If You Want Something to Last Forever

“It’s just a table,” I said. I hugged my daughter, and we set to cleaning up the rest of the dinner mess.

We all know we love our children. We’d do anything for them: give birth, give up a career, or even give our lives if it came down to it. But sometimes in the busy, messy moments of parenting, we forget.

We momentarily forget that what we care about most can’t be saved in a bank or bought in a store. It can’t be checked off a list or liked on social media. And sometimes in our forgetfulness, we react disproportionate to the crime. We might freak out over a mistake or yell about a mess. We might roll our eyes, express disgust, or otherwise belittle those we love. I know I have done all that more often than I’d like to admit. Mamahood is hard!

But in our hearts, we really want to build a relationship that lasts. We want our kids to come to us with their mistakes and challenges, the hardships life will surely throw at them. We want our kids to know we will be there for them for the serious and silly, the difficult and fun. We hope our kids know and feel, “I am on your team.”

So when we do forget, we reset and try to do a little better. This lasting parent-child relationship is built slowly, consistently, little by little. This kind of relationship comes one calm reaction, one hug, one apology at a time. And just focusing on one little thing at a time is something we can do.

Our anniversary night, I was grateful for the inspiration that came in the form of a random thought while eating dinner and the eternal application that hit in the moment. The reminder made it easy for me to keep perspective, and I hope that when the next opportunity arises to show it, I remember again what I really want to last. Because how we react when our children make mistakes says a lot about the future relationship we will have with them.

Later that night, our oldest apologized again. I assured her that I was not upset. I told her that now, every time we see those dents, we’ll remember our fifteenth anniversary and how our kids put together a thoughtful, special night.

And to myself I thought, “And every time I see those dents, I will remember that if you want something to last forever, you treat it differently.”

Marielle Melling
Marielle Mellinghttps://lovinlifewithlittles.com/
Marielle Melling knows there's nothing quite like life with Littles. Nothing so fun, crazy, challenging, or fulfilling. This mom of five is passionate about helping other moms simplify their parenting journey and find calm, confidence, and joy in their chaos. You can find more about her book Peace amidst the Mayhem and how she is helping moms at Lovin' Life With Littles or on Instagram.

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