Can we just talk about this for a minute? And can we all admit just how real it is?
When I was pregnant with my first child, nobody took the time to warn me about it. Sure, they told me about lots of other things like sleepless nights, the lack of showering, how bad my nipples would hurt when I was first breastfeeding, and of course how my body would change.
But nobody told me.
Nobody told me how angry I could get at my kids or just how painful it would be to struggle with mom anger.
Nobody told me that I might yell. Or snap. Or get short with my kids. Or even that I might have the urge to pop their little heads off when I was at the end of my rope. And nobody told me about the embarrassment or guilt that I would feel in those following moments. Momming through the toddler years with patience is hard stuff, am I right? I mean, this stage can just really bite.
Now this isn’t meant to be another one of those “guilt trip” mom posts. No, it’s actually quite the opposite. This is more of a shout of self awareness from a tired mom in her fluffy pink robe and a hand of grace from a fellow bum wiper extended through the computer screen. Cause ladies we need each other if we are going to tackle the beast that’s inside of each of us.
You see, if you’re anything like me, the combination of everything that being a mom entails and my kids simply being kids can send me over the edge (I believe that’s called “life,” right?). Trying to juggle everyday household to-do’s, refereeing sibling squabbles, disciplining with patience, answering a million “why’s?” all day AND consistently trying to teach my kids how to be kind and loving little people day in and day out can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. And when you throw that exhaustion into the mix, you’ve got yourself a recipe for mom anger. But what I’m learning is that it’s not just the mom anger that’s killing me, it’s how the mom anger comes out at my kids that’s the real problem.
What makes my mom anger so bad is that it’s crushing my kids’ little spirits. And as the mama who has been chosen for them this side of heaven, I’ve got to do better. And I’m not just looking for a quick fix here; what I’m needing is a change of heart.
So what am I supposed to do about it? What are we supposed to do about it, friends?
We’ve got to get to the heart of the problem and we’ve got to learn to slow down.
“My dear mama friends, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen slow to speak and slow to become angry, because mama anger does not produce the goodness that God desires.” James 1:19-20 (translation mine).
Have you ever noticed that when mom anger boils up in us that it’s usually when we’re in a hurry? Take a look back at your last 24 hours and you will see that when you were angry with your kids you were probably rushing around; rushing to get out the door, rushing to get household chores done, or rushing your kids to get the words out of their mouths with out it taking them all day. But when we make a conscious choice with our kids to STOP, STEP BACK, AND LISTEN, our reactions towards our kids change drastically. And when our reactions towards our kids change, the beast inside slowly becomes tame. And when our mom anger becomes tame, our hearts change. And ladies, our kids notice when there is a change that’s that big in their mamas. Because it’s a change that’s so much more than just something we come up with on our own. It’s something bigger; it’s something holy.
So tomorrow we strive for more, for better. Because best kind of change that we can show our kids is one that produces goodness. And goodness always wins over anger.
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