In my home we have something I often refer to as the “witching hour.” It is the not so glorious hours between the end of the school day and dinner preparation. It consists of homework battles, grunts of hunger, bad attitudes, and meltdowns.
The battle begins with a weary, emotional mom, and the attitude of her sassy daughter.
The battle continues with the screams, kicks, and punches of a kid who has managed to keep every cord of his brain and senses intact all day, but who has now become unraveled.
The battle ends with a battered and bruised mom who has done the same.
Until the cord breaks. The emotions come boiling over the pan we have managed to stuff them in. We do things we don’t like. We say things we don’t mean. We become someone we don’t know. We forget about the grace we are supposed to bestow on those around us. We yell. Scream. Cry tears of frustration. Anger. Shame. Grief.
We are then the mom we said we would never be. The monster we vowed they would never see again.
We had a bad moment. And let that moment define us as a bad mom.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“Calm down, sweet child. It’s OK. Calm down.”
As the emotions begin to fall neatly back in the pot. As you rub the back of a still screaming child. As you wipe the tears from the face of another, and the tears from your own, you become still for just a moment. Hear in those gentle whispers, a Father reminding you to do the same.
Calm down, my child. It’s OK. Calm down.
You are not a bad boy. You just had a bad day.
You are not a bad girl. You just made a bad choice.
You are not a bad mom. You are having a bad moment.
So you rest on these assurances. You find your peace again. Accept His grace. And in those bad moments, you start looking for the good ones.
The girl who the moment before was making silly faces in a new costume.
The boy who a few moments before was snuggling with this same mom on the couch.
The mom who has wiped tears, helped with homework, fed, built up, shared the kitchen, shared her snack. Had some good moments.
We just also had a few bad ones.
Not a bad boy. Not a bad girl. Not a bad mom. Dad. Parent. You just had a bad day. Made a bad choice. Simply had a bad moment.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10