Today I got my feelings hurt by my kids. Again. It’s a normal part of parenting but no one ever talks about it. Once I told a table full of people that my kids tell me they hate me all the time and I got shocked looks with an older lady saying “None of my kids ever said that to me. They wouldn’t have dared.”
Let’s face it, kids are judgmental, selfish, and often downright mean. They can hurt your feelings even when they don’t mean to. How? “Gee Mom, I’ve only been playing this song for a week and already I play it better than you and you’ve been playing it for years.”
While cleaning I came across a note never intended for my eyes. My child was letting out all the anger she felt for a mother who took away her technology until she got the family room clean. A mother who didn’t exactly say it nicely this time. Swear words that my pre-teen is careful not to say in front of me where plastered angrily across the sheet calling me names and telling me just where she thought I should go.
It’s good she was at school. It gave me a chance to feel hurt and let my more mature side take over by the time she came home. I showed her what I had found. I told her it hurt my feelings but that I still loved her. I told her it was okay for her to write those things as a way to let go of her anger but that she needed to make sure to always, always destroy what she had written so that others didn’t get hurt like I had been hurt.
The thing is, I’ve done the same thing- written horrible things to someone I was angry at. I just made sure to burn it, rip it up, or crumple it in the trash. Even before my therapist taught me to do it as a healthy way of releasing anger, I had done it.
Today I was grateful I could take a moment that hurt and instead teach my daughter. I taught her about a mother’s love. Yes, it hurt, but I loved her anyway. Isn’t that what we all wish for? To be loved even when we hurt someone else in our anger or pain?