We, as parents, aren’t perfect.
Let’s face it here: most of us, as human beings, aren’t perfect. It’s just a fact of life. We may have some perfectionist tendencies, but perfect? Nope. It’s just not going to happen that way. And you know what? That’s okay. We don’t always need to be perfect, anyway.
But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do better. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do better. Especially after those moments where haven’t done our best. Or maybe we’ve let our tempers get the best of us.
Those times, and we all have them, that maybe we need to take a step back. That we need to be completely honest with ourselves. Those times that maybe, just maybe, we need to apologize. For example, how to apologize for being a bad mom.
Am I really a bad mom because I yelled at my kids?
Well, let’s put this all into perspective for a moment.
If you’re just yelling at your kids for sake of yelling? Then yes, you just might be a bad mom. I admit, I have a fairly short temper and my patience level isn’t always great. Combine that with all of the other things that I’ve got going and chances are likely that yes- I’m going to lose my cool every so often.
And yes, friend, I have yelled at my kids in the past.
And yes, I felt terrible about it after.
But in the moment, it was how I reacted. Hindsight being 20/20, I know I could have responded differently. I know I should have responded differently. But, instead of being proactive about the situation? I was reactive about the situation.
And, after sending my kiddo to her room for a little bit, I put myself in time-out.
Part of the problem (and maybe a large part of the problem now that I really think about it), is that my youngest child is my mini-me. She is the same strong willed, highly sensitive empathic child that I was. Many of her difficulties and personality traits? I can look back at my own childhood and say, I was just like that.
We feed off of each other, big time. Her anger escalates my anger. Her frustration escalates my frustration. And so on.
When we’re both letting our explosive tempers take over, it’s really a recipe for disaster because it’s like a waterfall of gasoline on a bonfire.
How to Apologize for Being a Bad Mom
So, after those moments and after we’ve both had the opportunity cool off; I let myself have that moment of guilt. And then, as difficult as it can be, I have to let it go. Because if I don’t let it go? That guilt is going to keep compounding and then I’m going to feel even worse.
After that? I can approach my heartbroken daughter and ask her if she’s ready to talk.
And here’s the thing too? I can usually hear her tantrums from upstairs. Because they’re similar to mine.
First she’ll slam the door to her room, then she’ll start barricading herself in, then she starts throwing stuff. Remember when I just said that my kiddo is my mini-me? I mean this in nearly every sense possible.
Once she’s moved the things away from her door and opened it, I kneel down to her level so we’re eye-to-eye. This is key. After all, to earn respect- one must give respect. And that includes to our kiddos.
Now that we’ve established this connection, I calmly tell her why I was upset.
And then I apologize.
I also emphasize to her that I wasn’t mad at her. I’m never mad at her. Rather, it’s the things that she’s doing, or the things that she’s saying. I’m reacting to her actions.
We reassure each other that we still love each other, because we do. And then we both promise to do better.