Thursday, August 12, 2021

Children Deserve Our Apologies

I'm exhausted a lot of the time.

This exhaustion, combined with a full-time job, three kids (the toddler is 21 months old, and the idea that I have THREE humans to raise is still shocking), means that I'm not always at my best self.

I'm also an only child existing in the wild, chaotic family I only dreamed of as a child, and sometimes, the noise is...too much.

I break.

I snap.

And my children bear the consequences of my humanity.

Yes, I can work on my triggers and my reactions, but I frequently need to apologize to my kiddos, and while they deserve a parent who can maturely handle her emotions, they also deserve an apology when I am overwhelmed.

The sheer quantity of input from my kiddos can be challenging; this is especially true during stressful times.  In mid-August, I'm feeling the incoming weight of a return to school (for all of us), a change in my husband's work schedule (it happens every year, but it's still a challenge), and the added weight of doing all of these things in an ongoing pandemic.  When my daughter simply couldn't stop talking during a time when I desperately needed quiet, I yelled at her.

I immediately regretted this - I could have handled it differently - and so, I apologized. 

"I am sorry for responding that way. You did not deserve that, and I should do better. I was feeling overwhelmed, and I reacted poorly."

We talked through what had happened, and I apologized again to wrap up the conversation.  

She deserves an acknowledgment of my poor behavior - all of my children do.

My anger, my frustration, and my anxieties are not their burden to bear or work around.  

I will continue to try to grow as a mature human who can respond better, but I know I'll stumble and fail. I'll never be that person who "never gets angry," but I can do better. In the mean time, I will hold myself accountable and tell my children that I've stumbled.  

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