The Huge Mistake I Made Yesterday

The huge mistake I made yesterday... and why I'm determined not to let it happen again...

I woke up this morning knowing that today had to be different. I know- we’ve all had those moments of regret. But this one seems a little crazy when I reflect on my response… Hang with me….

It was the first day with no school and the weather had forgotten summer was here. Chilly and rainy, we stayed inside most of the day and as a work-at-home mom, I took the opportunity to catch up from the busyness of the last week of school, celebrating my husband’s birthday on Friday and my nephew’s graduation party out-of-town day before yesterday after church. All that while making it a point to enjoy our first trip this summer to the community pool and making 160 rice krispie treats for the party, well, needless to say, yesterday I had to pause and catch up on work, both ministry and housework.

sleeping beauties

We held a morning family meeting and adapted chore lists for the summer. Each child also made a daily checklist so that they know their responsibilities without my nagging gentle reminding. I was pleased with the results and actually knocked out the entire to-do list that I wrote while traveling on Sunday. It was a good feeling.

The evening arrived quickly and in spite of the stinky weather, my 9 year old’s baseball game was still a go. To avoid the possibility of the entire family getting rained out, my husband and I decided that I would take Samuel to the game and he would man the fort at home, feeding everyone dinner and making sure the kitchen was clean afterwards. So I began to rush around, preparing to leave, fearing we would be late due to the time of evening and traffic.

As I flurried around the kitchen for a few  moments, I gave some quick reminders and goodbyes.

Then it happened.

My sweet baby, the 4 year old, ran towards me with her lips together, wanting a goodbye kiss.

And now this is the part that hurts my heart.

Foolishly, I said, “Mommy loves you, girlie. But I’ve got to go. Now is not the time for a kiss.”

Say what?

I can hardly believe I said it and just typing it to you now is killing me. My parenting mistake is admitted; it’s out here. And it’s huge.

I never want to be too busy, too rushed, so last minute that I can’t kiss my sweet baby before we go out the door. Yes, me- the mom who has a terminally ill child, the one with 7 blessings, the one who should know better than to speak such foolishness, said those very words.

I can’t take them back; though I wish I could.

But today is a new day. And while we have another to-do list, and new challenges to face, I’ve learned a lesson from the huge mistake I made yesterday.

Today I will slow down and give fewer orders and more hugs.

I will offer less instruction and more love.

I will give and receive kisses freely and never miss an opportunity to enjoy them.

Because she won’t always rush towards me, eager to give Mama a last-minute goodbye kiss.

And her lips won’t remain little much longer.

Pardon me if my posts get a little sporadic over the summer. I’m still learning this balancing act called parenting. I’m sharing my mistake in hopes that maybe it will prevent you from making it too.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, don’t be too busy to show someone your love today.

Rachel

18 Comments

  1. Believe me, I know where you are coming from.

  2. I’ve done the same thing, Rachel. I make a 40 minute drive, one-way, just for gorceries. I try to do as much in town as I can each trip so I’m not gone from home too often. When the list is pretty full, or I’m running later than I want to be, I make myself stop and find each of my 6 Littles and give them a hug. I almost left without doing this the other day and my 3yo came rushing toward me with tears running down his face because he thought he wouldn’t get to give me a kiss. That made me reaffirm my commitment to not leave without fulfilling that important detail. And that episode reminded me that we do need to be reminded of, and reaffirm our commitments to what is important ~ in all areas of life ~ because they are too easily pushed aside by busy-ness.

  3. Thank you for your transparency Rachel-what a beautiful reminder-I so desperately needed

  4. (My English is not very good but I want to share this testimony)
    When I read your post I remember when my kids was younger (they are a grown men’s). I grow up raised by my grandmother she was good to me but I never ever received a hug or kiss or even a word of love from her or anybody in my family,when I had my second child he was so special he loved to give kisses and hugs all the time and every time he try to give me a kiss or hug I push him away,I remember one day that I react the same way and I saw how I hurt him,and I prayed,”God please I don’t want to hurt my son but you know how uncomfortable is for me to received affection,please let me accept his affections and don let him to feel my coldness”;well since that prayer I manage to received his love and given love without feeling it inside, every day until one day his persistence love heal me and thanks to that I’m free now I can received and give love comfortably now. One day I was giving my testimony in a church and I remember that in that testimony I said this words:” everybody come to this word with a purpose and it this was my son purpose he fulfilled his call”;I remember that when I heard those words comes out from my mouth I said inside why I have to said that.Well that was God telling me why He gave me my secon child Elvis a year after he pass away from cancer at 17 years old,but he fulfilled he’s call.Your testimony is complete different but I just want to share that with you and with everybody so we never forget to enjoy God’s love tru our children.God bless

    1. Oh Aimee. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your son’s beautiful life and gifts with us. What a wonderful perspective you have and beautiful person you are!

  5. Joanne Peterson says:

    Oh Rachel, I’ve done that very thing with my four and five year old when I’m rushing. I feel so badly afterwards too. You are so correct, relationship first, and correction second. Also for me, what will matter more, if I’m on time, or if my littles feel cherished?

    Thank you Rachel!

    Joanne

  6. Powerful post. Thanks for being so transparent. This brought me to tears as I struggle to give my 9 and 7 year old girls the love and attention they need. Science projects, homework, play dates, girl talks, field trips, Christian principles and unconditional love. We do our best and place the rest in God’s hands! God bless you and your family. #feelinginspiredandgrateful

  7. Thank you for sharing this. Specially the prayer touched me.

  8. I can totally relate to what you are writing about. It is so hard to keep everything in balance! Maybe God gives us these little moments to get our attention and remind us of what is really important. Thank you for your honesty in this. I often think that I am the only one who struggles keeping the balance between busy life and relationships. (I love your new blog “look” too.)

  9. Thank you for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes because although you made a mistake you quickly realized it and emphasized it to the world that love is so important to our kids and family no matter what is going on in our busy lives. God bless you Rachel!

  10. the first thing I thought was, “awe, she’s beating herself up”. Don’t. This is only a blip in time and as they get older this moment won’t be one they remember…… You’re a good mom….. take care

  11. Thank you for your honesty Rachel. Those kind of mistakes…they are the ones that just rip your heart out. Once made we can’t take them back, we can only apologize and move forward. I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another. I know I sure have. At times, I had a hard time raising two…don’t know how you juggle everything with 7, including a precious special needs child! Even now, as a grandparent I definately don’t have the energy I used to, so it’s easy to think about what I may be trying to get done or whatever. But I have learned over the years…as you know…those moments we can’t get back. Sometimes I just want to hold these little ones and not let go! They are my “do over”! If they want Grandma’s undivided attention, then that’s what I try to give! Prayerfully always being an influence for Jesus in their little lives.
    We won’t always get it right. We aren’t perfect. We have to show ourselves some grace. This I am still learning. 🙂

    God bless you Rachel, in your family and ministry!

    Debbie

    1. I just mentioned one of my favorite Lysa Terkeurst’s quotes last week to someone. “I give grace because I so desperately need it.” blessings to you!

  12. I had the same scenario last week! I quickly realized the same as you and I am glad to know I’m not alone in my sin!

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