For When Mommyhood Frustrates

By February 8, 2012General, Get Inspired

(Note from Kat: This is a guest post by my friend Lara from the blog To Overflowing. Also, don’t forget to register for the free parenting webinar I’m hosting today at 2pm CST and 9pm CST. Register here!)

My middle son moves about life impulsively. Very few milliseconds pass between his thought and his action. If he thinks “hit”, then more often than not, he hits. Hence the reason for approximately 84 time-outs the other day. That and a variety of other discipline measures. Not fun.

We reached the point when my patience and creativity neared the end. That’s when I sat down beside him, somewhat exhausted, to have our time-to-get-out-of-time-out talk.


Flickr photo credit

It sounds so 1990’s, but that “WWJD” bracelet I used to wear as teen came to mind. And I looked at my active boy who now flopped all over the stair and asked, “What do you think Jesus would say to you right now?”

As the words fell off my lips the same question bounced back to me, “What would He say?”

“I think He would come over to you, rub your shaggy hair, then say something like, ‘Buddy, come sit on my lap.'”

I scooped him up off the stair and for just a moment all the frustrations from the day melted away. And I saw my boy’s heart.

“I think He would tell you how much He loves you, and how He died for you, and how He made you to be super strong. But that He desires for you to use that strength to bless others, not tear them down.”

My boy squirmed a little in my arms but I could tell he was listening.

“I think He would say that He forgives you — completely. And that He wants to enable you to be a blessing. You just have to ask Him for help.”

We sat for a minute until life demanded I jump back in with both feet. But it was a good moment, which I needed under my belt considering the many poor moments leading up to it. God is so gracious.

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

 

I need to think about that question more often, “What would He say to my kids?” His kids. Motherhood will get frustrating again (and again…and again), but asking for His perspective changes me. Asking to see these people around me like He sees them, that does something deep in my spirit.

Maybe I need to dig that old bracelet out of the attic.
How do you climb out of those frustrating mommy moments? Join the discussion here!

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Comments

15 Comments

  • Avatar Kat says:

    I love your words, Lara!

    For me, I pray for grace when I’m frustrated and…, this sounds so unspiritual, but I fake it. I act like I know I should, instead of how I feel. Fake it ’til you make it – not the most glorious parenting mantra, but it works for me.

    While it’s true that our actions reflect our heart, I’ve also found it to be true that our heart can reflect our actions. When I respond like I know I should, my heart lines up so much sooner than if I let myself wallow in my frustration or bad attitude.

    • Avatar lara says:

      My feelings often lie to me. I like your mantra. Fake it until our feelings line up with truth.

    • Avatar Joyce says:

      This is something that works for me too. I feel like it’s all about the attitude, and once I can fake that whatever the kids did to annoy me is not annoying me, it is a little easier to ‘fix the problem’. Once I let myself get frustrated, it’s all a downhill spiral that gets pretty ugly. No one wants to listen to someone who doesn’t have anything good/nice to say, right? It is challenging in the heat of the moment though.

  • Avatar Mary Lynn says:

    It was one of those frustrating mommy mornings. I responded badly when my 2nd grade daughter put on capri leggings- It is a high of 32 and snowing! and then proceeded to pull out a size or 2 larger Tshirt from the very back of her closet- She has a ton of beautiful cardigan sweaters, skorts, leggings that fit and are seasonally appropriate that she won’t wear- We were both in tears. When she was smaller and at home during the day, we would all snuggle in bed and watch TV together, read and often take a bit of a nap- Have a Do Over morning. But with her heading out to school, that is impossible- I found Matt 6 in my reading today that reminded me that clothes shouldn’t be a focus- it is the people that have eternal value- I owe her an apology and together we need to figure out the clothes issue- I love the Col. verse as well. I need to take it to heart when responding and reacting to my kids.

    • Avatar lara says:

      Oh I know this frustration. Sometimes I look at what my kids pick out and just think, “wow.” But you are right. It isn’t about clothes. Some battles aren’t worth fighting. Blessings to you as you make amends.

    • Avatar Joyce says:

      Mary Lynn, I’m glad you were able to work things out with your daughter. I’ve gone through similar situations and when I look back at it, it all seem so trivial in the grander scheme of things. It’s just so hard when others don’t see the reasoning and logic to our own thinking I guess.

  • I love this – I often feel like when my little guy acts out it’s because he is asking for more of my attention. I try to stop what I’m doing and spend a few moments just being with him. Sometimes it helps. I will definitely try using some of the words you shared in this post next time – so powerful!

  • Avatar Kim S says:

    So, I read this post and thought- “that’s a good word”. I was hoping to tuck it into the file for later. I mean, after all, my kids are perfect right?

    No. lie. Not more than an hour later, I was presented with the opportunity to do more with it. Ha. God is so funny that way.

    I went up to talk to her and she was braced for a lecture of epic proportion when I said, “Do you know what God would say to you right now?” I expected a blank look, but didn’t get one. She said, “yes, he would say- I love your mommy. Be nice to her.”

    In hindsight, I think I was the one that got the lecture. From a six year old!

  • Avatar Kari C. says:

    I’ve been working on memorizing the scriptures Kat shared in a post about being a patient mom at
    http://inspiredtoaction.com/2011/07/8-verses-to-inspire-us-to-be-patient-mothers/.

    On occasion when faced with frustration, one of the scriptures floats through my mind before I react. Not nearly enough occasions, like count them on one hand occasions, but I have hope that instilling God’s word in my heart will help me in reacting to my children and the frustrations of living with the fact that they have their own imperfect wills, something they probably get from me. 😉

  • Avatar Courtney says:

    I have this quote on my kitchen wall, and though I don’t always remember it in the “heat of the moment,” I refer to it often:

    When children try your soul, as they will,
    When they cause you grief, as they do,
    When they rouse your anger and provoke your wrath, as is their way,
    When they reduce you to tears and prayer, as often happens,
    Love them.
    Don’t bother about anything at all
    Until you have first made clear to yourself
    That your love for the child in question
    Is holding firmly, swelling warmly in your heart.
    Then, whatever you do will be as nearly right
    As it is possible for human judgment to be right.

    by Angelo Patri, 19th Century Educator, New York City

  • Avatar Jessica says:

    Wow, I wish I would have read your blog post this morning. I prayed so hard for wisdom this morning regarding my son and had I just opened up my email God had an answer for me right here. Tonight I’m at the end of my ropes frustrated with my son for the exact same reasons you write about in your post. I was just saying to myself how many more ways can I tell my son “we use our hands to love, hands are not for hurting, treat your sister as you want her to treat you, your job is to love your sister, etc.” and how many hundreds of times do I have to say it before it will sink in to his head. Then the answer is right here, feeling less frustrated now as tomorrow I have another approach to be equipped with. So thankful for your wisdom tonight!

    • Avatar lara says:

      Oh sister, I totally get that. Praying with you today, believing that one day His truths will shine through these children of ours.

  • Avatar Emily says:

    Wow. What an amazing blog post. My son is turning two this month & recently I thought…I wonder how Jesus would handle this situation/tantrum. Thank you so much for this post. Blessings