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I Forgive Me

June 19, 2012

Yesterday was my worst parenting day ever. Of course, my son is just a year old as of last week so I very likely have more and worse parenting days ahead of me. I won’t get into the details but suffice to say that yesterday I embodied every quality and behavior that I most wish to avoid as a person and a parent. Yeah, it was bad.

I was so emotionally exhausted and sullen by the time my spouse came home that it took me over an hour to even be able to talk about it. He’d known from my slew of text messages throughout the day that it wasn’t going well and thankfully he didn’t pressure me to spill my guts as soon as he got home.

I wasn’t afraid he would judge me or be upset with me as I confessed the many personal low points of the day, I was just so sick of thinking about it. The thing about self-awareness in the absence of enlightenment is that you know when you’re falling short of your best but you don’t yet have the ability to do better. Ignorance really can be bliss. Wouldn’t it be nice, just sometimes, to be able to act like an ass without suffering the cascade of aware thoughts? Why am I doing this? What is manifesting here? What triggered this behavior? What does it mean?

Don’t get me wrong, I’d never really wish for ignorance over self-awareness. I’d just like to forget that yesterday ever happened. Although, if yesterday was my worst parenting day thus far it was also a big day for me in that I did something I’ve never been able to do in such short order: I forgave myself.

Perhaps it was the empathy and compassion with which my husband responded to me that allowed me to feel those things for myself in a way that I have often struggled to do. Yesterday was not the first time I’ve behaved badly. But yesterday was the first time that I was able to leave the bad behavior in that day rather than carrying it around with me for days, weeks, even months, wrapped in a tidy ball of shame that I could ceaselessly ravel and unravel, dissecting and reliving each and every flawed moment. After we talked I made a list of ways I was going to do better, I had a cry, and I went to bed. My last conscious thought was: I forgive you.

For me, in my unenlightened but self-aware state, this was profound. And we did have a better day today. Fortunately, my son is only a year old. As my worst parenting days are most likely ahead of me, so too are my best.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 19, 2012 4:29 pm

    I’ve had those days too. Before I was a mom I remember saying I couldn’t believe how people could treat their children. My mom said “Just wait. You’ll understand perfectly someday…” If only I could remain the parent I was before kids! (I’m usually great, but somedays…)

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