The Ugly Moments Of Parenting

I am not above ugly moments.

I do not believe any of us are.

I get angry. I even yell. I sometimes blame my kids for the times when I lose my temper.

There are ugly moments in parenting. There is yelling in parenting. Boundaries are pushed in parenting. It happens to everyone.

It is not the yelling that is the problem.

The world will tell you that. The world will tell you to live in peace in harmony. The world will tell you to shove your angry feelings aside and “understand your children” in a calm and patient way.

The problem isn’t anger or the yelling in parenting. The problem is us. As human beings we are wired to mess up. We are wired as humans to lose our cool. If you yell at your children you are in fact only human. Just like the rest of us. 

The solution is what happens after the anger and the yelling.

Just yesterday I was talking to my sweet kindergarten boy about girls and what girls are like. He told me, with his big brown, compassionate eyes, “girls like to tell us boys what to do.”

I mean. This is deep truth from my kindergarten boy. As a girl telling boys what to do all the time I know his words are true.

He went on to tell me about the times I tell him to pick up his toys and how I say if they are not picked up, whatever is left on the ground is being thrown in the trash. These are my ugly moments. The moments when I tell my children I will throw their toys in the trash, Toy Story’s worst nightmare coming alive in my own home, on my watch.

There is also a time when I told my sweet Asher boy that I would pop his balloon if he cried about it one more time. And I did. I popped it. With scissors. Right in front of his big beautiful blue eyes. I am not proud of this moment. This is another one of my ugly moments in parenting.

The dagger really went deep into my heart when that night, during our prayers to Jesus, he called me out during the confession time, “mom, aren’t you sorry for popping my balloon?” Right there in front of Jesus. Ugly, ugly moments.

Popping balloons and threatening to throw toys into the garbage. These are my ugly moments.

I believe as parents the power comes not from preventing the yelling or the threatening. I believe the power is in what we do after the ugliness has already happened.  

Some people will tell us just never to yell in the first place. But you know, I believe it shows our children much more character when we make a mistake, or show emotion, and then appropriately be responsible for our crap rather than to act comatose and all Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood about things. 

Contentment Praying Woman

Are we brave enough to show our kids we make mistakes?

Are we brave enough to show our kids the moments when we need forgiveness before the Lord?

Are we brave enough to say I’m sorry? Or I was wrong? 

Are we brave enough to live out a life of I’m sorrys and faith before them, right before their eyes, so they can experience first hand this so called power of the gospel we’ve been reading to them about from their Storybook Bibles?

Yes. I have ugly places.

Yes. I pop balloons like Gru from Despicable Me.

Yes. I threaten to put toys in trash bags and send them to the dump just like the ugly moments that haunt the very worst nightmares of Pixar’s Woody and Buzz.


The thing about the ugly moments of parenting is always that there is a much more significant moment to show your children the gospel.

A much more beautiful moment follows the ugly one if you are brave enough to embrace it.

We are beautifully created people that find ourselves in ugly moments and we need a Savior to rescue us when we are angry, popping balloons like a villain and out of control. 

I believe that in gospel believing homes, it is more powerful to our kids when we yell and repent than to never have yelled in the first place.

There is power in the ugly moments of parenting when you tell your children, “Mommy was wrong and mommy needs Jesus just like you.”

Yes. I have ugly moments. I have ugly moments because I need a Savior.

I want to show my children my need in my ugly moments so later in life when they themselves are without me in this big world and they find that they themselves are in an ugly moment, they will remember a great Savior. A great Savior who wants to rescue them in their ugly moments.

Ugly moments are an opportunity to show our children great character because of a great Savior.

Show them how to respond in the ugly moments.

Be brave.

You are always LOVED, ACCEPTED and BEAUTIFUL to God. Even in those ugly moments.

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