This week, I lost my temper with my kids. I raised my voice. I hurt their feelings. But the lowest moment?
Telling them Santa Claus wasn't coming next year.
That's right. I swore I'd never become 'that kind' of mother, but here I am: Ebenezer Hurd.
After I was done killing Christmas, I apologized. Sincerely. I told them why I was wrong, how I'd try not to lose my cool in the future. Then I asked them if they could forgive me. They didn't know what that meant, so I had to explain it to them. In the end, they understood what forgiveness was, and that yes, they did forgive me, and maybe next time I could give them chocolate after I got mad.
(Warning: my toddlers may one day sell you used cars.)
Anyway, it was a rather beautiful moment. Teaching kids to release somebody from feeling bad was truly moving.
The next day, I went to work, and began getting down on myself. Which is sadly normal. Every time I don't meet an arbitrary standard that I've set for myself, I feel guilty. On Wednesday, I felt bad that I didn't recycle everything I could at the restaurant. On Thursday, I felt bad that I threw out the ends of loaves of bread that I could've fed to our birds. On Friday, I felt bad that I didn't get our staffing schedule done on time, and then I felt bad all weekend that I took a little time off work to heal from a sinus infection.
You read right: I am the boxer, and also the punching bad.
Reader, why is it that we ask forgiveness of others, but we never ask it of ourselves? Why am I so eager to teach my kids how to release somebody from feeling bad, but I won't release my own heart? I honestly don't know, but I know I'm going to try a hell of a lot harder to forgive myself this week. Walking around in a constant state of guilt is no way to live. If you're also beating yourself up, I invite you to join me in acknowledging when you've made a mistake, asking yourself forgiveness, and then letting the damn thing go.
I'm heading to spend a little time with the family. Have a happy Valentine's Day this week, all you lovebirds. See you next Monday. -Em