Lessons Learned: My Mouth Needs a Filter

Leah Outten  @thegracebond
January 20, 2016  | Last Updated: January 19, 2016

I've officially had the most embarrassing moment so far of my eight years of motherhood. That foot-in-mouth moment. That Can I please go back in time? moment. That wanting to burry your face like an ostrich turning her eggs in the sand moment. That moment your face turns a shade of princess pink matching your baby girl's sweet little onesie and you could kick yourself for not using your mouth filter. 

My son repeated something that I said — and it wasn't a compliment. 

I should know by now kids have no filters. I have four of them. Four little brains that soak up things they hear and see without even realizing it. They speak and act as soon as it pops into their cute little heads, not thinking of how it might affect others or even themselves. I've had some repeat blunders in the past but this... this was bad. This was a whole new level that most likely cost a friendship as well, for my son and for me.


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You see, I've been friends with one mom for the past five years after meeting on an online mommy group. My five-year-old son idolizes her son, Josh (not his real name, of course), who is a year or so older. Like, he doesn't stop talking about him kind of idolizing. He wants to be like him, he wants to wear the same shoes and like the same things. His name is mentioned pretty much daily in some way or another. Can we invite Josh to my party? (which is a whole year a way...) Will Josh be at my school when I start kindergarten? Maybe Josh will be at the park too! Next time he comes over we can play this game together.

The thing is, my son might have burned that friendship bridge. There may be no more playdates or party invitations accepted. His little boy heart is crushed, but honestly that's how we got in this pickle of a situation. His heart was broken one day about plans being changed yet again. Being a typical child, he wanted to blame someone for his disappointment and pointed his emotions elsewhere. He was angry at Josh for plans not working out, “Josh is mean! He never wants to come to play!” While my mommy heart was angry for his sake at his disappointment yet again — and then those worlds spilled out I regret ever saying:

“Well, buddy, it isn't Josh's fault. His mommy just isn't a good friend.”

So guess what was repeated when we finally had Josh over to play months later? “You aren't a good friend. My mommy said so.” Her face was priceless, gaping mouth and wide eyes. I'm sure she was thinking Did she really say that? Did that just happen? The room went silent while I figured out how to Band-Aid the hurtful comment hanging in the air. I smiled nervously, eyes darting from my son to my friend to my husband all witnessing this fire ignited to our friendship bridge. “Oh no!” I said, scrambling for anything that would make sense of why I would say such a thing. “He's just been so disappointed that we haven't been able to play or plans have been changed.” She left quickly after that. I don't blame her. Who is the bad friend now? 

Lesson learned — Don't say things that you don't want repeated. We mommas need mouth filters just like a Brita water pitcher. The filter used to separate the containments and dirty little specks before pouring out our drinking water is like the one we need mentally. Then, maybe our darling little cups of water we are raising won't spill our spots of negativity out in the world. Or burn friendship bridges with water. Trust me, I've seen it happen.

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