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.)
Let's 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.
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
And we'd love to know-
What replacement thoughts have you found to prevent yourself from turning into an upset mama?
For more encouragement, check out From Grouchy to Great: Finding Joy in the Journey of Motherhood. It's a daily devotional with discussion questions to encourage you as a mom. Grab a journal and study through it by yourself, or gather some girlfriends and study together!
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