving parenting and humanity in action.
Moms do our kids a disservice by holding ourselves to a standard of perfection. We prepare our kids for life by showing them that human emotions run the gamut and sometimes we manage those emotions effectively, and other times not so much. When we blow it, it’s imperative that we acknowledge our mistake, apologize, and try and do better the next time. Dear Costco Mom, you demonstrated this beautifully and I’m so honored that I was able to bear witness.
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