Thursday, January 23, 2014

Targeting Trouble Spots

My hearts desire is to be a kind and loving wife and mom. I really want my kids to look back on their childhood with happy memories of a happy and cheerful mom.

I'm not talking about being fake or inappropriately cheerful. I certainly want to show my kids that I'm human and in need of grace just like they are. I'm talking about the kind of cheer that Proverbs speaks of when talking about the Proverbs 31 woman. The one who has kindness on the tip of her tongue, and laughs at the time to come.

I've noticed that I have a tendency to get irritable, and sometimes downright angry, when certain things aren't going the way I had envisioned. I call these times trouble spots. I've noticed getting the kids out the door in order to be somewhere on time(especially first thing in the morning) can bring out my dark side. 

Another trouble spot for me is during what I like to call "transition" times. The times when I'm getting the kids back into the house from going somewhere. It doesn't matter if it's coming home from the grocery store, coming home from church, or even coming home from a wonderful outing at the park, something about getting everyone inside and making sure their shoes are in the right spot can really bring out my frustration.

Obviously, I don't want to be like this, so I've taken some steps to help me target some of these trouble spots.

1. Pray! Seriously I can't stress this one enough. A lot of times when we're driving home from somewhere I'll pray for grace to speak kindly to my kids. It's amazing how simply praying to have a better attitude works!

2. Keep life simple. I lead a pretty simple life(says the homeschooling mom to five children under the age of six.) What I mean is, I say no to a lot of outside commitments, and we stay home most of the time. We do get out of the house, but for the most part it's for play dates on Fridays where things are pretty casual and we don't have to be there at a specific time. Get rid of stuff. Clutter stresses me out, so the less stuff we have the simpler life is around here.

3. Do everything you don't want to do first. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I want is a cup of coffee, and some time to wake up. However, on busy mornings I have found that it's helpful to get showered and dressed first, and then drink some coffee or take it with me in the van. The same goes for the kids, if I make sure they are dressed all the way to their shoes and coats and then feed them breakfast I find that I'm way less likely to start snapping at them.

4. Train them at different times. This is something I need to get better about, honestly. I have friends who teach their kids how to get ready to go somewhere(they call it getting in the van 101), that way when it actually is time to go somewhere their kids know exactly what they're suppose to be doing.

5. Be willing to say you're sorry. It's just a fact, we are going to mess up sometimes and get angry when things aren't going the way we had planned. I wish this wasn't the case, but it's true. But it's also a wonderful opportunity to point our kids to Jesus, and remind them that we aren't perfect and need Jesus's help to obey just as much as they do.

Anyone else struggle with these trouble spots? What have you found to be helpful?

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  1. New follower here :) I also found your husbands blog and laughed and laughed my way through all his posts. As a mom of three, three and under, I can relate in so many ways.

    1. Thank you, Racheal! That makes my day that you liked Erik's blog so much! It is hilarious, isn't it? :)


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