Monday, February 2, 2009

A Parent's Prayer

Dear God, I was so cross to the children today! Forgive me. I was discouraged and tired - and I took it out on them. Forgive my bad temper, my impatience and, most of all, my yelling. I am so ashamed as I think of it.

Oh God, the pathetic helplessness of children! Their innocence before the awful monster - the enraged adult.

Hours later, I can still see the fear in their eyes as they scurried around, trying to appease me - thinking my anger and maniacal raving was somehow their fault.

And how forgiving they are, hugging me so fervently at bedtime, kissing me good night.

I want to kneel down by each of their beds, wake them up and ask them to forgive me. But I can't. They wouldn't understand. I must go on living with the memory of this awful day, my unjust tirades.

All I can do is straighten a cover, touch a small head burrowed in a pillow and hope with all my heart that they will forgive me.

Lord, in failing these little ones whom you have put in my keeping, I am failing you. Please let your infinite patience and goodness replenish me for tomorrow.

Author unknown

I came across this prayer back when I was the stainless mother to only one or two perfect children. The first time I had to pray it, I wept and wept. In fact, every occasion for which I have to trot out this little gem, I weep. I never thought I would be a mother who had to say these words and I hate myself for it.



  1. I think we've all had days like this. Very well put. It's amazing how these little ones keep on loving us despite it all. Just like our Father!

  2. I'm so sorry that you've had to trot it out! I have my own that I pray that I think I'll post soon in solidarity. I'm not proud to say that I behaved poorly towards my children this morning - lacking patience, lacking appreciation, rushed, angry. I'm going to give them huge hugs when they get home and tell them how much I love them. We all have these days...

  3. You know what strikes me about that photo? It makes me sad for that woman. I want her to forgive herself and to know that she is loved. Then I realize . . . that's me in the picture! And I need to forgive myself and rest in the knowledge that I, too, am loved by God and by my children.

    Really great post, Michele.

  4. I don't recall seeing this post before. What a humble prayer confession, and one I unfortunately relate to from time to time. Thanks for the precious post.