Most of my days start the same way.
Wake up, get ready, get kids ready, give them breakfast, get myself breakfast… Ya know, the usual.
But there are days when the train gets off the tracks fairly early in the day.
One of my older kids wakes up the baby before he’s ready.
Too many little voices are whining at the same time.
I remember last minute that we have an appointment.
Everyone’s moving at turtle speed.
You get my drift.
When these things happen, the rest of our day doesn’t usually look too pretty…
The Frustration Snowball
Have you ever noticed that a bad attitude is something that tends to snowball as the day goes on?
When I start my day on the wrong side of the bed, so to speak, it can be hard to get back on track. And with 4 small kids, this momma can’t afford to start off on the wrong foot. Between the whining, the tantrums, the arguments, and the testing of boundaries, if I’m already angry at the beginning of the day, chances are the rest of the day is going to be… well, crappy.
I can’t afford to let a mishap with one of my kids affect my mood so badly that it ruins the rest of the day.
This may seem like a recurring theme…
You may have seen a guest post I did for Family Life Blog about lessening our mommy rage. If not, you can go here:
Or my post about how crazy I can become when my strong-willed kiddo pushes my buttons and what God has showed me about it (UPDATE—I have TWO strong-willed kids now):
Or what about the post that walks you through how I deal with the extra tough days with my little ones:
Noticing a theme? This isn’t the first post I’ve written about anger or our attitudes as mothers. And yet, each one is different.
Why do I keep talking about these feelings we have? The frustration, the anger, the complete lack of peace?
Well first, because I often need a major attitude adjustment as a mom. A lot of times, I write these posts to help me just as much as I write them to help you.
But also because being a mom is overwhelming. Because the chaos can overtake us before we even have enough time to take a breath and realize what’s happening. Some people talk about it, some don’t. But especially in the Christian community, I feel that we need to do a better job of talking about it. Of not just masking everything we’re going through as moms. Of not feeling the obligation to talk only about “our little blessings” but also being honest about the weight of this responsibility and how it can affect our emotions.
Because the more we try to stuff it down, the more it seethes from our pores. The more we begin to drown. The more guilty we feel.
The Two Extremes
But also because I don’t agree with a lot of the rhetoric that IS being put out there about our emotions as moms. They’re often either:
- trite or
It’s like our only options are either slapping a band-aid on how we feel by just sucking it up and “being happy” OR throwing our hands up and saying “oh well, I guess I’m just the type of mom who’s angry.”
And I don’t think either of those things is rooted in the truth.
Don’t get me wrong, both of those parties mean well. The ones who tell us to modify our behavior and get over it are trying to give us encouragement to move past all those ugly emotions we don’t want to look at. I’ve done that.
And the ones who say “this is just who I am” are tired. Of trying to change and of beating themselves up for not being able to change. Who wouldn’t want to just give up? Who wouldn’t want to just declare that frustration and anger is a part of who they are? Behavior modification certainly doesn’t work. So what woman in right her mind wouldn’t become exhausted and start to think, “I just can’t do this”?
Here’s what I say:
I say, heck yeah let’s be real. Let’s admit that we’re overwhelmed. Let’s admit that we’re frustrated. Let’s admit we get mad. But let’s not stay there. Much like the way things are set up within God’s grace, transparency and honesty are important. We don’t have to walk around faking it and acting like the perfect versions of ourselves when in reality all we’re doing is hiding behind a facade that could crack at any second. Trust me, I’ve lived that life. It’s not one you want.No good can come from holding back the truth of what's going on in our hearts. Step one in moving forward is the courage to be honest with ourselves. And others too. Click To Tweet
Every good thing lies on the other side of honesty. If we’re holding back the river of what’s truly going on with the dam of our fake personas, it only makes true change that much more difficult.
So let’s admit what’s really going on down in our hearts but then acknowledge that even though those things are happening, that’s not who we truly are. We were made for more. Frustration and anger and overwhelming emotions may be part of the picture right now, but God can and WILL change that if we let Him.
The ONE Thing We All Need to Focus on More
So what do I tell you? What should the #1 focus of every morning be? How should you start off your day?
I could tell you joy.
The love of God.
Or what about peace?
All of those things are important and freely given to us (even though we don’t often receive them).
And maybe that’s it.
Maybe our lack of receiving is causing a hold-up. It was for me.
As moms, we’re used to giving. We’re used to pouring out. But if we’re going to do that well, we HAVE to allow ourselves to receive first. Because we can’t give out what we don’t have.
We Give What We Allow Ourselves Receive
Know what I’ve noticed? I’m harder on my kids when I’m being hard on myself. And when I’m giving myself lots of mercy for the day, I tend to do the same with them. Whatever I’m accepting into my own heart is what I’m dishing out. So it’s my job to make sure I’m receiving the things God wants to give me. Otherwise, I’m tanking this ship every. single. time.
No matter how long I think I can hold out, if I’m not receiving the right things, Patient & Loving Mommy will not last long. Her replacement, Short-Tempered and Tired Mommy, isn’t a fan favorite.
Is focusing on receiving going to solve every problem in your house or mine? Is it going to keep us from ever getting angry? Is it going to be the magic cure for what ails us?
No. We’re human. But man, can it help!
P.S. Something I feel passionately about (and that’s Biblical) is that it’s a good practice for all of us to renew our minds. Without it, the enemy can throw in any old bold-faced lie and make it sound like truth if we hear it enough. If you need help hitting the reset button on your thoughts, join my 30-Day Soul Detox Challenge.
Learn more here:
Until next time,
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