Sigh. I have learned this lesson before. Being a mean mommy doesn’t get you anywhere with your kids. But sometimes I don’t learn very well.
And let’s face it; it just feels good to raise your voice and yell and huffily point and say “Arg!” and stamp your feet. Hmmm… I think I just described a 3-year old, but I’m talking about me!
It feels good in the moment because it’s of the flesh. All of that nastiness in my heart just flies out of my every pore.
And if you let it come out once, it just creates a tidal wave of mean momminess. Those little tiny cracks that you think aren’t a big deal? All of a sudden they break open completely and mean mommy takes the lead.
Well I sure don’t want her to win! Thank you, God, for giving us the Holy Spirit to remind me when I’m being a mean mommy to ask for forgiveness from my kids, to accept grace, and to take on the fruits of the spirit when raising my children.
And for the power – because you know what – nice mommy better have a full-fledged arsenal to beat down that nasty lady.
My tool belt is loaded with:
– truth. Having God’s word at hand goes a long way at conquering that mean spirit.
– grace. For myself and for my kids. Giving “mercy” when punishment is deserved. After the “I’m sorry”s, big hugs and love and fun times being had.
– a beat. I need to take a pause before deciding on that punishment. What is really deserved? Am I giving punishment because I’m angry or because it is what’s needed? Is this offense better handled with a conversation?
– a quiet voice. Instead of yelling, “Go to time out RIGHT NOOOOOOOWWWWWW!” let’s try “Go to time out.” in my regular ol’ voice. It accomplishes much more, let me tell ya.
– Mommy time out. When I feel angry and out of control, I go sit in my room for a minute and pray, “God Help me with these children. Give me wisdom. Show me what to do and how.”
Lord, help us who are mommies to view our role as the outpouring of your goodness that it is. When we’re weary, give us the strength to love and to draw from you for our words and actions. I pray our children see you in us. I know we can’t reflect that, so let us instead always reflect the gospel.
What tools do you use to beat down that mean mommy?