To my children,
This past weekend I put in 33 hours at work. I was tired. I was tired when I got home Sunday evening. You guys were excited to see me. After all, 33 hours at work is 33 hours away from you. Everyone had something to tell me, everyone wanted hugs, and all I wanted was personal space. You were all so excited that you were yelling over each other, trying to be heard, and instead of hearing you, I yelled too.
Even now, two days later, thinking about it still makes me cringe. I am ashamed of myself in ways that I can’t even begin to expect the three of you to understand.
I am a yeller. That part I can accept. Sometimes yelling is the only thing that works around here. The part I can’t shake is why I yelled. You guys weren’t misbehaving, or fighting with each other. You were excited. You missed me, and you were happy I was finally home. Instead of giving you the attention and affection that you guys needed from me, I yelled. I yelled because I just wanted to be left alone.
That evening, I couldn’t separate home and work. And you guys paid the price.
I failed you.
For that, I am sorry.
After I yelled, I didn’t apologize, or try to make it right. Instead, I put you to bed. That was the only thing you guys heard from me that day. Yelling. You hadn’t seen me since before I went to work Saturday morning. You were in bed when I got home Saturday night, and I was up and back at work again Sunday morning before you got out of bed. And here I was, yelling at you within the first ten minutes of being home.
This is our story all too often. I let my exhaustion take over more times than I am willing to admit.
This can’t continue to be our story. I love the three of you more than anything, and I hope you know that. But actions speak louder than words, so I need to work on my actions. Or rather, my reactions.
I always tell you that it is okay to have big emotions, and to feel them. But I also say that it is not okay to yell and throw temper tantrums. But that is exactly what I did. Yeah, I could give you the “do as I say, not as I do” speech, but that would be a real injustice to you.
Every decision I make will mold you into the adults you will become. It is my job to make sure that you grow up into adults that know they are loved, and that know how to love others.
Lucky for me, you guys love me, and kids are forgiving. Let’s hope I can get my act together before my luck runs out.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally, and for being so quick to forgive.
Today, I failed you.
Tomorrow, I will be better.
I love you.