She and I had quite the morning.

And not a good one, I’ll tell you that.

She woke up too early, and so that meant I also woke up too early, and so that meant we were both grumpy and emotional and lacking in patience.

It all came to a head when we were in the drop-off line for her Mother’s Day Out and she took off her shoes and then took out her ponytail and it was almost time for her teacher to get her from our car, and at this point, all the moms in their minivans waiting behind us had me feeling as anxious as you do reading this run-on sentence, probably.

So she yelled and then I yelled and her little brother was crying in the back.

And it was just a big emotional wreck in that car.

And so I pulled right out of that drop-off line and into a parking spot far away from all the minivans, and we both cried a little. And then we hugged and I looked her in the eye and told her how sorry I was. That I made a big mistake and I wasn’t being patient and I should have taken deep breathes and calmed down. And then she melted into my arms and said all the same sorrys back to me.

RELATED: I’m Sorry Mama, I Didn’t Mean To Make You Mad

Trying to navigate motherhood with a 3-year-old who has all the emotions has me often feeling like a great big failure. It’s quite the process to relearn how to react and respond when this little child is just blatantly ignoring, disobeying, and making farting noises at you.

I’m realizing more and more that I’ll never be a perfect mom, but I can certainly be a repentant one.

It’s not a perfect mom I need her to see, it’s one who is capable of saying “I’m sorry” 100 times if that’s what it takes.

I have no desire to instill in her a need to be perfect or to never failwe all know that’s impossible and would only lead to disappointment. I can, however, instill in her the humility that leads to the ability to apologize, and that means so much more to me than perfection. If we want our kids to be able to apologize, I think it has to start with us. Modeling repentance goes much further than forcing them to apologize when they’ve made a mistake.

We talk often in our house about the ultimate forgiveness we have through Christ. In Ephesians 4:32 Paul writes, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

What great news for every non-perfect mom out there!

When I really consider that I’ve been forgiven for my impatience and outbursts and moments of frustration, it makes it easier to extend that grace and forgiveness to my kidseven on the hardest days.

RELATED: The Secret To Motherhood is Bottomless Grace

So on days like this one was, and lots of others just like it, you’ll find me making all the mistakes but never hesitating to look in my child’s eyes to tell her I’m so sorry.

She’ll always know her mama is far from perfect, but she sure says a really good “I’m sorry.”

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Reaghen Bailey

Reaghen is a mom to three kids under five and the wife to her high school sweetheart. On any given day, you can find her restarting her laundry for the third time, taking too many pictures of her kids, and forever planning her family's next adventure. Read more about her beautifully chaotic life at her blog, werejustwingingit.com or on Instagram @reaghenbailey.

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