We all have flaws. We all have bad moments. We all have a dark side.
Mine is my temper. Sometimes I can control it, sometimes I lose it. The times I lose it are few and far between any more, thank goodness. I’ve learned some coping techniques to keep it at bay, my husband has learned how to recognize when I’m about to lose it and what will diffuse the situation. It’s been a team effort for sure.
*Not to mention I also take an absolutely wonderful natural supplement I affectionately refer to as my “happy pills” that helps keep my raging hormones regulated.
But sometimes, I still lose it. When I’m tired, or overwhelmed, or any number of other things that might be beyond my control, my resolve against my temper weakens. And I hate it when that happens. Especially as a mom. I love my son – and my future kids – and never want to lose my temper around them. I feel absolutely horrible when it happens. Ashamed, guilty, undeserving. I’m a grown woman! I should be able to handle this!
Yesterday, though, a friend of mine posted a guest post from a mom who has made it her mission to let other moms who struggle with anger know they’re not alone. Because that’s one of the biggest problems in dealing with anger as a mom – feeling alone. Afraid to talk about it. Afraid of being judged.
It was so refreshing and encouraging to read those words. I’d had a rough afternoon and was feeling pretty blue, wondering how I was ever going to handle having more than one child. But the writer summed up how to handle it in three simple steps (which I shall paraphrase in my own words – to get the full detail, read it here):
1. Get some time to yourself at the beginning of the day to talk to God and read the Word.
2. When something frustrating happens, react in the opposite spirit (positively).
3. Love your kids in their individual love language.
I almost cried while I was reading it. Because I haven’t been doing #1 on that list for a very, very long time. No wonder I’ve been struggling with 2 and 3.
At the end of the post, she asked how many of us could use a fresh start to this week, how many of us wanted to commit to those three simple things. I wanted to jump up and down! Because I can do those things. I know I can.
This week, I started getting up an hour before the baby’s breakfast so that I can cook and eat my own breakfast without him fussing in the highchair because he’s ready to get down and play. So all I did was add praying and reading my Bible for a few minutes to that hour of time. My prayers are nothing fancy – just talking to God, asking for patience for the day, praying for my husband. Then I’ll read a couple chapters in my Bible.
If the same frustrating things that happened yesterday happen again today, I will react in the opposite spirit. I will not get angry. Because getting angry is not productive and will not solve the problem. It is okay to feel frustrated, but what happens after that initial feeling is up to me.
And I will spend time loving my baby in his love language. As he gets older and more expressive, I’m learning what he likes – sometimes he just wants to be left alone on the floor with a soft blanket and some toys, sometimes he wants me to just sit next to him, sometimes he wants me to talk to him face to face, sometimes he wants to sit on my lap with a toy and alternate between playing and cuddling.
Three simple things.
And the knowledge that I’m not alone.
It’s a world of difference.