When You Forget to Say “I Love You”

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I forgot to say “I love you.”

I had already read two books, answered 30 questions, given five drinks, said three prayers, sang at least ten songs and was about to literally pull the hair out of my head. It was the end of a long day and the bedtime routine seemed to be never-ending. I was tired and cranky and just wanted my sweet, beautiful children to go to sleep.

I turned to walk out of the boys’ room and heard my five-year-old say, “Mommy, wait!” I spun around, ready to very firmly explain why he didn’t need to ask any more questions, when I heard him say,

“Goodnight – Love you.”

Every frustration melted into complete remorse. Defeat flooded over me. I realized that in the hustle and bustle of ending our day, I had completely missed the mark. I had rushed my kids through getting everything done. I had sped through moments that could have been memory makers. I had raised my voice, scrunched my face, and spoken with a tone that was nowhere near loving or encouraging.

More than anything, I had forgotten to say, “I love you.”

Surely you’ve been there. Surely I’m not the only one who gets so wrapped up in the day-to-day mom life that I neglect the main purpose of my mom life: to love and encourage my children in everything I do. 

So, what do we do when we find ourselves here? 

Slow down

Stop what you are doing. Literally. Put everything else on hold and take a minute to just breathe. Stopping and breathing will help you clear out the chaos in your brain and put your priorities back into focus. 

Apologize

Our children are tiny humans who are soaking in every single thing we do and say. They are little puppets, mimicking us in every way. If they see us handle our faults with a true heart of regret and a desire to make amends, they will learn to do the same thing when faced with similar situations. 

Try Again

While it may take away from your “me-time” or add extra steps to your already busy day, give it another try. Start over. While our brains take a little longer to recover, our kiddos are very quick to forgive and move on. They’ll be more than willing to give you a do-over. 

Give Yourself Grace

Momming is hard. It’s tiring. It’s a full-time job with extra hours and little vacation. It’s okay to feel the weight of all of the expectations that are resting on your shoulders. It’s good and necessary to remember that you aren’t perfect and you don’t have to be. Use these humbling moments to learn and grow and keep going. 

And then say, “I Love you too.”

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