They say it is better to make mistakes and repair than to be a perfect parent. So they say. A bone that breaks but heals well, it’s stronger than the bone that never broke. I assume it’s the other leg of the same person so we have generally the same bone density to begin with. Eh, details.
I lost my temper last night. After two hours of j. dragging the math homework till bedtime, and forgoing the children movie that was much anticipated by the youngest, I yelled furiously at j. Two hours earlier I told her I can’t help her with math. Daddy needs to step in. I have said that a year ago, but I’m still the available one, the approachable one, which is difficult. My heart is wiling but my nerves can’t take it.
J. Is learning the multiplication table. Well, she is learning the logic, the concept, but she hasn’t started memorizing it. And with every math class this week, a new table is introduced. She is at 6 now.
So did my fuse blow? Conrad tried to help half heartedly, because he believes homework is her responsibility. He did help a bit. But when she had to read some math problems, understanding what is given and what is asked of her, takes some pondering. Not much, but enough to require attentive reading. As she mumbles skipping over words in the text, I ask her to slow down and re-read. Earlier, when asking for help, she responded disrespectfully. I asked her if she could have a good attitude, she responded: maybe. Then I said, still actually cool headed, “maybe I can’t help you either”.
Will you help me if I apologize for my attitude? – here we are, negotiating apologies for math help.
I believe my loud voice made her freeze. Then I yelled at Conrad for ditching me after I purposefully asking him to take over math homework. Math will ruin my relationship with Jackie if he doesn’t step in.
Anyway, Jackie cried, Conrad pulled a chair, ivy said my math is no fun, but daddy knows better more fun math. I took Rufus for a walk in the freezing cold, cooling my jets.
This is my lowest point. Frightening j during math homework. Thinking about her past, probably shouting is a trigger for her. I’m reading a good book now called “the body keeps the score”. It should make me more empathetic towards her. I understand her need, her wound, he triggers, and yet, here I am making big ass mistakes.
I came back from walking Rufus. Everyone was having a grand old time finishing the homework. Ivy had to tell me that dad’s math is more fun than mine. He went overboard with the fun to compensate for the drama earlier.
We were all sitting on the couch. I took j’a hand and she looked over at me smiling. I told her I’m sorry I yelled. I’m sorry my frustration hurt her, scared her. She can do good work, but I need to step back and let daddy take over now, so I could help her later, when it’s more complicated. “Like in 6th grade?” Sure! She hugged me. I didn’t put them to bed. I kissed them downstairs and let daddy finish the night. They didn’t insist. They usually do.
Tonight, they asked if I could put them to bed. We spent the evening playing games. After we ate delicious pizza made by chef daddy. It was fun and relaxing.
I read them a study and then we prayed. They pray first and I finish. I felt moved to own my brokenness, to admit it. I prayed that God would heal the wounds caused in Jackie by me yelling. That God wound redeem us, and heal her heart, and mind, and forgive me. Jackie joined me on the floor, ivy too. I finished, they climbed into bed, I kissed their foreheads and the night ended well. I had a terrible night last night, restless, riddled with worry and frustration. But today is a New day. God is good. We are broken but today I got a sense of what healed brokenness means in comparison with perfection. I strive to be a good mother, and I am becoming more and more aware of my own wounds, shortcomings, triggers. May God heal us all. And may we always embrace humility, and delight in forgiveness.