Before Mama Blows Her Stack

Before Mama Blows Her Stack

I honestly wish I could tell you I never get upset at my children.

But I do.

He forgot his homework. Again.

She failed to mention the birthday party until the day of.

His clothes are all over the floor. For the tenth day in a row.

You see, being a parent is a 24/7 gig. Jesus said we would have trouble in this world, but man, no one told me it would come in the form of little self-replicas who walk the earth, holding my heart. ;)

Maybe you’re the mom who yells and gets it out of her system, then feels horrible and must apologize.

Or perhaps you’re more like me and the frustration eats away at your joy, occasionally permitting a slammed cabinet or irritated look.

No matter your expression or lack of in the anger department, we all know:

If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

For as she thinks in her heart, so is she. Prov. 23:7

To prevent those initial feelings of grumpiness, I’ve asked the Lord to change my thought process. Before negative feelings have a chance to take hold, I’m tackling them in my mind first.

Allowing the upsetting issue to ruminate in my thought life only makes me more likely to act on those negative feelings. We can’t always control how we feel about an issue, but we can control how we react to the issue. (Hmmm. Thinking I learned this from Lysa TerKeurst in a totally awesome book, Unglued. Highly recommend it.)

By this time, we’ve experienced an incredible month of advice on moving from grumpy to great here at The Better Mom! Today I wanted to explore how mama needs to think before she blows her stack.

When I analyzed what I thought about certain issues, then I discovered that by changing what I think before the issue occurs, I can more easily control my reaction to the negative issue.

For example, when I finish cleaning the kitchen, instead of thinking:

There- I’m finished with the kitchen. Hope no one comes in and messes it up.

I think:

It’s ready to be used again!

Because we all know that it’s going to be dirty again. Quite possibly within the next 2 minutes.

By placing a simple positive outlook on the completed task, we are changing the probability of our response to doing the same task again. While I haven’t refined this process to perfection, when I stay in God’s Word and think the right things, I’ve found I’m able to offer more positive reactions to negative situations.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil. 4:8

If you’d like to read more on the topic of “How to Stop Negative Inside Chatter aka Don’t Water the Weeds,” you can find it here.

And we’d love to know-

What replacement thoughts have you found to prevent yourself from turning into an upset mama?

This post is part of the month-long challenge From Grouchy…To Great.  Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

From grouchy to great

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  1. says

    I remember telling myself “It was an accident. He didn’t do it on purpose.” That helped me not lose my cool when they simply were kids and did what kids do: get clumsy, aren’t careful, don’t pay attention, etc. It doesn’t mean I didn’t strive to ask them to be more careful and attentive to what they were doing, but it DID help me be more patient! The funny thing is just recently I was quickly ironing a shirt right before an event, and my 20 year old tripped on the chord and accidentally unplugged the iron…….right AFTER I reminded him not to trip over the chord, lol!

    • Rachel Wojnarowski says

      oh there is no age limit to the errors. :) Yes, remembering not to take accidents personally is freeing!

  2. Elissa Philgence says

    Hi Rachel

    Thanks for your post.

    My replacement thought on days when I am overwhelmed with the feeling of being a mommy, getting angry or seeing more dishes to wash is, children are a gift from God, I ask for them, they did not ask to come into this world, in to my life, so I need to be thankful for the blessings of the gift God as given to me.

    I know my children we given to me to teach me to be a more selfless person, to give my all to care for and love someone else outside of myself like God gave up His only son because He loved us so.

    I pray daily to be more like Him.

    Peace to you.

  3. Alice says


    I’m a soda pop explosion type now. I changed my thought process wrong, so “We are under construction” for thought process again.

    It ties back to the “Lying tongue ” book again. My current process is to lie. Stay calm and not scream uncontrollably when covered in poop, pee, and other body fluids. Books say that freaking out while they are potty training will cause them to hold their potty, and then they get sick. Keep a false calm face with other small annoyances like MIL comes over and gives them stickers (which I’m using for rewards in potty training) … After calmly telling MIL many times (she’s harder to get through to than the kids) still not being respected … Add a few more disappointments like stepping on Leggo’s, and a deadline to do something … And I’m sure I appear to go from happy to screaming maniac in a blink of an eye …. Where as, it’s really been building up and hiding behind my “white lies” (it’s okay, you’ll pee next time … I’m not upset about you bringing stickers, and my failure to get toys picked up causing bodily injury)
    Welcoming any tips to release build up of frustrations to re-wire thought process.

    . Alice

  4. Cheryl says

    Lately, I’ve been changing the way I think and it’s had a positive impact on my responses. I have three, three and under and am quite sleep deprived these days and desperate to get a moment of quiet to rest or pray. I used to think “Okay, I’ve done, x, y, and z…so everyone will fall asleep at the same time. Then I will get a close my eyes for 20 minutes or read my bible, etc”. When I didn’t get what I wanted and felt I deserved, it was making me feel crazy. My responses to my children were so harsh. I would get mad because it wasn’t fair. I would get mad because no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t in control. Anyway, lately I tell myself “Yes, you have worked hard today, and it seems that everyone should sleep right now. But you know that may not happen. You have a choice to make. Will you allow your joy to be stolen because you don’t get what you want? Will you talk to them harshly because they interrupt time you feel you need to be still and talk to God?, etc” So lately I make the decision ahead of time that I will not respond in anger and frustration. I make the choice to release control ahead of time. Because that’s really what I’m fighting for, you know? Your kitchen example is a good one too. Like, we’re obviously only setting ourselves up for disappointment if we clean and then expect it to stay clean….especially with toddlers. Bits of every meal end up on the floor! So with that I’ve been changing the way I think too….”They are 2 and 3. They are going to make messes. They are learning. It’s okay.” Joy is slowly replacing frustration, and I am so thankful. But it does take constant conversation and surrender. Sheesh, this mommy thing is no joke! :) Thank you for your wise words!

    • disqus_FZ1ti2jbsJ says

      Needed to hear this Cheryl! Thank you so much!! I love this “Will you allow your joy to be stolen because you don’t get what you want?” and how you have a choice to make ahead of time. I let my expectations get too high and think I deserve it, and let my joy be stolen way too much. Blessed & convicted by your words and this post!!


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