For when you lose it (because you’ll lose it)

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

For when you lose it | Clean.

I had a hard day.

She brought me flowers.

Because she always sees my heart, even when I lose my cool.

I hugged her close and thanked her and said, "So this means you still want to keep me for your mama, huh?"

She giggled at the absurdity of my joke.

And it was a joke but one with a shadow of truth around it.

I forgive others more quickly than I do myself.


If my children have a hard day I look for the need. I love. I nurture. I dig deep for patience, compassion, and empathy.

If I have a hard day I blame myself for not being enough.

Good enough, patient enough, loving enough.


It's no surprise that this strategy is not helping.


The truth is we all falter.

When our cup is dry, our days are long, or our patience is thin.

We stumble. We come undone.

And that doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a mother who needs care.

Sometimes then only one there to give you that care is you.

Because when you yell or blame or guilt or snap it isn't your truth.

It's not your path.

It's your heart's way of calling for change.

A change in perspective, a change in rhythm, a change in priorities – a change in something.

It's time you start answering the call.

As for me on my angry-hangry-grouchy day, I made a choice.

I slowed down. I ate better. I went to bed early. I turned inward, breathing deep.

And hardest of all, I set to work on forgiveness.

When the same triggers came up the next day I had more grace.

I breathed, spoke my needs, and reached for love.

I found humor, patience, and joy.


Thank goodness.


So the next time you start to unravel know that you are not alone.

There are countless others out there, fighting this hard fight.

Go inward. Accept. Regroup.

And be mindful.

And when you lose it (because you'll lose it), forgive, forgive, forgive.


Then as you reconnect and apologize for your mistakes, begin the hard work of doing better tomorrow.


And know that even in your unraveling you are the greatest teacher your child could ever have.

Because in your imperfection you have come to teach love, forgiveness, and second chances.

By how you treat yourself.


Now get out there and be awesome.

In your messy, imperfect, and beautiful way.

And always, always love. You.

Because even on your hardest day you are worthy of that.




Originally published in 2014.


3 thoughts on “For when you lose it (because you’ll lose it)

  1. Snurfy says:

    I always wonder about the grey area in forgiving yourself. What about the parents who enter a primal fight/flight/freeze reactionary response and, through no fault of their own, view their kids as threats? In that deep, dark place of the brain that is only accessed in times of great distress, the part that is set up to make snap decisions purely for survival, how do you forgive yourself when your children push you to that point and you lash out in a truly horrible way? Self defense doesn’t matter in this context. It’s not just a snarky remark or yelling. The children who were abused and grow up to have children of their own, thinking they’ve dealt with their past, only to find out when their sweet little children push all of the wrong buttons at the wrong time, and just SNAP. The victim becomes the perpetrator. Are they allowed to forgive? Can they forgive themselves, even if nobody else forgives them?

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    I think in these cases forgiveness is less at the heart of what needs to be done and seeking real help is at the core. Trauma work; professional care. Getting help to rewire these damaging short-circuits is critical – and so much more vital in the moment than worrying about forgiveness. Get help, start healing, and break the cycle. Hurt people hurt people as they saying goes. So healing must come first.

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