Sunday, January 7, 2018

Saying "I'm Sorry" When I Have a Bad Day of Mothering

Golly, I had such a lousy day as a mother.

And it all ended with me snuggling next to my almost-5-year-old (who bore the brunt of my parenting brilliance) and saying, "I'm sorry I have been so grumpy today. Will you forgive me?" And with the beautiful sweetness of a child, he said lovingly, "That's okay."

I could explain all the legitimate reasons why I was so grumpy... How my husband is away for the week...That I've come down with a cold...That both kids were late going to sleep but up just after 5am etc etc. There is no doubt that all these factors - and more - are reasonable situations to have caused said grumpiness in me. But, in the end, I can't be telling my preschoolers their behaviour is unacceptable when my own is equally so.

I was a grumpy mother today. I yelled, was not gentle, and definitely took it out on my boy who is going through some emotional changes himself at the moment (and is needing extra loving and patience).

It is always hard saying "I'm sorry" - especially to other adults. We have to acknowledge that we are not right, that we are not perfect. We are making ourselves vulnerable because, quite often, there can be a "I told you so" kind of response.

But children can be different, can't they? Even though his mother had been no fun at all that day and made her fair share of mistakes with him - and had certainly not been what he needed - he had not held it against me. He didn't say, "You should be sorry. Look at how you've treated me!" He didn't hold a grudge. He didn't manipulate me to make me feel worse.

He exhibited Christ to me. And he didn't even know it.

What's beautiful, too, is that he started telling me how he had been wanting to "listen to sin" today and be bad. He said he had tried to say "No". And I replied, "Well, Mummy didn't even try to say 'No' to sin, buddy." We got to talk about how when we ask for forgiveness from God, all the bad stuff we have done is gone - to the deepest of seas and forever!

What conversations I could have missed with my wee boy if I hadn't acknowledged my own sin before him. 

It's easy to want to look like the perfect mother, but it is more loving to our children to admit we're not and that we need a Saviour. 

Our children - if we've been teaching them about right from wrong and our need for Jesus - know very well that they aren't perfect, too. They need their parents to come alongside and say, "I'm not perfect, too" and head to the foot of the Cross together. It is not just individuals that need the blood of Christ, but families, too. 

May our apologies and asking for forgiveness be an important witness to our children's hearts as they grow up and battle with their own acknowledgement in needing Jesus as their Saviour.


  1. How lovely that God used a difficult day to have such a good conversation with your son. Hope you are well again now :-)

  2. Dear Sarah, what a powerful lesson you have learned as a mother. Over the holidays, the need arose for me to apologize to my 10 year granddaughter, coupled with a compliment to my daughter. When my granddaughter graciously accepted my apology, I knew I had done something right and important in parenting and grandparenting. Blessings on your exciting journey of parenthood.

    1. Alice, thank you so much for sharing. I'm so encouraged by your humble spirit and your willingness to admit your mistake. I so pray your grand-daughter never forgets and it leaves an indelible mark on her heart!

  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience. I think God gave us children to learn from. Don't you wish we cold have a heart like your Childs towards others?

    1. Thank you, Maree, and I really think so. Isn't that what Jesus said our hearts ought to be like? x


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