Are You Taking Out Your Stress On Your Kids?
I have a secret confession: I like stress. I'm a weirdo, I know. I complain about a packed schedule, and long lists and multiple projects...but the deep-down truth is, I have this thing for being busy. It makes me nervous to just do nothing.
As a result of this unhealthy need for activity, I have a tendency to overbook myself. This spring was exceptionally busy, even for me.
I was a hot mess. I was anxious, irritable, overwhelmed, exhausted...TOTALLY EXHAUSTED, actually. Finally one of my prayer triad girls looked me in the eye and said, "You have too much on your plate."
I brushed it off but over the coming weeks I realized she was exactly right.
As I began to look at my life, I realized I did indeed have too many commitments, and not only that - I was taking it out on my kids. I don't mean lashing out in huge temper tantrums (well, maybe one of those), but more often, I was carrying around a chronic load of stress that led me to have a short fuse with my kids when they were just being kids.
Kids have questions. Kids have needs. Kids interrupt you. Kids require mental energy and physical energy and I HAD KIDS BECAUSE I WANTED THIS - I WANTED TO BE A MOM.
I am nearly brought to tears when I think about how distracted and frustrated I probably seemed to my kids. It's not their fault I am overcommitted. It's not their fault my little projects and jobs have me stressed.
And this is true no matter WHAT kind of stress you may be feeling. Often we take out our own overwhelm on those closest to us, who need us most.
The first step, of course, is to eliminate the stress you can.
Over the coming weeks I begin to MINIMIZE. I whittled down the things I could from my schedule, and made resting a priority. And I instead of seeing my kids as a drain or interruption from my "real work," I repented and remembered that they are my first ministry (besides my marriage).
The interesting thing is, His load is easy and His burden is light.
When I brought a sense of balance to my life again, I felt so much happier and more free.
Do you struggle with over-commiting to projects? Have your kids suffered from your imposed stress?
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