Three words that made my daughter cry…
and I hope you never say them to your child.
The details of that day are cloudy.
But one memory is etched into my mind with a painful chisel of tears.
I’ll never forget those three words.
They seemed to tumble out of my mouth in an eruption of emotions.
I wanted to take them back.
I wanted to rewind time and try again.
But I couldn’t.
The damage was already done.
My daughter has such a helpful spirit. She began wanting to be “mommy’s helper” when she was only three years old.
“Mommy, what can I do for you?” came the tiny voice one morning.
That question brought my heart great joy.
And ever since that moment I was very welcoming of her help.
But not on one specific, unforgettable day.
Why Did I Say Those Three Words
And no matter how many times I try to wish it away, it is still in my past — and in hers.
I remember that we had loads of tasks to complete.
We had company coming over and I was making a feast that would impress the most elite food critic. But that was just the problem.
I was seeking to impress others — whatever the cost.
As I was busily chopping food and frantically tidying up, my daughter rushed into the kitchen.
She didn’t ask to help, she just started putting away unused ingredients and moved food to different sections of the kitchen.
I needed space to make the food and he was trying to create that for me.
But I was having to go behind her and undo some of her “helpful” work.
After pulling ingredients back out again, I glanced her way and said,”You can go upstairs and play. I’ll get the work done.”
She just replied and said, “I want to help.”
And she kept on putting ingredient back into the fridge.
Then I’d pull them out — again.
She wasn’t getting the point.
I could feel time slipping away..
My guests were coming over very soon…
And fixing my daughter’s adventures in “helping” was beginning to get under my skin.
In frustration I focused on my food prep and abruptly announced,”You’re not helping.”
In that moment, it seemed the world became silent.
She didn’t protest.
She didn’t move.
In shock at my unrestrained words and thoughts, I looked at her and saw red eyes brimming with tears.
She finally walked away, shoulders slumped and head down.
My typically very confident daughter was crushed — not by a bully or a snobby peer, but by her own mother.
A parent should always be a child’s place of comfort and encouragement.
But at that moment, I failed to be what she needed.
Why am I sharing this raw, real moment with you?
To warn you.
As moms, it’s so easy to be caught up with our responsibilities that we forget to be cautious about our critical, complaining and negative thoughts.
Maybe we’re not yelling at our kids, but even trying to constantly “fix” our kids can rreeeaaallly mess up our parenting journey.
Frustrations can spew out of our mouths and damage the closest people in our lives.
Those tiny people who fill our lives with such great joy…
Those Three Words Did Much Damage
If I had just focused on the sweet, helpful spirit being expressed through my daughter’s actions instead of her mistakes…
If I had only been thankful…
If I had only focused on those special mommy/daughter moments…
If I had stopped trying to impress others.
But I was being incredibly selfish.
Dear mom, may you never say the three words I did.
If you do, you’ll live to regret them.
Let’s build our kiddos up today with encouragement, hugs and “can do it” attitudes!
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