Friday night, in the midst of Beatrice acting like her 10% self, she told me I was a bad mommy. She was about to get a consequence (the third or fourth of the day), looked me in the eyes and screamed, "you're a BAD MOMMY."
At first, the accusation didn't offend me. She was upset and in the midst of throwing a huge tantrum, she was just reacting emotionally to the situation. I responded calmly with, "no, you have a good mommy. A bad mommy would let her child get away with disobedience. Good mommies discipline their kids."
She got her consequence, we hugged and kissed, it was over. She went downstairs, totally over the events that just took place. I stayed upstairs, allowing the words to penetrate my heart. "You are a bad mommy." You. Are. A. Bad. Mommy. BAD. MOMMY. Whoa. I couldn't shake the ache in my heart and questioning myself about every single parenting decision I've ever made. I started to cry.
We talk a lot about bad and good. She knows that it is bad to lie, good to be kind, bad to push, good to love God, etc. She knows the basic concept of bad and good and yet, she proclaimed her mother as bad.
JD told me she didn't mean it and not to let it bother me. How could I not though? She's 3. Is she really capable of saying things she doesn't mean just to get back at me? Aren't children supposed to be brutally honest at this age? Despite all the great stuff I do for and with her, is the only thing she remembers when it comes time to label me "good" or "bad" the frequency at which she gets disciplined? Goodness, I hope not.
I'm pretty confident in the way that we discipline and parent our children, but I don't know everything. I have made plenty of mistakes that I am aware of and probably hundreds that I am not aware of. I try my best and repent often. My heart's desire is to be the best mommy to these girls that I can be. I believe my efforts will pay off when they are grown. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.
It's been a few days and we are all over the "bad mommy" debacle. I've determined it's probably not the last time I'll hear that phrase over the years. Although I hope I don't hear it too often. My girls won't like everything that I do while parenting them, but I hope they know they are loved immensely and cared for to the best of my ability.
I'm pretty sure that makes me a good mommy.