I had a hard day.
She brought me flowers.
Because she always sees my heart, even when I lose my cool.
I hugged her close and thanked her and said, "So this means you still want to keep me for your mama, huh?"
She giggled at the absurdity of my joke.
And it was a joke but one with a shadow of truth around it.
I forgive others more quickly than I do myself.
If my children have a hard day I look for the need. I love. I nurture. I dig deep for patience, compassion, and empathy.
If I have a hard day I blame myself for not being enough.
Good enough, patient enough, loving enough.
It's no surprise that this strategy is not helping.
The truth is we all falter.
When our cup is dry, our days are long, or our patience is thin.
We stumble. We come undone.
And that doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a mother who needs care.
Sometimes then only one there to give you that care is you.
Because when you yell or blame or guilt or snap it isn't your truth.
It's not your path.
It's your heart's way of calling for change.
A change in perspective, a change in rhythm, a change in priorities - a change in something.
It's time you start answering the call.
As for me on my angry-hangry-grouchy day, I made a choice.
I slowed down. I ate better. I went to bed early. I turned inward, breathing deep.
And hardest of all, I set to work on forgiveness.
When the same triggers came up the next day I had more grace.
I breathed, spoke my needs, and reached for love.
I found humor, patience, and joy.
So the next time you start to unravel know that you are not alone.
There are countless others out there, fighting this hard fight.
Go inward. Accept. Regroup.
And be mindful.
And when you lose it (because you'll lose it), forgive, forgive, forgive.
Then as you reconnect and apologize for your mistakes, begin the hard work of doing better tomorrow.
And know that even in your unraveling you are the greatest teacher your child could ever have.
Because in your imperfection you have come to teach love, forgiveness, and second chances.
By how you treat yourself.
Now get out there and be awesome.
In your messy, imperfect, and beautiful way.
And always, always love. You.
Because even on your hardest day you are worthy of that.
Originally published in 2014.