I have a confession to make, in hopes that it will help someone, not for you to criticize and judge me.
I have had some recent encounters with my sons that have almost made me lose it. They have talked back, raised their voices, been ungrateful and tested my patience in more ways than one. In an effort to not snap, I have gotten in their faces and yelled about how I didn’t appreciate how they were acting or treating me. As recently as this morning I yelled at Kid Flash while we were getting ready for school. If you could have seen his deflated demeanor as he walked away to go floss and brush his teeth you might have cried. I almost did. I was so mad at myself for losing it like that. I immediately went in the bathroom, gave him a hug and apologized for yelling at him. His response, “That’s okay.” But, is it?
As “working” (in quotation marks because all moms work) moms we often get stressed and overwhelmed by the daily demands of life – getting kids ready for school, jobs/careers, kids’ homework, preparing dinner, cleaning & other chores, running errands, kids’ appointments & activities, finding time for a spouse, paying bills, etc. – that we forget the most important things. As parents, we are charged with raising children to become responsible adults. In doing so, we must realize that how we treat them, interact with them and talk to them are just as important as the things we do for them. They are watching us and learning from our every action. Kid Flash has a temper…and “he got it from his mama”. Junior has a smart mouth…and “he got it from his mama”. I don’t want my children to be mean. I want them to treat others with kindness and respect and be the light that Christ calls us to be.
My children’s spirits will be crushed enough as they encounter and interact with others in the world. As their mother I do not want to contribute to that crushing. I can correct them and give appropriate direction without raising my voice and being mean. My husband is able to get them to respond without yelling and often wonders why I yell so much. It just seems that they develop a hearing problem whenever I speak that doesn’t exist when their father speaks to them. But, I am not 2 years old and it is not acceptable to yell and scream when I don’t get my way. This “mean mom” has seen the light. I will have to find another way to deal with my daily frustrations. Did somebody say, “Ladies Night Out” or “Girls’ Trip”? 😆
Have you been a “mean mom”? What typically sets you off with your kids and how can you handle it differently moving forward?
Until next time-
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20 NIV)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:1, 4 NIV)