Motherhood: Perfection Not Required--but Apologies are Mandatory
Photo by bies/StockXchange.com
I knew motherhood came with certain requirements.
Moms are required to sleep a lot less.
Moms are required to change diapers in the oddest places: on the floor, on bathroom counters, with their children balanced on their knees, while their children stand up on the backseats of(not-moving) cars.
Moms are required to sing their children's favorite songs over and over and over and over again -- but only after they've read their children's favorite book for the gajillionth time. ("Gajillion" is an actual number in my overworked mommy-mind.)
Moms are required to be strong enough to let go of their children as they grow up -- and yet always be that safe place for their children to come home to when they need a hug or an encouraging word.
The one mom-requirement that surprised me?
The number of times I've had to ask my children to forgive me for being a less than perfect mom.
I've often said my four children have taught me more about forgiveness than anyone and anything else. Not because I've had to forgive them so much, but because I've had to say, "Will you please forgive me?" to Josh, Katie Beth, Amy and Christa.
Just two days ago I realized it was time, once again, to ask one of my children to forgive me. I'd misspoken to my daughter, Amy. "Misspoken" is a nice way of saying that I'd been judgmental and harsh.
My goal with Amy--with all my children--is relationship. And no relationship survives an atmosphere of harsh judgement.
I approached Amy and confessed that I'd spoken inappropriately to her, asking her to forgive me.
"That's okay, Mom," she said.
"No, it's not okay. I was wrong. Please, forgive me."
Amy hugged me and said, "I do. I forgive you."
Some mom-requirements come and go. The sleepless nights, the diapering days--those are long gone.
But the need to humble myself and ask my children's forgiveness?
That will always be necessity if I want to have a good relationship with my children.