It's a humbling experience to apologize to your children. I know, I have to do it a lot!
Today started out stressful. I have a plate full of stuff to accomplish for the day and not enough time to do it.
One of the things on my list is taking my kids to the dollar store so that they can buy Christmas presents with their own money. They have been asking to do this for a while now and I keep putting it off. So, I decided today would be the day.
So, I selflessly started looking for Christmas presents for my kids on ebay because of my recent great sales. While I was searching and searching and searching, I had given my children 1 instruction...
"Get ready for the day and clean your room." So, as my ebay buying came to a close, I heard the girls talking about the dog getting out. In case I haven't said this before, my dog makes me crazy!! If he is ever alone with the kids and has a chance to run away, he WILL! And, so he did.
So, I head down the stairs to chase down the dog (not an easy feat).
I realize as I am heading out the door that not only have my children neglected to obey either of my instructions, they also have made a complete mess of the back porch. And, the stress rises.
After some dancing with the dog, I finally catch him, beat him and head home. The entire 5 miles (hey, that's what it felt like) home, I am brewing over the facts. I am now running late to run the errands I need to run, I am furious at my stupid dog and I cannot believe my children have done nothing they were told. This is what I like to call "The Mom Perfect Storm!". Now, I know I still have the ability to control my emotions and reactions. I'm not saying losing my temper is o.k. or acceptable. I'm just saying, it was sure easy to lose it.
So, I walk in the door, throw the dog in kennel and start speaking in a loud voice. O.k., o.k., I was yelling. I was yelling things like, "Why should I do anything fun for you?" and "Do you know what I've been doing on the computer all day? Looking for presents for you!". I was mad, I was completely stressed out and my kids were crying.
I headed up to my room out of frustration and tried to cool off a little. It wasn't long before Avery was knocking on my door and apologizing through her stream of tears. I wasn't exactly ready for reconciliation, but I sure got ready quick.
I knew I had blown it and needed to ask for my own forgiveness. It really is not easy to ask your kids to forgive you. I don't like being wrong in general. But, especially not to my 9,8 and 6 year olds. So, Avery and I worked our way through everything and not long after, Sydney headed in my room with an apology note. We finished talking right about the time Morgan came in with an "I'm sorry" letter.
They each only had to apologize once. I had the great privilege of saying "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?" 3 times. I could list the many reasons why I shouldn't have to say sorry to my kids and what they did to "make me" so mad. But, if God does nothing else with kids, he sure teaches me so much about my own sinfulness. It's a sobering experience.