First of all I’d like to preface by saying I was definitely not the one who said it. Those words would never hiss like venom from my mouth.
Except they did. Sorry Lucy. And here’s what we did about it:
- Walk away. Reset. Walk away ten minutes ago, actually. Go to the Mama Take A Break Corner. Stop before another word tumbles from your fiery lips. Inhale, then exhale. Imagine her as the little girl who wears 5T clothes and still can’t fully pronounce her ‘f’ sound correctly. Imagine your own little 5T self still sharting in your underwear and coloring humans with giant heads–hold her first. Put your own oxygen mask on first.
- Go back out and apply your daughter’s oxygen mask. Get low, to her level, and tell her that you made a bad choice. Tell her you are sorry. Ask if you can give her a hug and put love back into the hole you just ripped into her heart.
- Invite her to speak whatever she needs to speak, and hold it carefully.
- Tell her what you should have said instead of calling her the worst.
- Ask God, yourself, and your 5Ter for forgiveness.
- Accept the forgiveness. Let it settle in.
- Go to a BBQ that night with your husband and confess to him, and your close friends, that you called your 5-year-old the worst. You’ll joke that she was, actually, acting like the worst 5-year-old you’ve ever seen. You can joke about it because you accepted all the forgiveness she and God gave you.
- Upon returning from BBQ, sneak up into her bed and nestle alongside her. Touch her hair and that soft face. Marvel at the length of her mahogany eyelashes. Remember the day you met her 5-years-ago and make her a human again. Everyone makes mistakes, you’ll remind yourself.
- Before you fall asleep, journal a little bit.
- What did she do that was so infuriating?
- How did that action affect you? Did it make you, or others, unsafe or afraid? Did it affect your ambition? “I can’t let others see the monster I’m raising, they’ll think I’m a bad mom.” Or bruise your self-esteem? “I’m a piece of poop. I should not be in charge of kids; I can’t keep them under control.” What about the personal relationship? “I genuinely dislike the little human standing in front of me, and I want nothing to do with her. She hurt my feelings.”
- What role did you play in the altercation? Were you selfish, dishonest, fearful, or inconsiderate? You were all four, turns out.
10. When you understand what you felt and why, speak Truth into the situation. Illuminate the page with Love. You are a human. You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re a good mama. You’ll do better next time. You are not wicked, just wounded. Your children still love you very much. Your husband still loves you very much. We are all gonna make it. You are capable and effective. You are good. Everything is good–nothing is wasted.
11. Take some melatonin and fall asleep thanking God that you’re still a human.
Coincidentally, these steps also work for when you tell your own self that you’re the worst.