I’m Sorry: When Mama Fails

Last night I was so exhausted that I fell asleep right after dinner, at about 6:00! Ah, the peaceful escape of sleep. But then after about thirty minutes, screaming erupted. Somebody’s kids were really causing a ruckus–oh those are my kids. After about five minutes of continual noise, I wiped the sleep-drool from my chin, staggered downstairs, and asked them to be quiet.

They had those big, “Uh oh, mom’s mad” eyes, but I wasn’t yelling, maybe I was too tired to be angry. I just wanted quiet. They said okay, so I turned to go back to my oasis of rest. Before I took one step, my littlest started this screeching scream–whiny, loud, headache sparking–I’d heard it before. Oh yeah, THAT’S what woke me up.

And something snapped. I yelled at my girl, like a mad banchi. “STOP THAT SCREAMING! YOU WOKE ME UP!” I could feel my hair standing on end and fire shooting out of my ears. My little one just stared, in shock, with a “my mom’s crazy” look. I heard her crying as I made my way back upstairs.

Fail #1.

Then, I couldn’t go back to sleep, so my grumpiness grew until I took it out on Michael when he came home. Totally snapped at him in coldness and blame. “Why didn’t you bring me chocolate?!” Not like I asked. He just should’ve known my desperate chocolate-need. Okay, yeah, that’s rational.

Fail #2.

I was so tired. And my introvert barrel was bone-dry empty. I was trying to take care of myself, by getting rest–knowing that if I didn’t I might possibly be the ugly mommy I hate. Well, she showed up anyway.

Do you ever have times like this? Do you ever sin against your kids by yelling at them in emotional selfishness instead of loving correction? Or take out your exhaustion on an unsuspecting spouse?

What’s the answer to this? How do I get past this moment and put the ugly mommy away–and the guilt? Well, I went back to what I know. Once I calmed down, I apologized to all my victims, and ran to Jesus. What else CAN I do?

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 3:23-24 ESV)

I pray to be stronger, to overcome my sinfulness, and keep firm in my faith, but when I fall–which is often–my only hope is to run to Jesus, over and over and over again.

And he always receives me with the loving smile of a Father and wraps me beneath his wings, filling me, healing me, and preparing me to step back out into the battle.

Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may CONTINUALLY come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. (Ps. 71:3 ESV)

God bless, friends, and keep loving like there’s no tomorrow.


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Ocieanna Fleiss