Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The One, Big Main Thing

I heard recently that there is this one, big main thing that makes some parents stand out from the rest.*  And it surprised me.

It had nothing to do with whether or not the parents stayed together.

It wasn't their super-human patience, or staying calm in every situation, or having the all the answers.

It had nothing to do with meal planning, or doing a load of laundry a day, or cleaning the bathroom weekly.

It wasn't organization.

It wasn't the many craft projects, or sensory bins, or light tables. 

And It wasn't homeschooling.

All of those are good things.  But I am an epic fail at most of them.  I'm so thankful for my marriage, but with everything else... I'm disorganized, I go through phases with meal planning, I do okay with the craft projects - but again, we go through phases in this house, I'm not sure I have what it takes to actually homeschool my kids, and I am not patient.

I used to think I was patient.  Really.  Then I had children.

Are you ready for the one, big main thing?

It is the ability to apologize to our kids.  When we've done something wrong - something we know is wrong - it is getting real with them.  Saying sorry.

That happened to us today.  

Snack on the porch.  Before things went south.

Around lunchtime, several things happened.  I decided to walk our little party down to the street so Natalie could ride her bike.  Then I realized Daniel should go potty since it had been awhile.  Silas started crying.  We get down to the street and it's super hot.  And sunny.  Natalie rides for a few minutes while Silas is still crying and Daniel is complaining.  We go back, I drop the mail and it goes everywhere, I have to carry the umbrella stroller through the soft sand, Natalie is complaining that it's too hard to push her bike over the rocks in our driveway, and Daniel is about to throw a tantrum.  Over what?  I don't know.

I lost my patience. 

I started snapping at the kids to pick up their toys, to watch out for their brother, to hurry up already so we could get inside.

Over lunch I felt conviction creep over me.  The good kind.  The kind that brings about some real change.  Yes, they were complaining and throwing tantrums.  But they are not the adult here.  I am.  It is not okay for me to throw a tantrum.  

And I did it - I said I was sorry, and I told them why.  It was a good conversation.  Natalie asked if I had sinned. We talked about how we all do wrong things.  And mommies are no different.  

And you know what?  I felt so much better afterward.  Who knew?  Turns out that settling things, even with your kids, is good for the soul. 

*I heard this from Donald Miller's blog, Storyline

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This post was shared at Heavenly Homemakers.


  1. How human. Saying "I was wrong" the 3 most important words even in a marriage (more than I love you)and boy do I remember those days.
    We do the best we can with the tools with have and hopefully keep trying out new tools.

    1. Yes, it is so important to admit our mistakes and failures, especially with those closest to us. Thanks for taking the time to read.


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