Being a mom is a full-time, every minute of every day kind of job. No vacation days, no sick days , no time off. You are mom at 2 in the afternoon & 2 in the morning. You are a mom when after your coffee & long before your first coffee of the day. If you are a mom, I am not telling you anything new.
A couple nights ago, I was having an early morning, before my coffee kind of mom moment. Grayson had crawled into bed with me sometime in the night, and snuggled in. We have a king size bed, so it doesn’t bother me in the least. I’ve always co-slept with my babies, because it was important to me that knew I was near. It helped us bond, and I wouldn’t go back and do it any other way
Anyway, while snuggled in– at some point, he had an accident. I mean I guess it wasn’t an accident, since he wasn’t even aware of what was going on. I don’t know why we call it that. I don’t know when I realized he had peed in the middle of the night, in my bed, on himself and me. But, I remember silently realizing that the warm feeling was also a damp feeling. Tired & a tad irritated, I quietly cursed the darkness, as I saw my new bed linens already dirty & all of the laundry my day would entail.
I didn’t even realize he was slightly awake, or that he too had realized we were both damp . But, he heard that 4 letter word slip out of my mouth…and the next thing I heard was a tiny, tired voice saying, “I’m sorry mama, next time…..” Suddenly, I was wide awake.
I stopped him right there. I realized the weight of my verbal annoyance at the situation. He didn’t mean for it to happen, he doesn’t like to make his mama sad. It wasn’t about the sheets or the laundry or even the pee. He knows how to use the potty, he rarely ever has an ‘accident’ at night. This just happened to be a night he did. This was not his fault. Me being upset and irritated was not his fault. He didn’t set out to annoy me or give me more work. He was asleep, sound asleep.
I was so careful at teaching him how to use the potty without shame or guilt. I watched my words carefully, and pounced on anyone who tried to make him feel bad if he had an ‘accident’ in his early learning stages. But, here I was… with that one quiet word, echoing in my ears. I knew, he though it was because of him, that it was his fault.
So, I put my arm around him, pulled him in tighter, and whispered to him. “It is not your fault, you didn’t know, you were asleep. It’s no big deal, we can wash the sheets today and it will be good as new. ” In a way I was reassuring him and myself at the same time. This was a little thing. It should not effect my day negatively and it sure as heck shouldn’t effect his day negatively because of my words.
He snuggled in, we were both still laying in a damp bed. But, the sheets and the day could wait a little bit longer, because what was most important in this moment was not stripping the bed and starting laundry. What was most important, was making sure my little boy knew that I loved him regardless. Regardless of an accident, regardless of a mess, regardless of a little extra work, unconditionally.
No matter what the day or the years bring, I want him to know that even when something frustrates me, I still love him. I want him to know that even when he makes a mistake, together we can try to fix it, and no matter the outcome, I still love him. I don’t love him for being perfect or making me look good. I love him for the amazing little human he is, and whoever he chooses to be.
Of course, the day went on- I washed the bedding and re-made the bed. A little extra laundry didn’t hurt me, but one simple word could have hurt him. I don’t say this to say we have to be perfect parents…because I am far from it. But, for myself, I just know I need to be aware what I say can alter his day and mine at the very least, so I need to hold myself accountable for my words all of the time. And, most importantly when I make a mistake…when I’ve hurt my child by my words or actions, I need to be humble enough to apologize and pull them into my arms and tell them how important they are to me and how much they are loved. Even though, I am the parent, that does not mean I am always right.