It's 12:30 and I'm getting irritated. I can feel it happening. After a rushed breakfast,and trip out the door,we are in the car with a list of things to do.
Post office (25 minutes in line)-check. Wal-Mart (you have to pee again?)-check. Gas station
(61.00 for a fill up,yikes)- check.
All the while,squeals are coming from the backseat.
"Mommy,I'm hungry!" (That's Julianna)
"Wahhhhhhh!" (That's Matilda)
"Mommy,can I have a snack out of my bag?" (No,you've already eaten a box of raisins AND a lollipop)
..And so it continues. And by the time I unbuckle car seats,I feel myself cracking. After pulling Tillie out and carrying her to the door,I notice someone is missing. Quick check around reveals Julianna is in the car screaming because I got to the front door before her. Back to the car to hold her hand so she can get out and run ahead of us to get to the door first.
..So,it's 12:30 and two hungry kids are waiting at the table for their lunch. I am hungry,too. I know it will be a while before I can grab something out of the pantry. So,I serve lunch- peanut butter and jelly,applesause and a side of bad attitude.
Julianna spills her juice,and I am neither kind or gentle while helping her clean it up. I yell at Tillie for throwing goldfish on the floor. I know- KNOW- that I am not having a happy heart,but I can't seem to stop myself. I lay Tillie down,and she screams. I lay Julianna down and she screams.
And I'm standing in the hallway,looking at two closed doors,listening to two babies scream,and wondering where it went wrong?
It comes down to one thing- ATTITUDE- and it's mine we're talking about here.
Oh,I truly desire to be that grace-filled,loving mother that is always gentle in correcting her children. I long to have a home that is peaceful and loving all the time.
What I do know,is that when I AM gentle and loving,and having a good attitude,my children respond much better to me.
I notice a huge difference between walking into Julianna's room in the morning and saying 'Good morning,sweetheart! It's a beautiful day outside,we're going to have a great day together' and 'Hey hon! Time to get up,we need to be out the door in 45 minutes,let's go,hurry up!' Days that start off like the latter always end in tears,for one or both of us.
So,what works in the fight against a bad attitude?
1)Prayer -This is your first line of defense. Go to God with your frustrations,and ask him to pour his grace onto you.
Matthew 21:22- And all things,whatever you ask believing,you shall receive.
2) Quiet time - This is the time where you open the Bible,ask the Lord to open your eyes to your sin,and find some scripture reference. For example,if I'm having a bad day in the child department,I might read Proverbs 31. I would highlight verse 26,and meditate on it,praying that God would make my words kind.
Proverbs 31:26- She opens with her mouth with wisdom,and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
3) Train yourself to be Godly- 1 Timothy 4:7. Ask God for help,but don't sit around waiting for Him to make life perfect for you! You have to be willing to do some work yourself. Realize what your triggers are. Are you planning too many activities into one morning? Are you waking up late,therefore throwing off your schedule? Are you organized and prepared to tackle your to-do list,or throwing things together at the last minute?
One thing that has helped me is getting everything together the night before,and laid by the front door. I have water bottles for each of us,and they are filled the night before and put in the front of the refrigerator. I fill up snack containers,and make sure my diaper/wipe case is full. I plan outfits for the next morning,and even lay my towels and washrag on the bathroom counter before bed,so I just have to pop one eye open,and hop in the shower upon waking. Taking these small steps has helped us have LESS days like the one I described above. We still venture back to that place every once in a while,but when I review our day,I can see where I've made a mistake.
My children are vessels,and I am responsible for filling them with good things. The number one way to do this is model good behavior. And so,in ending,it's important to say that many times I have gathered my darlings into my arms and apologized for yelling/mean words/less than gentle actions. I ask my children for forgiveness,and humbling though it is,it's always worth it!
Father God,thank you for my children. They are a most precious gift! Help me to glorify you each day with my words and actions. Amen.