What Goes Through My Head After Yelling at My Kids

As I sit here writing this post, my kids are all in bed.

It’s 6:45pm.

Yeah, so it’s a bit early.

I blew up at them and sent them to their rooms after a very hairy afternoon and evening. My husband has been away on a mission trip, my youngest is not sleeping well (so neither am I), and I am just spent.

These are the days that make me sad.

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I hate days like these.

Frustrating. Difficult. Defeating.

And, I do feel oh-so-defeated. Because, as I sit in this moment, it seems as nothing in me has changed. As much as I have prayed and tried and prayed and tried–I am still yelling at my kids. I am still loosing my temper. I am still not that perfect mom.

You know her, right? She has everyday planned out perfectly with fun crafts and activities to keep her kids happily busy and well-educated. Her words are always kind and gentle. She always knows when to give grace and when to lay down the law…without yelling.

Well I’m not “that mom” and I’m certain I will never be. (You know, BECAUSE SHE DOESN”T EXIST! …how easily I forget.)

My Distracted Mind

Yet, somehow I let my thought-life get away from me, and I imagine God—looking down at me and shaking His head with disappointment—pained by by mistakes. All the guilt-ridden sermons of the past echo in my head. “Jesus died for you…and you can’t be obedient for Him?” “God is so gentle with you, how DARE YOU yell at your kids.”

I don’t remember exactly when I first understood it, but there is an implication of my relationship with God that has changed me forever.

There is no work I can do to make Him love me more.

There is no sin I can commit that will make Him love me less.

(Even yelling at my kids. Again.)

I’m so thankful for this. Aren’t you?

The Power of the Gospel

The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall, when they screw up, they run to God and not from him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death. —Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel (emphasis mine)

The gospel has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

I just finished reading The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, and I have been studying 1 Peter for a while now; both have much to say about the good news of Jesus.

 We must abandon the idea that there is condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! We must abandon the idea that our sins pile up on some scale that will earn God’s punishment when tipped, as if Christ didn’t take this wrath from us already on the cross. We must also abandon the idea that our good behavior somehow rubs the spiritual lamp that inclines God, like a genie, to emerge and give us the things we wish for.  —Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel

So, when my mind drifts to all of my failings and my heart feels the weight of my sin, I must remember that Jesus already took care of it all. He already died to pay the debt I owed from today’s sin of yelling at my kids. (He’s taken care of tomorrow’s mess-ups, too.)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God… (1 Peter 3:18 ESV)

When I do remember that all this has been done on my behalf, and that now—right now—God is looking down at me with abounding love and kindness. He is well-pleased with me. Not because of my merit, but because of Christ’s perfection.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. (Colossians 1:21-22)

Tonight—though I have just lost my temper and certainly wounded my kids—I am holy and blameless as I stand before God. Without a single fault.

Wow.

And, with this weight lifted, it makes me want to run into His grace and worship Him with my tomorrow. Worship Him with one more step toward controlling my temper and holding my tongue.

Not because I have to  but because I want to.

Turns out momma was not the only tired one. My two youngest fell asleep fairly quickly, a good hour before bedtime. So, with a refreshing night of sleep for all of us, I will start all over tomorrow knowing that whatever the outcome—whether I succeed or not—God is smiling when He sees me.

What goes through your head after you yell at your kids? Do you rehearse what is true—what scripture teaches? Or, do you struggle with condemning, defeating thoughts? Can you imagine God—well-pleased and smiling at you—or do you see a stern, disappointed task-master?

This is a safe place, friends. Let’s chat.

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Comments

  1. Great post, Katie!
    After I yell at my kids, I am defeated, discouraged, and convinced that my mean mommy voice is the only one they will ever remember from their childhood. I imagine all 3 of them sitting around as adults, reflecting on my mothering and saying to one another, “Wow, mom really yelled a lot, didn’t she?”
    That thought scares me, but what is scarier are the thoughts behind that thought- the ones that you pointed out- about what is implied about the gospel. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that we can somehow sin ourselves right out of God’s amazing grace, isn’t it?! Praise God He isn’t human! :)

  2. OH, how I can understand your frustration, disappointment and feeling that God is not working. I have been feeling the same way lately, wondering why there is not more growth……yes, even though I coach other moms to find a lifestyle of control and not yelling, I too find myself raising my voice and yelling. OUCH! I hate it, but I do know that I do not yell like my mother did, not like I did 5 years ago and not like I did 6 months ago. Small changes bring about changes that are sometimes hard for us to see, but even still – things are changing, we are growing. You are a great mom and God sees……not just the ugly side we show, He sees to beautiful!

  3. Thank you for sharing in honesty. The countless days I have experienced the same situation, oh man, I know exactly what you mean. The other appreciation times like that remind me of is my husband. My “ugly side” appears so much more when my husband’s been gone a lot. What a blessing God is to me, and the husband that God gave me! I don’t want to use my husbands presence as an excuse but I do try and use those times as extra practice to stay calm when he is not around. I have realized cetain qualities are only God given, but we can strengthen them and practice them over time, so I strive to do that!

  4. Thanks for sharing your struggles as well as your successes. What a wonderful thing to realize that we are forgiven for our mommy temper tantrums. For a long time I imagined God as displeased with me when I wasn’t perfect, so when I experienced those times when I lost it, I felt defeated and like I could never be who God wanted me to be. I struggled with understanding the grace part of the gospel. Then we had a marriage crisis. I see it now as God’s hand of mercy reaching down to me, to us, to help us see and understand His grace. Now, when I mess up and respond inappropriately to my kids or my husband, I am better able to say, “you know what? Mommy was inappropriate. I am sorry.” I talk about my feelings with them that led me to explode. Because I think it’s really important for them to see that modeled and then talk about their emotions. The emotions are valid, the behavior was inappropriate. And now I know that my behavior does not define who I am in God’s sight. I am loved, forgiven, saved by grace. That helps me be a better parent and wife.

    • Absolutely! Though it is not the primary way I want to teach my kids about God’s forgiveness, my failures give a great opportunity to talk to them about how we ALL need Jesus. :)

  5. Just wanted to say THANKS for this post today! i just had this conversation with God very recently…like, this morning…about how when I fail He is not sitting there wagging His finger at me. So grateful for that! Thank you for your transparency and reminding the rest of us mommas that we are not the only ones who lose our tempers, let our emotions rule, and hurt our kids despite the best of intentions… and that God’s grace is always there and His mercy really, really is new every morning. I don’t think I can be reminded of that enough.

  6. I thank you for this post and can say with you AMEN! I found myself thinking as I was reading this “I could be writing these very words”. As a Mama of three ages 5, 4, and 2 I find myself often feeling these very things at the end of the day. I love the word “gospel” for indeed it is the good news – the very best news – the news that carries me through the day. I am far worse of a sinner than I even realize but loved by my Creator more than I could ever hope for – thank you Jesus!

    • “I am far worse of a sinner than I even realize but loved by my Creator more than I could ever hope for!”

      Incredible truth! Yes, thank you Jesus!

  7. Wonderfully encouraging post! My children are now grown and on their own, a son in the Army and two stepdaughters that are now providing us with that next generation to reach out to with the love of Christ and the good news for them. So I can look back now and STILL remember feeling the very same way so many times. But Susan said some profound words, “Small changes bring about changes that are sometimes hard for us to see”. So many times when I was impatiently wondering why I wasn’t growing more spiritually, I was later able to look back and realize how much growth WAS occurring, just not at the speed I wanted. Gotta keep our eyes on Jesus. And know that the kids are growing with you through all of this. Every time I went back and apologized to the kids for my behavior, they learned a little about grace and the need to humble themselves when they were wrong.

  8. Thank you so much for this post! It could not have come at a better timing. I find I lose my cool a lot lately, recognizing that my life has changed with this little one around. I’ve been thinking lots about ‘Mommy guilt’ and how much baggage that causes in my life. I feel like yelling at my child makes me tip the scale all the time. I feel like each time I yell, each time I ask for forgiveness then yell again that the previous sin/guilt is added back on-like I’ve never repented for the last time and it keeps building. I’ve got to be free of it, and this posting helped, thank you!

    • It really all boils down to truly understanding the gospel! That, if we do have a saving faith in Jesus, we are secure in His mercy!

  9. I can soooo relate to this. We all fall short sometimes when it comes to our parenting. I have learned not to be so hard on myself. There are days when we all feel spent. There are days when my kids even feel spent and they are frustrated and angry. And when they feel like that I try to give them the space to feel that way. And so graciously God made them, they also give mommy the space to allow me to feel out of sorts too. I honestly can “hear” myself right in the midst of my losing it. The self that says “keya you don’t have to go there.” “Keya its not that serious just let him be” sometimes I heed my own warnings and often times I don’t. But after its over and I have yelled I remind myself that while I the power to destroy is in my tongue so is the power to lift up. So I try to remember to tell my children “mommy didn’t mean to yell at you. I’m sorry. Mommy is working on it”. I have no shame in being very honest and forward with my children. It is important for them to know that part of being a human is working on your weaknesses. Mommy is NOT perfect, but I try to do better. THEY are not perfect either, but my losing it (I hope) encourages them that they can also do better. Thanks for sharing~!

  10. I am so encouraged by the truth of how God sees us. I have been a mom for almost 8 months and I have no idea what I am doing!! Everyone else seems to have strong views and this understanding of discipline and when to nurture and when to et them cry, etc…. I spend all my time trying not to screw up my daughter the way my parents did me. I get afraid to sit in the presence of God daily, I think I’m afraid of being scolded. I forget that he loves me more than I do, he knows me better than I do, and he is there for me like no one else. Thank you so much!!!! Your honesty is so refreshing.

  11. That was supposed to say 18 months. Sorry.

  12. Caroline says:

    Thank you; I appreciated this post today. I have been having the same struggles and thoughts.

  13. I’ve had many opportunities to model repentance and asking for forgiveness to my children for similar situations. After going to the Lord I always go to each offended child – tell them no matter what they did it was wrong for me to get angry, yell, whatever I did, and ask their forgiveness.

    Since we are all sinners and fail daily and they imitate me in so many ways I hope and pray that they will imitate me in this too.

  14. Thank you for this post! My husband is also out of town (for work) for most of the summer, he gets home every couple weeks for a few days. We have 5 1/2, 4, & 6 month old children. Needless to say I get pretty tired and frustrated at times too. I have told myself not to yell as much but then I find myself yelling at them again. Thank you so much for your honesty and your perspective, it is helping me a lot!

  15. Katie, you just spoke to my heart. I feel like I’m always barely keeping my head above water — not because of the work of my toddler — but because of the overwhelming guilt I put on myself. I always find something to criticize about myself, either I’m too lazy, too busy, too loud, too relaxed, too anything! I’m my own worst critic and I know that’s exactly what the devil wants. I know that I always have to pray because if I don’t I would probably lose my mind. He is able! I’m so thankful for His guidance and that I am perfect in Him.

    • I struggle with this, too, Miranda. I can be pretty hard on myself.

      What freedom there is to know that the standard has already been met, through Christ!

  16. Thank you for this post Katie! I feel the same way as you do~ defeated, discouraged and that all my kids will remember about me is that I yell. I’m especially concerned for my sensitive middle child who takes it all in and doesn’t talk about it at all. I really neede this post as I was already feeling this way today (yelled at my 7yo this morning cause he moved and I got sunscreen in his eye. Yes, he got sunscreen in *his* eye and I yelled at him!) Thanks for reminding me to give myself and my children grace & I appreciate your transparency so much!

  17. Thanks for the message today. I have recently started going back to church with the kids since we quit going steadily a few years ago. I know that just 1 time isn’t going to fix my heart but it is small baby steps in the right direction. And next Sunday I will go again till it becomes habit again. I know that just going to church is the be all answer, so I have also started reading my bible again which sometimes is more frustrating than not as I am not as familiar with it as I was as a teenager. My hope is that all these small changes will make big changes someday. What I do know is that when I was trusting God and letting go to him I felt better and that helps me react better to the kids bad behavior. Also them going to church lessens the bad behavior as they want to be better for Jesus. I love Jesus for making us want to be better and humbling us to know that we aren’t perfect nor do I want to be, I just want to have his grave and mercy cause I will mess up.

    This was the perfect day to read this in my email.

    Thanks,
    Kira

  18. I, of course, have those same moments and feelings. What helps to balance me out a little bit is truly receiving the truth of his love AND reminding my children about this as well.

    Sometimes I feel like moms absorb all the responsibility and all the guilt. And I want my kids to learn to repent for the yucky things that they did and said. And, most importantly, to know that Jesus loves them always and anyways. But I do think it’s helpful for ALL of us to know how our actions affect one another and that things do tend to go better in our families when we think of others’ first and consider their feelings. And that moms often need kindness and gratitude from their children, not just the other way around.

    I don’t mean to be defensive, but I do get tired of feeling all the discouragement while my kids are able to sleep like little cherubs at the end of a day when they acted like self-absorbed little… well, not-cherubs. =)

    We ALL need the gospel of truth and grace…

  19. I so appreciate you writing this post. I just had a huge talk with my husband last night about feeling overwhelmed in my current life circumstances. I felt during the spring that I had made progress with my plan to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger” with my children, but I feel like I have fallen off the wagon lately. I loved the part of your post that reminds us “There is no work I can do to make Him love me more. There is no sin I can commit that will make Him love me less.” I really needed to read this and remember that God isn’t looking down on me with shame but with love. I feel renewed to try again because I also want to. Thank you!

  20. also timely for me too. But I struggle with wondering how much damage I am doing to my kids by my temper tantrums. I find myself apologising all the time for yelling yet again. it is good to know that God does indeed smile at me but the challenge is to know that he is at work in my children despite ME and what I do. I find it a big step of faith to trust him with my children. And I am so tired of always going to God to ask for forgiveness yet again and asking him to help me with my temper. I feel like I will never get anywhere with God when all I do is pray for him to help my temper!

  21. Wow. Needed to read this today. Have been struggling with receiving His grace when I mess up with my kids. Thank you for your honesty, it is so refreshing!

  22. Oh, thank you so much for this. When I yell at my kids (well, really just my four year old…the baby has yet to experience the wrath of mommy directed at him), I just feel rotten and wish I could erase the whole scene out of our brains. I feel like I damage my children with my words and it tears me apart. And it’s that moment of, “gosh I haven’t really learned anything apart from seeing how sinful I am and capable of yelling at my daughter like I never thought I would.” My mom often exploded on us and I lived in fear of that and always told myself I would never do that with my own kids. So when I really lose it, it is like reliving those emotions I felt as a kid when my mom yelled all over again. Yet, I know the still, small Voice whispers that I am made new and made continually new. I need God’s grace every moment and that my motherhood journey is just as much about my own sanctification.

  23. Janice Morrow says:

    I don’t have much to say but thank you! It helps to know I am not the only one to struggle with this issue. That perfect mom ideal I have in my head is extremely defeating. I will be saving this post to read again and again.

  24. Kathryn says:

    Hi I love ur post but struggle to believe that it doesn’t matter what we do. I’ve been reading 1john lately and it talks about continuing to sin unrepentantly etc we r not children of god. 1 John 3.9 & 5.18 if we don’t love our brother we r in the darkness 2.9. And that he answers our pray if we r living right and obeying him etc. can u help me make sense of this because I do believe he is gracious but I am confused!

    • Good question, Kathryn! The key is REPENTANCE as you mentioned. If we continue to sin again and again with no remorse, and no change over time, we are abusing grace.

      I agree with you that it DOES matter what we do. If I continue to scream at my kids, and have no desire to change, there is very little evidence of my salvation there. That is a big theme in 1 John, which it sounds like you have picked up on.

      I am not teaching that we are free to sin, because of grace! I am speaking to the other end of the spectrum, to those of us who tend to look too critically at ourselves, and lose the joy of our relationship with God because of our self-condemnation. Those of us who has a hard time believing that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Guilt and condemnation beats us down, and paralyzes us from moving on.

      I would love to continue to chat about this! Please let me know if you are still confused!

      I think we all can swing either way, and they are both dangerous places to live. 1 John

    • Here is a post I wrote last week on the process of salvation: http://allume.com/2012/06/salvation-theology/

      I think it is helpful to understand that POSITIONALLY we are holy and blameless, because of all that happens in the moment of salvation. This is what I am speaking on in this post (without using all the theology terms.) But we are still in process on this earth to become more like Jesus. So, in the eyes of God (because of our JUSTIFICATION), we are in right standing with God.

      But, obviously we are NOT holy and blameless in the here and now, right? We are in process, and anyone who has a true saving faith in Jesus WILL become more like Him. I may yell at my kids today but, over time, I will struggle less and less with this as SANCTIFICATION takes place in my life.

      OK, hope this makes sense, and is helpful. :)

      Here is another post I wrote a while back that hits on some of these themes:
      http://donotdepart.com/believing-better-intro

      “Trying harder lacks the ability to bring true heart change.

      Don’t hear me wrong, the Christian life takes effort. It is hard work. And you and I can do the exact same “disciplines” but reach much different results.

      The key to realizing “success” in the Christian life is not in trying harder; it is in believing better.”

  25. I haven’t finished reading yet. I stopped at the point where you began to mention the “perfect mom.” And I just smiled and laughed at myself. My “perfect mom” ideal also always has amazingly creative things planned for each day, her kids don’t watch t.v. (and mine start the morning with Wild Kratts and Curious George), they do perfect daily quiet times as a family, eat organic, perfect home cooked meals in the perfectly clean and organized kitchen, and more…sounds like a little to live up to. I have to keep remembering that, like you said, SHE DOESN’T EXIST!!! I am competing with a figment of my own imagination.
    Now to go finish the rest of your post. But a thanks to you for being so open and real. :)

  26. Rochelle says:

    I cannot believe I am reading this today.
    I struggle with controlling my anger. I yell too much. I let the small things get to me. And I hate it.
    I do remember my mom throwing fits over what appeared to be small things, screaming, pulling her hair, pounding her fists on her body … I was repulsed. Annoyed. It got so old. It was scary. But as I grew older, I was just sick of it.
    And now I have three small children. And the anger I feel is the anger I remember.
    I want to break the cycle. I believe all you wrote about God’s grace and mercy. I am just sick of myself. Sick of my angry words, my screams, the swearing, the way I want to pound my fist into the wall …
    Thank you for your post. It is good to know I’m not the only mom who yells. But I just want to be different. I want to be better. For them, for God, for myself.

  27. I just blogged about it after having this issue very heavy in my heart for a couple of days. Then I came here and read your post. I think God is trying to tell me something

    • Stephanie Vanderwal says:

      I was in the middle of yelling at my 10 year old son about getting the dishes done. I stopped, had a thought in my mind that I wanted to look up something to help me overcome my anger, but then thought I should only look to God and what His word says I should do. Then I told myself He will have something for me to hear. I typed in the search box “I am constantly yelling and arguing with my son. How can I show him mercy?” I looked through what came up and this website was the first one I glanced into.

      As I was reading what Katie was saying I realized God directed me here to this site. I was instantly released from the strong hold of anger and my attitude changed toward my son. I thank God and for Katie for reminding me of his grace.

      The biggest thing for me that God was trying to tell me something was that Katelyn Orr is my 2 year old daughters name. Her pappa called her Katie.

  28. God sure led me to your blog and this post, via a link shared by a fellow mom at my Mothers of Preschoolers group (mops.org). Your words were so “on target” for my day today that I just sat here in tears reading. I am encouraged that I can start anew with our kiddos tomorrow, with God’s grace, and words from His messengers like you.

  29. Vikki Forster says:

    I love it when God uses other people’s experiences to speak right into my situation! I have just found your website and opened my first email to discover that after a morning of grumpiness and shocking parenting skills (following which my thoughts try and convince me that ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE can be as bad a mother as me!) – I am encouraged by your reminder of God’s wonderful grace which is sufficient for me! How great to share our weaknesses as well as our strengths! Let’s keep being honest so that we realise we are not alone in our struggles for perfection. I get so impatient when it feels that change in me is happening far too slowly, and my children are growing up far too quickly!

  30. OH, I love my Jesus! He is the one that holds me in the palm of His hands. He is the one that transforms me! He is the One who helps me. Oh, how I love my Jesus! We have all SINNED and fallen short of the Glory of God.. so yeah, I am not the only mean screaming Mom. like another commenter said… I can see the small transformations the Lord has done in me… thank you Jesus!

  31. Jennifer says:

    What a wonderful, encouraging message – thank you. After I yell at my kids I think “man, I don’t want them to turn out like me”. Its a horrible, self-depricating barrage of thoughts that continue through my mind. I just want to bang my head against the wall and say to myself “man, you did again, idiot”.

    When I think about the sacrifice God made for me, such a sinner, sending his Son to die for my sins, I just get overwhelmed and feel so undeserving. But oh so blessed. Thank you, Lord!

  32. maddalena70 says:

    I feel so ashamed when I yell to my little girls. so ashamed because I lost my temper again with two little girls that depend on me and usually do not umderstand why I am so hangry. .

    I always ask God to forgive me but I would like to learn how be different. . and do not lst my temper anymore.

    I feel so bad every time it happens

  33. Thank you so much for your post!! I needed that this morning. I just got home from dropping my daughter off at gymnastics camp and we were fighting this morning and I yelled and was feeling guilty. I still love her no matter what she does and I believe she loves me the same just as God loves us unconditionally. We can always ask for forgiveness and start fresh. So, my guilt is gone and I can’t wait to love on her when I pick her up!!
    Thanks for your wonderful and inspiring blog!

  34. Allison says:

    Katie, I knew I recognized your name! I used to be Allison Wilson and worked at Lake Hart when you applied to be on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (before you got married). Then I saw you once or twice after that (after I got married, too) because you served in the S.E. region with Crusade. How special that I know you. :) AND your words touch my heart very deeply. In fact, they brought tears to my eyes, as I feel this burden greatly at times (particularly yesterday). Oh, how we must learn to go to the gospel and not to the pit, and (for me) to remember that my self-worth is not based on acts of obedience (or showing myself as ‘good’ and ‘right’) because I can be made right only in Jesus. I am encouraged to know that my sisters in Christ struggle with the same. Blessings, ~Allison (Wilson) Lee

    • Hi, Allison!
      Crazy how worlds collide! How are you? Still on staff?

      Motherhood has been the most sanctifying journey…thankful He can use my failures for His glory!

  35. I feel sad and sorry and worried and angry at myself…when I lose it with our crew.

    Because I know my words are doing damage, and it’s hard to erase harsh words spoken in anger. And I don’t want to expose it or minimize it or normalize it. I know they are slowly learning my patterns and following my lead.

    BUT–it gives me a reason to come alongside and ask for their forgiveness.
    And–it is a perfect time for gospel sharing because they fully believe it when I say “we ALL need Him to cover our sin.”

    Side note–love Matt’s book (I’m part way through)!

    This C.S. Lewis quote was super convicting for me–
    “Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence
    for what sort of man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth?

    If there are rats in the cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding.

    In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.”

    I don’t want to be a wife and mama who tears down my house with my own hands (Proverbs 14:1).

    Praise God who gives grace and forgiveness.
    Praise God who redeems my failures.
    Praise God who changes hearts and heals hurts.
    Praise God…who sees the rats in my cellar…and still doesn’t give up on me.

  36. Oh goodness, I needed this tonight. Been having several days like this. Thank you for the reminder of how good and merciful our God is. :)

  37. Thank you Katie for your sharing. I’m struggling the same thing, often lost my control to my kids. I feel so bad, cannot be a good mom, etc. Thank you for the message you shared, I am encouraged so much. Thank God I can join in this blog so I find an encouraging community in a life of motherhood. I know the grace of God will be enough for me everyday :)

  38. Deborah says:

    Hi there! I’m new to the blog and readings, but I must say in just the few days of discovering the site, I feel so refreshed and enlightened because I have had many moments sitting awake at night while my husband is at work (he’s a firefighter) thinking about how and why I do not feel like I’m being a great mom. Whether it’s because I complained about them being messy at dinner, not brushing their teeth until the umpteenth time i asked them to, or not spending enough time reading bedtime stories or talking about their day because I wanted to get to bed too. I work full time and so a part of me already feels guilty for not having enough time to spend with the kids, but then I find myself trying to get them to bed on time so that I can get the house cleaned up and ultimately have time to myself. It means I get frustrated sometimes, I feel defeated, and I feel like I let them down one way or another. Then I lie in bed, saddened, and pray for forgiveness and guidance on how to be a better mom. I admit, I am a perfectionist and I work really hard at everything which means I want to be the “perfect” mom, if there is such a thing, and I feel so far from it. I know I do not need to be a “perfect” mom, but I at least want my children to someday say they have the “perfect” mom, whatever that means to them. I want to be a better Christian, more devoted to the Lord and his teachings so that I may grow in spirit to help guide my children to know Jesus and to know how so very much I love them and how much He loves them. I love that I found you all, and I am grateful for the readings and for being able to connect with other moms who go through the thoughts and daily grind that I do and who are willing to share their experiences. So, to finally chat about the topic of yelling at the kids, I am guilty of it and I feel the guilt of it afterwards and I only hope the next day brings a new day of patience for me.

    • Deborah,
      You are not alone…we all often feel like we don’t measure up to our own expectations. I think it’s just a byproduct of loving so deeply. We want to give our children the very best.

      I choose to be encouraged by small daily progress. I am a more patient mom than I was a year ago. I’m definitely not perfect, but I’m learning and growing and maybe having our children say that we were constantly growing as moms is better than giving them an image of perfection that they feel the need to live up to.

      I’m praying for you tonight for encouragement and for an ever deepening relationship with God and your children. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your heart here. I look forward to getting to know you.

  39. Thank you so much Kat! I, too, desire to be encouraged by small daily progress, and you hit home by commenting on allowing our children to see us grow and learn as moms instead of having to try and live up to an image of perfection. I thank you kindly and now look forward to these daily journeys!

  40. I know this was posted quite some time ago, but I have a serious issue and struggle with yelling at my child all the time. My brain knows it’s counter productive and my brain knows that he’s a 4 year old with his own emotions and heart strings and every time I act that way (and it’s often) I am breaking them.

    He’s so combative, so disagreeable, so defiant, just so difficult. Isn’t this time supposed to be the years we cherish? I can’t wait until they are over. I yell, and then I hate myself for it. His behavior pushes me to the brink just about every day and then I fall over that brink and I hate myself for it. I need God’s help out of this vortex that is sucking the joy out of our lives, but it just doesn’t come.

    • Oh Christie, you are not alone!

      My oldest son’s forth year was the most difficult for me. I wasn’t ready for the defiance that cam along! People talk about the terrible twos, but I think 3.5-4.5 is SO MUCH WORSE!!

      It will get better. My son is now the sweetest thing.

      If I could go back, I would loosen up a bit. Not necessarily on discipline, but on which “hills to die on”. So many times I ended up in a power struggle, for the sake of showing him that mommy is in charge. He needed to know that, but not over silly things.

      Lord, bring wisdom and strength! Show Christie hope in the hard time!

  41. I can’t tell you how much I needed this post. I have been so frustrated with my babies lately. My boys Almost 7, as daughter is 5. I have felt increasingly defeated. I try to remind them that through their continuous quarrels, they are allowing the devil a foot hold in our home, and they seem to totally understand, but everything with kids is now, a moment, nothing’s last tomorrow. It’s hard. My throat literally hurts from getting done yelling at them. And you know when and after you do it, that It will solve nothing. That is will only make things worse. Then you condemn yourself and worry that this is who they will remember. The mom who alwYs yelled at us and had no patience. I’m sad that I’m so fed up. But I can’t understand the disrespect for me, and each other. Teachers say they are perfect FYI.

  42. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me.

    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  43. Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

  44. Wow this was such an incredible blessing to me. I have 2 toddler boys and WOW they are amazing, but I am a stay at home mom and I feel like I wake up in the morning and within an hour I’ve already lost my patience! I hate yelling and the guilt that consumes me daily, can really take its toll. Thank you for the reminder.

  45. If you have a strong relationship with God, I would not beat yourself up too much. In the bible, it promotes yelling and spanking. They preach this at some fundamental churches. For me, I am an atheist, so I feel awful when I yell at my kids and I don’t have an excuse to be the way I am. God said that it is okay. God says I can’t kill people but I can punish them but depending on the situation I will change my sayings later so that you have something to quote that will prove your point. Either way, I blame only myself and I am disappointed in myself when I do that and I love my kids. For the most part I am patient but when I get like that I think, this is not how I was raised, or maybe it was…we model after our parents. So, I had a good childhood but I seriously had to look at my flaws when I became a parent and where these flaws came from so that I could make a positive change.

  46. I had a morning just as you described. My husband has been away for about a week out of country on a missions trip, the kids are not sleeping well and I just yelled (no screamed is more like it) at them…..again. My older one finally spoke up and said “Mom stop yelling”. That stopped me in my tracks and them the self condemnation washed over me again and the memories of my Mom doing the same when I was little. I just goggled “Biblical help for yelling at my kids” and your web sight came up. As I began to read your post I began to weep. Thank you for being so transparent and honest. Jesus is so good to us, He does not condemn us, wow! I needed to hear this and confess. I don’t want to keep this sin a secret anymore because it is keeping me in bondage and I need others to pray for me. I want to gain the victory over this area of my life.

  47. Heart Latoya says:

    I yell at my kids a lot and it is often easy to forget that Jesus love me no matter what I do. I thank him because he loves Shelly and Kara too when I scream sometimes. I will always pray to be better and I will forever pray because his love is great and warm. So kind is his love to us to make us be beter. Great post!

  48. payusita says:

    Oh I feel so sad today and this post and the comments are of some comfort. Today I feel like the worst mom in the world. The yelling and the being angry at my lovely daughter does not stop. I m on my knees pleading to Gos to help me conquer this huge battle. I want to be a happier mom, i am in tears.
    ..!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] in my “achievements” at home—keeping the house clean, feeding my children well, or not yelling at them—because I ultimately failed in those never-ending [...]

  2. [...] always known that nagging isn’t the way to go in parenting my kids, and I really do hate yelling at them. But, the reality is my kids often to not move until I’ve told them something three or four [...]

  3. [...] always known that nagging isn’t the way to go in parenting my kids, and I really do hate yelling at them. But, the reality is my kids often to not move until I’ve told them something three or four [...]

  4. [...] to have memories of me, tear stained and crying in the corner. I pray they will forget the anger, the yelling, and my head buried in the puzzle. I hope they don’t recognize when I run to my phone and [...]

  5. […] I also love this post from Kat at Inspired to Action (for days when I don’t quite make the goal): What Goes Through My Head After Yelling at My Kids. […]

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