Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.Thomas Mereton
When my girls were younger, I kept a list of funny things they said, and cute little mispronunciations like “untella” for “Nutella”. But I also kept a list of random statements I never thought I would say as a mother. One memorable moment was at the end of a meal, when I found myself saying, “No, you don’t paint your feet with jelly”. I could never have predicted that one!
But another word I didn’t realise would come out of my mouth so often as a mother was the word ‘sorry’. It is a simple word, with so much power. And I have found that despite my desire to be an awesome mum (which I am by the way), I cannot be a perfect mum. There are times when I will misunderstand my kids. There are times when I won’t listen properly. There are times when I will react from the stresses of my day, rather than their behaviour.
There are times when I get it wrong.
Like most parents I want to do the best for my kids, and I find it challenging to realise I can’t get things right all the time. I have to acknowledge to myself that I’ve made a mistake but not beat myself up about it. I then have to swallow my pride and admit my mistake to my daughter, with an apology and not excuses. I have to listen and make amends.
For me, it is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting.
But I have learnt (and let’s face it, I’m continuing to learn) the power of coming close and saying, “I’m sorry”.
“I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”
“I’m sorry that reaction wasn’t about you but about me.”
“I’m sorry I really got that wrong.”
I am learning to apologise and make amends. And while it is tempting to tie this post up with a pithy little moral about how I’m teaching my kids the power of an apology (which I hope I am). The reality is they are teaching me so much about the power of forgiveness, and a second chance, and the fact that they don’t actually want me to be perfect. They love me despite my mistakes, just as I love them despite theirs, and that is worth pure gold.