I learned a mom lesson the hard way today.
I don't know exactly why it went south because everything this morning had gone really well! We were having a great morning playing and just having fun until there was a sharing problem. I told the girls if they didn't work something out, I'd have to take the item away, they didn't work it out, I took it away, they weren't happy, blah blah blah blah blah... And somehow, my day turned from really good to really grumpy. By the time nap time and quiet time came around, I was so ready for some "me" time. Of course, Chelsea wasn't. Another fight. More tears. More frustration. Finally get things settled and plop myself with a big 'ol huff on the couch and pull out my phone. Alexa wakes up a little and Chelsea starts knocking on the wall separating the two rooms where they are and asking her what she's doing. Mad Mom rears her ugly head and banshee's her way down the stairs to Chelsea with angry words and accusations.
But then Chelsea said something that totally and completely broke my heart. With tears brimming in her eyes, she asked me, "Do you think my nice mommy went away, or is gone, or dead?"
I fell to my knees and pulled her into my arms where we both held each other and cried. I told her that her mommy would always be with her and never leave because she loves her. I couldn't believe that I had allowed myself to get so out of hand that my poor child had to wonder if her good, kind mommy was gone forever.
We probably sat there hugging each other for a solid two or three minutes until Chelsea did what she does best and forgave me completely. She started asking about the broken lamp in the corner. Then she asked me, "Is nice mommy back?" I assured her that she was.
These children are so precious. They may be like rubber in so many ways and be so forgiving, but what we say and how we act really can hurt them. I am ashamed of the monstrous mother that I was today. Thank goodness for do-overs, but I definitely wrinkled her innocent little heart, and I feel the pain of that mistake. Whatever bad choices she made today, whether it was not sharing, pushing, or yelling is nothing compared to the horrible choices I made that led to my daughter feeling abandoned and unloved.
Although this experience is packed full of pain, I hope that I'll always remember it so that I can know that I never want to be in this place ever again. And I have to say how grateful I am for the atonement of Jesus Christ that allows me to not only repent and make amends for my wrong-doing, but enables me to move forward and forgive myself so that I can become a better person. A better mother.
All moms are humans. All moms make mistakes, but "a promise tomorrow is worth a lot less than a try today." (Jurassic World) If you've made a few mistakes today, don't give up and promise to do better tomorrow. Try to change today. Try to make it better. Oftentimes I find that when I think the thing I need most is some alone time, what I actually need is to put down my phone and other distractions so that I can play or even just watch a movie with my little girl. That's really all she needs, too.
So I'm going to apply one of my life lessons from the list I made yesterday and say/do a lot of really wonderful things to make up for my blunders of today, and I am going to make sure that my daughter knows how much her mother loves her and that she will never leave.