I woke up after only having around 4 hours of sleep, I did not feel like I had even gone to bed the night before. It was a rough night with sick children and a baby who still wakes regularly for feeds, and my hubby was traveling for meetings around the Pacific. I was not a happy mummy at all!! I was not a grumpy mummy. I was not a person I recognised at all. I felt like a robot, an emotionless, mechanical thing, just going through the motions as quickly as I could to get my two older girls off to school. I know they talked to me, I’m not sure what my response was but I do know that I was in no way my usual self.
After they had left for school and I was left with baby and myself, I kinda shook myself awake and was completely ashamed and devastated that I had let my children down again. Me. The Mum. The one who was meant to protect them and keep them safe and be their safe place, I had been completely distant and unfeeling towards them. I almost got into the car to go to the school and pick them up and bring them home for the day to try and fix the morning.
But I knew what I needed. I needed God. I needed time by myself with my Rock and rest. I couldn’t fix this by myself. This was not a matter of the amount of sleep I did or didn’t get, this was a matter of the heart and I needed to align it back to God and His heart for my children and for me.
So what do we do? What should we do when we let our kids down? When for whatever reason we are not the parents we want to be? What should we do when we forget who we are and whose we are?
Its not easy to admit that we haven’t got it all together. Its not easy when you come to the realisation that you are not that mum that you thought you would be.
RUN TO GOD
There is only one thing we can do when we get to this point, and that is to run into the arms of the perfect and good Father God. Go to Him and cry it out, yell it out, get it all out to a God who is waiting for you to turn back to Him.
We have to acknowledge that we have not been the best stewards of what He has given us, our precious children. We have to ask for forgiveness from Him for this, then let His forgiveness and Grace come pouring over you. Then walk out this forgiveness and freedom that you have in Him.
I am a firm believer in saying sorry to your children as well. Let them know that you realise that you were not behaving in the right way and that you love them and are sorry for not reacting in the best way. This also teaches them how to say Sorry and that if mum says sorry then even they can say sorry for things that they do. It also shows them that you are validating their feelings and telling them that they matter as a person.
Then do something fun! Lighten the mood and change the atmosphere by doing something fun with them. Have a change of scene and go somewhere like a park, the beach or just for a walk. Or put some music on and have a dance party. Play a board game or game of cards, do some craft together. Whatever it is, reconnect with your children on their level and spend some quality time with them, show them you value them.
WORK ON IT WITH GOD
The hardest part and one that, for me anyway, is the scariest, is having to keep myself in check so it doesn’t happen again. I am working with God on lots of little things in my life and one of them is my short temper and yelling at my children. So I am reading Bible verses about anger, I have specific prayers for myself and I am accountable to my husband and some close friends for this. So I encourage you whatever it is that you think you have failed in, go to God about it, get some truth from His Word, pray it over yourself, declare what He says about it. Then find some good wise counsel who can keep you accountable in that particular area.
I am not Naive and think that this is going to be fixed after one mistake, although that would be amazing if it could!! But its ok if you keep making mistakes, just take on His Grace for you and Give yourself some Grace. Don’t expect to be changed quickly but celebrate each step in the right direction, growth, even little growth is better than giving up.
Here are some verses that I have found helpful for me when I have made mistakes and in aligning my heart with His again.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me. – Psalm 119:133
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, – Acts 3:19 -20
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:18-19
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:57
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. – Romans 8:37