I wouldn't exactly call myself a perfectionist. I just hate to make mistakes. It carries over from work to home, and it's simple. I don't mind admitting when I am wrong, and I don't mind being wrong. Matter of fact, I am wrong a lot. I just hate to do something, then do it badly.
If I write a story, there's nothing I dislike more than to see I spelled a name wrong, or got a fact wrong. My job is to get it right, and so I'm going to try my best to make it correct. I only get one chance. Print is print. Can't erase today's newspaper and start over again.
But those mistakes aren't the ones I'm reflecting on now. Work is work. Let's face it, there are more important things in life.
What I want to talk about is harder; they're called Mommy Mistakes. We speak of them in hushed tones. We don't want to admit we might be less-than perfect mothers. We all have to be the best, but when we're not, the ones who suffer the most are our children. That's a tough pill to swallow.
A few years ago I was involved in a Bible study group on Sunday nights with a bunch of women who were all nearly twice my age, if not more. It was a wonderful group, and among other things, it made me realize that I am not the only woman who makes Mommy Mistakes. They all shared about their experiences as young mothers. One admitted she still harbored guilt over slapping her daughter in a hurried moment before church one day. She wondered how she could sit in church, knowing what she'd done just an hour before. The moment, more than 20 years old, brought tears to her eyes, and we prayed over her pain.
I've had plenty of Mommy Mistakes in the past 11 years. Just the other night, I blew up because I threw away my son's homework. It was a simple error. It was a Friday. He normally doesn't have homework on Friday, and I looked over everything, then threw it all away. He told me, more than a day later, there was homework mixed in. I was so mad at myself. I yelled at myself, but he saw my frustration and anger, and that hurt me. I hurried out the door, ran to the trash trailer and started digging through the bags. It helped let out my frustration, and only me and the trash knew how hurried my hands were. I found it, relatively unscathed, and little boy completed his homework as intended.
I know discipline is necessary, and I don't mind handing down necessary punishment. I know it has to be done, but it never doesn't hurt me inside, even if it's just a little. But to me, a Mommy Mistake is when I get overly upset and yell too much, or when I yell over nothing at all, or I get mad over a mistaken mistake.
Mommy Mistakes happen. When they do, I often fall to my knees, long after boysies have forgiven mom and have received fair share of hugs and kisses, and pray for God to grant me the wisdom to know when Mommy Mistakes are on the horizon. I pray for His help and guidance as a parent and ask him to help me strive, every single day, to be a better person and a better parent.
I don't think Mommy Mistakes are ever going to be OK, and I won't say, "Hey, Krystal, you need to be a little less hard on yourself." I should strive every single day to be the parent God wants me to be, and that's a forgiving mother who loves and cares for her children, but spreads that love and forgiveness on herself ever now and again.