Our youngest, Becca, sent me a text the other night, telling me she felt like the worst mother in the world because she had yelled at their three-year-old for spilling bubbles and not asking for help cleaning up the mess. She’s currently six months pregnant with very active, heartburn-inducing twin boys, which tells you everything you need to know and then some.
The emoji which followed the rest of the story was crying, because Adler had gone into the back yard and picked her a handful of ‘pretty flowers’ because he was sorry for making her sad.
My next question to her was, “Did you take him up on the opportunity?”
Every parent has been there. Sometimes we’re tired, sometimes we’re busy, short-tempered and just needing a break. Regret is there, just waiting to rear its ugly head when we say or do what comes from frustration. I can’t count the number of nights I went to bed sure that any woman would be a better mother to my kids than I was.
Interesting that now, from the perspective of many years, I can see regret for what it really is…an invitation for opportunity. It’s a chance for hugs and understanding, for listening and learning, for moving forward instead of being mired in the moment.
We don’t have to accept the failure we feel with regret, believing that we’ve scarred our kids for life by our anger or frustration. There is a positive inherent in opportunity…a way out of the hole that’s been dug, a way forward to new understanding.