You’re Doing It Wrong!

Darn it! I did it again!

This time it was my 4 year old who caught me. On the computer, working on things for my new business AFTER my timer (recently employed to help me try to have boundaries) beeped.

She’s a tyrant, so this time I owed her two giant hugs, 20 minutes of Shrek and a lollipop.

But I realized as we sat together to watch Shrek, that she wouldn’t let me snuggle next to her. I plopped her on my lap and gave her a hug instead, and she hit me!

OUCH! That stung! In more ways than one.

After that, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, “Mommy, you LIED to me!”

My heart sank. I did, and I knew it. Even though what I was working on was important, and would help my next client, I promised my daughter one thing and did another. I lied. I did the exact opposite of what I expect of my kids in one of our “top 5” family character values.

Which is when the other voice chimed in: You’re doing it wrong!

It was that annoying voice inside that’s taunted me since I was a child trying desperately to fix a broken world around me. Since I was 7, I decided that if I did things right, life would be okay. Which, as a parent, is as useless a proposition as keeping my puppy from chewing on my new running shoes. Because life is messy. Family is messy. Love is messy. And I, despite my best efforts to prove otherwise, am kind of a mess.

But, you’re doing it wrong! The voice persisted.

I looked at my little girl, now (thankfully) snuggling into my arms, felt my smarting cheek, and told the voice to SHUT UP FOR ONCE!

Instead, I held her tight and said, “You’re right. Mommy made a mistake, kiddo. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”

“Okay, mommy,” She said. “But that’s gonna cost an extra 5 minutes of Shrek with me.”

Which I dutifully watched, glad for her forgiveness. And for that little bit of growth that comes from living through what we don’t think we can (like a perfectionist making a mistake and coming out the other side in tact!) It’s been the most healing part of my life as a mom: the discovery that even when I’m “doing it all wrong,” with my heart in the right place, things usually turn out alright.

Too bad I can’t perfect that formula….

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  1. says

    Hi Nancy – thanks for stopping by!

    Yeah, they are honest. I love that about them – it makes me laugh so often! My 4 year-old is like a little adult how she talks too, which makes it that much harder to keep a straight face…

  2. says

    What a great post. Kids are so blatantly honest. In a good way, a way that we tend to lose (a bit) with our years.

    I'm glad we have 'em to keep us in check!

    I've subscribed! I'll be back! 🙂


  3. says

    Kimberly – LOL! I now at least have a kindred spirit out there when I'm forced to watch Shrek again (because I'm sure I'll get caught again sometime!

    They do keep us honest… 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by to read – looking forward to getting to know you more!


  4. Anonymous says

    Ah, that was a good one. I laughed at the “that's another 5 min of Shrek” comment

  5. says

    Nikki – I bet you've got a few friends (C.E….) who have crazy stories and fun ones too. I was like that before kiddos too – storing up everything I could find.

    I'm just thrilled we can learn from each other! Without your ideas my puppy parenting would be hopeless!

  6. says

    Erika – thank so much! It's wonderful having you “just a tweet away” 🙂 and like you said, we're all in this together… familiar with all the silly and crazy moments!

    I don't know about your family yet. I'd love to hear more!

  7. Anonymous says

    None of us can my dear. We do the best we can and by God that sounds like you are!!! God Bless my friend. You have my admiration and the support of mothers who are all too familiar with these scenerios. Trust me! Keep hanging in and as I said I sm a tweet away:) Erika