The Day I Learned an Important Parenting Lesson
Mothering is a hard job.
Being a mother is not an easy job. Or, it doesn't come easy for me. I don't have the benefit of pulling from my own childhood, so I am learning this job one day at a time. And even though I have been a mom for ten years now, it does not get any easier.
I think we all say we are going to learn from our parents' mistakes and not be like them. But, realistically, it's what we have to pull from. So those things we hope we won't do like them, usually end up coming out at some point, and then we have to learn our lesson from it. That is what happened to me the other day.
A valuable lesson learned.
The other day my daughter walked over to help a friend pick up some spilled cereal. I was having one of those proud parent moments, feeling so happy about her willingness to help others. When I looked over, though, I noticed as she stooped down to pick up the dry cereal off the floor, the back of her skirt had inadvertently been pulled down.
I did the "Momma thing" and snapped my finger to try to get her attention, but she didn't hear me. Then I sort of whisper-yelled her name, but she still didn't hear me. So I told my son to walk over and tell her to turn around and look at me. But because he's always picking at her, she just shooed him away. So I did the unthinkable. I yelled her name out loud.
I got her attention....and everyone's in the room, too. As soon as I'd done it, I knew it was the wrong thing to do. She turned to look at me and when I told her to pull up her skirt, her face turned red. She immediately jumped up and came and sat down beside me and started crying. I had embarrassed her.
I could have melted into the floor. I felt so horrible. What kind of mother embarrasses their child?! I immediately went back to my own childhood, and recalled lots of similar experiences with my own mother. The feelings of humiliation and hurt came flooding back over me.
As I hugged my daughter and apologized, I wanted to cry with her. I wished I could have rewound time by five minutes and done things differently. But I couldn't. It was done.She forgave me and forgot about it (I think), but I am still kicking myself over the incident.
One thing is for sure, I learned my lesson that day. I know how I would handle the situation now if it ever occurs again. I might not be the best mother in the world, but I do know how to learn from my mistakes so I don't keep making them over and over.
Have you ever been mortified by your own parenting mistake?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Hope Wilbanks