Yesterday was comical. Actually I wasn't laughing then but am thankful I can laugh now. After writing my post about reacting or responding my kids gave me many opportunities (before 8 am) to practice responding with love. Responding with love sounds so pretty but living it isn't always pretty. And in full transparency, in some moments yesterday I reacted, and didn't respond, to my children.
I don't want to present myself here as this perfect person and pretend my life is parallel to an episode of the Brady Bunch. I want you to know I am there beside you in the trenches doing my best to walk the walk, and it isn't always pretty.
As I reflected on my own imperfect moments yesterday, I know that everything I said and did was out of love for my children. Responding in love to my children is a balance between soft love and tough love. Yesterday I had to practice tough love which required me raising my voice and giving consequences to my children. Personally, soft love is much more natural to me than tough love. Tough love is necessary though. When a behavior repeatedly presents itself, and soft love isn't helping my child become the best expression of themselves, I am absolutely going to practice tough love. Yet when practicing tough love the line between responding and reacting can get blurry for me. And it did yesterday.
For example, I knew a consequence was needed but my tool box was empty (or I was out of brain space to think rationally) and consequences (yes, plural:-/) flew out of my mouth and I want to stuff them back in. But to maintain integrity (or maybe it was pride getting in the way) I followed through on those consequences so they knew I meant business.
Yesterday my responding with tough love turned into overreacting.
Embracing those imperfect moments is part of the pruning process as I grow. They humble me to my knees (again) where I pray to allow the experience to help me, my children and our relationships grow stronger.
God knows my heart. He knows all I hope for is to be the mom I need to be for my children to be who He made them to be, but it isn't always going to be easy, pretty or perfect.
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
I love these tools and use them often, but not perfectly. Thank you for listening and allowing me to be real with you. If anything, I hope that is an encouragement for you today, to know you are not alone and together we can embrace our imperfections as we encourage each other to be who God made us to be.