How to Stop Being a Mean Mommy

I noticed something strange about myself recently: When we are in public, I am much more harsh with my son, Samuel.

When it’s just the two of us, I seem to talk more gently, give more explanation, offer another chance, or take into account the fact that he’s tired or hungry or two years old.

But when we’re at someone else’s house or we’re at the grocery store or even if my mom or in-laws are at our house, Samuel gets a mommy who is much more likely to be angry and frustrated. A mommy who is going to discipline with swiftness or roll her eyes or make huffy noises.

Why is this?

It has nothing to do with Samuel.

It’s because of me. My insecurities as a mom.

I have bought the lie that my worth as a mom is directly related to how well my children behave.

Repeat with me: It’s a lie.

I have worth as a person because God bestows value on me! {Hallelujah!}

And yet I become psycho mom when my 2-year old decides he should see what happens when he hits a friend or screams or throws his toys on the floor – again.

Aren’t you thankful our Father in heaven doesn’t treat us like this? When we’re in public, trying to throw our toys around, smack-down on our friends, or let our boisterousness take over like a gong, He doesn’t look at us in frustration. He doesn’t need our behavior to be perfect for Him to be holy – he is holiness 100%. However, it’s interesting that how we act does have an affect on the world – we who claim Jesus as our Savior – the more Christ-like we are, the more we have an audience to share the gospel of Jesus with the world:

…so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16a, NIV)

So when I am losing my cool with Samuel, I can turn to my Father. I can:

  • Ask God for strength and patience – relying on Him to provide when I am weak.
  • Pray for my son more often. That he would come to know Jesus at a young age.
  • Give myself a timeout: Pause for a minute before disciplining, and ask myself if my harshness is really merited and sinless.
  • Model God’s grace to Samuel more. I can discipline in love, but I can also offer forgiveness that isn’t deserved.

And in all of this, I need to pray for myself:

  • That I would stop trying to gain the approval of others.
  • That I would let God’s grace act in my life more, instead of trying to “do it all”.
  • That I could be more like God, and that that would point others, including my children, to Him

Do you struggle with this temptation? How has the Spirit equipped you to fight it?

Daily Deals in Your City

6 thoughts on “How to Stop Being a Mean Mommy

  1. Donna kaminski

    Great article! Although I am way past the mothering stage of a 2 year old (my son is now 29…yikes!) I can however, still relate to this subject matter. I, like you and so many other mothers, also expected the best from my son in “public”. I wanted others to see in him what I saw, to love & accept him as I did. He was and is still is the apple of my eye, so any negative that came out of him was going to be a reflection of me, which does have some truth to it. But it was my pride that was more at steak. As long as he “looked good” than people would hold a higher opinion of ME. I didn’t realize that at the time that I felt that way, it took a looong time for me to come to that understanding. I thinks it’s wonderful you are there already! The school years get even harder when their friends & classmates begin to form opinions & your child tries to “please” them…than you begin to reflect on your parenting skills. It’s a tough world out there & without the armor of God we definitely lose. Thanks, this was so refreshing! God bless you & lil Samuel too!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Thanks Donna for your 29-year old widsom!!! I am so thankful for wisdom from moms who have been there and survived it all – especially Godly women!
      I am SOOOO not looking forward to handling school! I will need lots of help from above! 😉

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