10 wrongs vs. 1,000 rights

I’m a loving mother.
I’m a patient mother.
I’m a kind mother.
I’m a forgiving mother.
I’m a hypocrite.

For all the valuable insight I’ve discovered through this blog – my anger triggers, best approaches for discipline, ways to see the positive, reminders of what’s truly important – despite all of it, I’m still screwing up.

Some days I feel like an absolute hypocrite.

Am I loving when I nag, bark, and clench my jaw over something trivial?
Am I patient while reminding my son 3 times that we’ll be late if he isn’t ready in 2 minutes?
Am I kind when I tell my 8-year old how sick I am of seeing clean shirts on his floor?
Am I forgiving after seeing my toddler drop a full toilet paper roll in the toilet by accident?

When these things happen, I wonder where that patient mom from yesterday went. The one who spoke calmly and softly and achieved success thwarting a tantrum. The one who ignored the spilled juice, cleaned it up, and went back to snuggling for a movie.

Where did the better me run off to?

30 - wrong vs right

Some days I think, How can I even be writing this blog? When I still keep screwing up?

Screwing up at this parenting thing is one of my biggest fears. I fear that my aggravation will seep too deeply into my kids. That they’re absorbing more of the harshness than the kindness. That they’re witnessing more impatience than patience. And learning the wrong way to handle frustrations.

But this weekend I saw something beautiful. A reminder that I must be doing something right. That I’m not screwing up completely.

It’s right there in my boys. My proof. My reminder that…

          Even with the 10 things I do wrong, I do a 1,000 things right.

We were eating out when my older son saw a crack in his straw and wondered whether it would still work. Before any of us had time to give it any thought, my 3 year old got out of his chair and ran up to the teenager at the counter to ask for a new straw for his brother, because his was cracked. “Here you go!” he handed a new one to him.

I saw my cautious toddler acting without question, putting his brother’s need ahead of his own shyness, running to his rescue without a single hesitation. Such kindness and love wrapped up in one small act.

Later this weekend my oldest was playing with a friend in the yard. They were flying their drone, a small helicopter with sharp blades and a charged engine. His brother wanted to join them. I saw my oldest gently steer him away from the takeoff spot. “Stand back here. I’m not doing this to be mean,” I heard him say. “I just don’t want anything to happen to you. I don’t want you hurt.”

I heard the concern, not only for his brother’s safety, but also for potentially hurt feelings. Even more impressive to me was how intuitive he was at addressing those feelings even before it became a problem. Yet another act of kindness, patience, and love.

Proof that I must be doing something right.

Because I AM loving. I tell them every day. 10 times a day. With warm meals, clean sheets, and folded clothes. With hugs, kisses, and whispers in their ears. I look in their eyes and confess it aloud. I tell them at bedtime, before school, and for no reason at all.

I AM patient. Like with my toddler’s exuberance over his new Paw Patrol pajamas, which I’ve washed three nights in a row now. 🙂

I AM kind. I dry tears. I blow on scrapes and kiss bruises. I listen to their fears and hold them after a nightmare. I lift them up with encouragement. I praise their accomplishments.

I AM forgiving. The carpet stains prove that, right? It has no value whatsoever to me compared to my children. So I just keep cleaning it. Until I save enough money to finally throw it out!

I’m hoping that through my confession to continuously messing up…you won’t feel so alone.

We’re all human. We screw up. We don’t recognize the 1,000 rights because we’re so focused on the messes we make.

But no matter how many times I fail, I’m going to try again. Every day is a new day. Every hour is a chance to start over. Even every minute can be handled differently.

     Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.
                                       Psalm 37:24

In the middle of our continued efforts – and especially on the days we struggle – this reminder needs to be heard. By all of us.

Say it out loud. Write it on a post-it. Tell yourself this instead of focusing on the messes you make.

          You do a 1,000 things right. Every. Single. Day.

Now, watch those kids of yours and see the proof in them. It’s there. I guarantee it.

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