Words Spoken in Frustration

Have you ever in your life said words that were uttered in frustration???  Are there words that you wish you could take back and pretend like they were never said?  I have and I was witness to an event the other day that made me think about those words and the power of them.

I was whipping through Meijer trying to get a few groceries before I headed back to the casa and I noticed a mother and her little boy who was probably 5 or so.  Her cart was overloaded and as she found her way through the dairy aisle the little guy strayed away from her and got out of her sight.  I was kind of keeping an eye on him to make sure he was okay while she was shopping and then she realized he had wandered into the next aisle just around the corner.   She yanked his arm and said “I hope somebody does snatch you away so that you will learn what it would feel like!”.   My heart broke.  I so wanted to go say something but it was not my place so I said a quick prayer for the little guy and the mom.  I know that she is like most of us—frazzled and overloaded—-probably weighed down by things that no one should have to endure.  Her words cut through me, though, and it absolutely broke my heart.

Probably the thing that made me think even more about it was the following day I got to go see my brand new great niece—looking at her and holding her and loving on her for the afternoon was the best thing that I have done in a long time.  She is perfect.  I looked at her and said to Carla (mom) “How can anyone look at a baby and not know that there is a God?”.   And I thought back to that frazzled mom and how somehow along the way she had lost sight of that wonderful brand newness of life.   I am sure she had a lot going on.  I know that we all say things in the heat of the moment that may not be the right thing to say.   I know that patience runs thin.  I remember being at home with 2 little ones and feeling like I was losing my mind somedays .  Not that that has changed much these days!  🙂   Just don’t have the little ones to blame it on!

Words are so powerful.  Once they are “out there” they can never be taken back.   Words also have the power to heal.  A simple “I’m sorry” can soften up the harshest words that have been spoken.  I think that is why I have always loved to write —-words are powerful.  They can be used for good and they can turn the tide.   May all your words today be helpful words and ones that are of encouragement.



  1. Lisa Wields Words says:

    The sad thing is that I think I use the wrong words more often with the people I love than anyone else. But, it is so true that words have power and can stick with us forever, forging what could indeed painful memories that can never be fixed.

    • Lisa, I totally agree!!! It seems easier to let loose with those we love the most and let things go unfiltered. Thanks for the comment and for taking the time to read my post today!

  2. Guilty as charged and I doubt if anyone else can say otherwise. Quick, hurtful words, said all too carelessly, that can never be erased.

    Someone we know recently remarked how her brother-in-law “was dead to her” after a family argument. It wasn’t her dispute, the woman just spit out an unsolicited nasty comment that has now caused a simple disagreement to escalate into a family feud. Two loving brothers have not spoken in almost one year.

    Lovely post that I’m going to share.

    • Thanks, Patty. I am totally guilty also. It is hard sometimes, isn’t it??? Even apologies can never really totally erase the memory of a hurtful comment. Thanks for the comment and for the share!!!

  3. This is an example of my post last week, “Words”.
    I write poetry. There is deep and lasting power in words.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. What a beautiful post…you are always so insightful. It would have broken my heart, too. I have three young kids at home and yes, there are days I just want to crawl into a dark hole and stay there. I have had those moments of terror when you turn around and the kid is gone…that sheer panic…but I’ve never said that to any of my kids.

    • Susi, I know it is hard some days. I remember. I remember being so glad to see another adult walk in the door and being able to hand them over to him for a bit!!! I am sure that this incident was one of those times when she was just over stressed but still….it broke my heart to hear those words.

  5. Wow. I don’t even know what to say to that. I had a habit of wandering away from my mom when I was little and once she had the store shutdown so she could find me. I was in the toy aisle and had no clue what was going on. She never uttered any words like these. Poor kid.

    • I know. I hope he does not remember them. They were so painful for me to hear. I could just imagine if there was someone else within earshot who had lost a child tragically and how that would have sounded to them. We all have experiences similar I would imagine, where words are spoken in the moment that later we wished we hadn’t. I just hope she wishes she hadn’t.

  6. Though her words may have been hurtful, maybe it was just that her fear had built so greatly and so quickly, that when alleviated, like a “teapot” the steam had to escape somehow..We as humans and parents especially, are sometimes overwhelmed by the responsibility and pressure of living. I do hope that the little boy does not carry that memory for life..It could be a scar that will never show.

    • WIll never know, Jake, what prompted those words. He was not gone from her sight that long—-I had been watching to make sure he was okay and it was a very short time. I suspect she was just one frazzled mom. I am praying that he did not hear or can forget those words.

  7. Wonderful post, especially the part about once the words are out there, you can’t take them back. A sorry doesn’t cut it, nor does saying “no offense but,” before offending someone make the words any better… It is sad… people never know how much damage their words do… That poor kid.

    • Thanks, Hilary. It struck a chord with me. I remember an older woman coming up to us one time when Aaron was being stubborn and not doing appropriate behavior when we were on vacation once. She told me I was “crushing his spirit”. That was about 20 years ago and I can see hear her and see her like it was yesterday. I was simply asking my child to follow the rules. That is why I am not going to interfere with someone else’s parenting because I know how it made me feel. I am just saying a prayer for that mom and the little boy. Sometimes that is all you can do.

  8. Good post, Beth Ann. Parents don’t realize how hurtful words can be to sensitive children.

    • I was one of those extra sensitive children so I think if my mom had ever said anything remotely like that to me I would have just been so damaged…..we just never know, do we???

  9. Aww, so sad to hear of moms saying things like that to little ones. I remember one time, when I was 12, I was at a friends house and she was fighting with her mom. Her mom said ‘I have to love you, but I don’t have to like you’. I’ll never forget it. So glad my momma was never like that!

    • Sometimes we just don’t realize how deep our words affect others, do we??? I am sure that this situation was one of those that the mom was just over stressed but still….made me very sad.

  10. Helen Brown says:

    I know how you must have felt hearing that mother. I hope she was able to say nice things to him later. Maybe your prayers were answered. I hope I never said anything like that to any of my children because I love all 4 of them very much!

    • I only have great memories–don’t you worry!!! It just broke my heart—I know that I have no clue what was going on in her life but still…it just made me so sad!

  11. I already heard this story and I still teared up reading it.

    • I know. I know you and Christopher and going to be such great parents to Harper and these words would never come out of your mouths. It just made my heart hurt so badly!

  12. Christine Grote says:

    It’s heart-breaking to witness, I agree. We can only hope the mother made amends later. We all make mistakes.

    • So true. We all fall short in many ways and I have no idea what this mom was going through—it was not my battle to fight but I did say a prayer for them both!

  13. yes..watch your words for they become actions…


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