They say you shouldn’t ever be the first to break a hug with your child.
I get it. You’ve had a gong-show of a day and are literally counting down the minutes until bedtime. The kids have suddenly turned into little velcro love bugs at the exact moment you want to peel them off, say a quick good-night, and pour a glass of wine. Stay strong.
Hey, I hear you. I hear you loud and clear. I’ve had that kind of day. The kind where you are just done. Feeling spent. Fully prepared to wave off the kids and hope tomorrow will be a better day. Then your child wraps their strong, little arms around you tightly.
Your quick getaway plans have been thwarted; now what?
Go for the hug.
Do it. Go for it. Even if you’re not feeling it, it will make you feel better. And your child will feel so loved.
I say this because we’ve had our share of miserable bedtimes; ones where I walk away, mom-guilting all over the place. It may be hard. You may feel like you’re giving in. But hug it out.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that children are very forgiving. When it’s time to turn out the lights, it’s you they want to tuck them in — no matter what kind of shit storm you were embroiled in two hours earlier. They’re ready to let it go and so, then, should you.
It’s been a day.
It’s not always that easy, though. I’m not here to argue who had the worse day; but, at least you didn’t just knock over a half-full glass of red wine trying to swat yet another fruit fly. And while the only person I can be angry with is myself, I am now annoyed at everyone and everything, despite my husband’s best intentions to lighten the mood.
The last thing I want to do is hug it out. There’s a good chance this may have something to do with my sick status reaching “man cold” proportions — I’m on Day 3 of this germ fest. Nonetheless I’ve maxed out my patience threshold for the day.
I thought since today was Sunday, I might actually get some rest, shake off this congestion. Maybe catch up on some reading, ply myself with all the fluids. Have a nap. Silly, me.
Instead, the only reading that happened was that of my daughter making her way through a Scooby-Doo book — for three hours. It ended with the two of us in tears. “Rest” came in the form of an extended, late-afternoon
escape walk to the grocery store for emergency Ben & Jerry’s.
As if that weren’t enough, on the heels of a late night last night, the kids were acting extra sassy today, making it a challenge to get through the beautiful dinner my husband made without knocking heads. So, no, I was not craving human contact by the time 8pm rolled around.
Still, after a day peppered with mom fails — because, I, too, contributed to the gong show — I didn’t realize how much I needed that extra dose of love and forgiveness. When those little outstretched arms came at me, I knew it was time to tamp down the negativity of the day and hug my children tightly. And I held on.
When given freely, from a place of pure love, a hug can be the thing you need most, at a time when you least expect it.