My mornings begin with Joel, Annie and the dog (who's not supposed to be upstairs by the way), scrambling into our room, piling on the bed and suffocating us with kisses. Occasionally Joel will throw in a back rub (this morning he wanted to stroke my boob. I veto'd that idea), but it's rare. It sounds cutesy and wonderful, but it's a barrage of noise, space invasion and wrestling the duvet to try and cover our modesty. It normally ends with me getting frustrated after being elbowed in the face multiple times and yelling, "Everyone off my bed and stop shouting!". Irony, eh?
I was thinking this afternoon about how I'd like our mornings to be a little calmer. How I'm not handling the situation very well. How it's appalling that I'm having to apologise to my children for yelling or telling them to go away quite often. How I should just be a better Mum.
As I was thinking about this I realised that actually I'm teaching them a valuable lesson.
I cannot ever expect my children to be perfect, and I'm not teaching them to be 'as good as'. How then, can I expect myself to be perfect? But what I can expect my children to do, is to apologise, and to keep apologising even when they mess up. Like I've been doing every morning for the past week. Every morning my children have watched me make an error and then seek forgiveness from those who I've hurt. That's a pretty great lesson to teach someone.
Everything we do is an opportunity to teach our children something good. We shouldn't be afraid of the times when we mess up. We shouldn't be afraid of failing. Even in those moments our children are learning lessons. They are learning how to say, "I'm sorry". They are learning how to persevere. They are learning how to forgive.
I'm tired of always thinking I'm doing it wrong. I'm tired of thinking I'm always being a 'bad Mum', because I'm not. I'm teaching them how to do life, not just 'be good', because when they leave my home they need to know more than that. They need to know how to love. They need to know discipline. They need to know perseverance. They need to know justice and mercy. They need to know God. They need to know "I'm sorry".
There are lots of things that we can teach through instruction. There are greater things that we can teach through example. Every time I have to say, "I'm sorry" to my child, I'm not going to view it as another failure. I've just taught another lesson in forgiveness and grace. I'm going to view it as another success.