I had to apologize today.
You know those moments when you spew a comment to your kiddo, and immediately wish you could take it back? Yeah, those are the not so glorious parenting moments. But know what's even worse? Never admitting you messed up.
School was closed today, for a possible ice storm. On top of that, it's a full moon, and Friday the 13th; can I get an "oh yikes!"? Which means me and my son were in the house all day. If you've successfully kept a kid entertained all day, and not had at least a little meltdown moment, take my parent of the year award now.
Of course, the day started great! Plenty of time to make a big breakfast, no agenda, pajamas all day. But it was during that one rough spot, that I spewed an apology worthy comment. The moment he didn't want to listen, and stomped off, muttering "fine, I'm not even gonna do that then! Can you just leave me alone for a little bit?"
First, my son, who has been through some serious hard places, straight up requested that I back up a minute while he retreated to his room. That. Is. Huge. But, I, in my authoritative mom moment, totally skipped that beat, and followed him to his room to spew my childlike verbal vomit.
"Hey, thanks for ruining the day with your attitude."
Ugh.... what am I, 12? Was it really necessary to say that? I immediately knew I had messed up. No child needs to hear those words, especially any child from a hard place.
I respected his few minutes alone, and caught him when he was ready to come back out.
"Hey, I need to say something."
"I know, I'm sorry, I messed up."
"Dude, we both messed up. Give me eyes, hear me. You did not ruin the day, because we had a bad moment, and I shouldn't have said that. I'm so sorry."
Walls down. The flood of raw, vulnerable, real life concerns came flooding out, through the rest of the day.
Our kids aren't looking at us to be perfect. They are watching us, and learning what it's like to be real. We mess up. If we can't swallow our parental pride, and apologize to our kids, I believe we are failing them. They need to see us mess up, and they need to see us make things right.
Don't strive to be a perfect parent. There's no such thing. But we can each be understanding, and teach the same respect to our kids, that we expect they show to us. Don't be afraid to say you're sorry.