Here’s the thing, if you’re a mom then you’re human and you’re going to make mistakes. Your kids will frustrate you from time to time and you’re going to get angry, crabby and irritated. It kind of goes with the territory so, for goodness sake, stop beating yourself up over it! We’ve all done it and we’ll do it again. We live in a fallen world with fallen natures and it takes everything in us to conquer the sin that reigns deep within. But hear me, your children will survive your crabby days, I promise! And there's hope for change.
I’m a little further along in my parenting journey as my daughter is all grown now with children of her own so allow me to share my perspective. I struggled with anger and crabbiness too, still do to be honest. Mostly because I have a way in my head I think everything should be and when it doesn’t look or behave the way I want it to, I snap. I answer harshly. I’m impatient. Because I want to control things and I want things a certain way-my way-which is rarely the way.
I can be selfish and think I have rights but the thing is, when we follow Christ we give up our right to ourselves. We tell the Lord with all sincerity, “I surrender all” until we don’t and the inner ugly rears it’s head. I’m learning (and believe me it takes a lifetime) to really surrender-my ways, my wants, my ego, my future, my worship, my time, my fuse, my control, my everything-to the one who alone can change me from the inside out.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is this: the way you love is the way you’ll live.
If you really do love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength then His love will flow out of you naturally. Not perfectly but naturally. Because, mama, you’ll never be perfect and neither will I and it’s okay.
We can totally stress over it, or we can stress over our kids being kids and being silly and disobedient and way too loud. Or, we can thank God for giving us the great honor of raising children, building them into the men and women of God He’s calling them to be.
Moms are builders and it takes time to build a life. Doing the same things over and over, teaching the same lessons, correcting the same behavior, praying the same prayers can be exhausting. The tiny increments of hours and days turn to months and years. It takes years to build children into the men and women of God He’s called them to be, the ones who will change the world. The ones willing to be His hands and feet to the lost and weary, the desperate and depressed, the weary and worn, no matter where He leads them.
Here are three things to help you get through and conquer the inner ugly:
- Pray whenever you can. In the carpool line, making lunches in the morning, folding endless laundry, whenever. You don’t have to rise with the dawn and have perfect silence and beautiful music and a lit candle to worship God. He knows. Do it when you can but do it because wherever you do it, He’s there.
- Cultivate a heart of thankfulness. When you really begin to thank Him for the lives He’s entrusted to you, you’ll look at them differently. It’s a long process this parenting thing. Just like a building grows one brick, one story at a time, raising a child is one day, one month, one year at a time.
- Ask for forgiveness when you snap in anger. Kids deserve respect too and when we humble ourselves, repent and ask them to forgive us it models correct and Godly behavior because sin is sin, no matter what age we are.
So, to sum it up, I know you’re doing a great job. Stop beating yourself up and get back to building those little lives. It would be my honor to pray for you. What are you struggling with the most?
This post is part of the month-long challenge From Grouchy...To Great. Please check the series page for all of the posts!