It didn't used to bother me when my children were upset after I did or said something. Hey, if they wanted to cry about play dates, or having to take a bath? I was used to it.
Willing to throw a cereal aisle tantrum because I said no to a box of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs? Didn't really bother me. (though it does make me laugh when I think about this commercial..)
Angry and stomping around because they had to finish chores before they had social time? Bring it.
So why does it bother me so much now to make my children sad? Last week's birthday incident with Lizzie about broke my heart. And on her birthday, no less.
Today I did a really stupid thing that really made Mimi sad. It was a little thing, and not the kind of thing I'd normally write down and send into the universe for about eleventy billion people to read, but in the interest of sparing you from making this same mistake, I'll just mention it.
This morning she had taken particular care putting together an ensemble to wear to school. And she really did look cute. Coordinating jewelry and everything. I told her how nice she looked.
And then, because I'm an IDIOT, it flashed through my head that maybe the confidence and fun of having a great hair/clothes/skin day , would take some of the sting out of having to get some other disappointing news about, well, let's just say about how a family rule was about to seriously impede her social life. Which news could absolutely have waited until after school, but in my flash of stupidity, I felt the need to mention it right then.
The look on her face fell. And I can't believe I did that to her, and as I write it down, it seems SO mean. I really wasn't trying to be mean. I was trying to soften the blow.
So, she didn't cry - you know - had to be at least under control enough to save the mascara. (After all, we have our priorites, people!)
But after that, there was no amount of cheering up or promises of new earrings that would really salvage the day.
The lesson here = really? kids get emotionally beat up all day at school. They just do. If you can send them out the door happy and full of confidence, why wouldn't you? If the bad news can wait, LET IT.
So, I've made 2 out of my 4 kids cry this week out of my own sheer thoughtlessness. Only one more and I'll have a hat trick. I'm trying not to go for the sweep.