Sweet Mama, are you worn out? Frustrated? Do you feel like you just can’t get it together? Well, you are not alone. I’ve been there a time or two or three or…maybe a hundred. Ahem.
Motherhood is awesome. But, let’s be honest — it can be difficult and frustrating as well.
I got a call from my son’s elementary school principal last week. My heart sank when I saw the school’s name on my cell phone, but I still answered it with the calmest, cool-as-a-cucumber kind of voice that I could muster. The principal quickly said, “Don’t worry. No one is in trouble.”
Then, she kindly told me that if my son had one more tardy, he would have to go to dentention after school.
Ahem. Oh, man.
I told her that he probably got most of those tardies last week, and she agreed.
Yes. My kiddo got four tardies in one week. It was one of those weeks, you know? One of those weeks when no matter how much you plan or how hard you try, things just don’t seem to go like you want them to.
Err. Those weeks are so frustrating.
So, how can things get better? Do we just accept it?
Well, yes and no. We can’t let our frustration win. We must be mindful of what we believe about ourselves, our children, and our job as mamas. Dwelling on lies, temporary truths, or even regret will only make us more frustrated.
We’ve got to cling to what’s true and remind ourselves of what a great blessing it is to be a mom.
So, here are 4 truths for the FRUSTRATED MOM:
1.This season is temporary.
Sometimes, all the craziness of chasing young toddlers, running elementary kids to ball practice or ballet rehearsals, and making sure teenagers adhere to their curfews can seem like an exhausting cycle with no end in sight. But, the truth is this season is temporary. We only have these precious kiddos in our home for a short time. I often hear the saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.”. How true that is! The more we can realize this truth the less likely we will allow our frustration to distract us and steal our joy.
2. Every child makes mistakes.
Whenever my chldren have been in trouble at school or church, I’m rightfully disappionted in them when they knowingly made a wrong choice. But, sometimes, my disappointment turns into full on anger because of my pride. I get embaressed. I mean, that’s MY kiddo who’s throwing the fit. That’s MY child who was disrespectful. I start feeling other parent’s eyes on me like chicken pox whenever my kids have a meltdown in public, but honestly, that’s just my pride messing with me. Every child makes mistakes. When I recognize this truth, I am more likely to approach my children with a graceful heart and less likely to punish them because their actions hurt my pride.
3. There are no perfect parents.
This is a BIG one, and yet, I think most of us have an internal battle with this one almost every day. The truth is we aren’t perfect. None of us. Not one. We make mistakes. We lose our tempers, raise our voices, and say things we wish that we could take back. But, the bottom line is that we don’t wallow in our past mistakes. We seek God’s forgiveness and move forward. We realize that God will forgive our repentant hearts, and He will help us to be the parents we need to be. He will give us the patience, grace, and words we need to raise our children the very best we can.
4. Worrying about what other people think is NOT going to change anything.
I struggle with this one. I’ve been that parent that wants to crawl into a hole…any available nearby hole, really, anywhere will do…when her child is screaming his head off at the grocery or throwing his food at a restaurant. It’s embarrassing. In those moments, I think about how I taught him better and I don’t deserve this and he is making me look bad. Yes. Lots of I’s and Me’s in there. So, when I step back and really look at the situation, I realize that I’m so upset because my child melting down is a real kick to my PRIDE as a parent. Yes, THAT word again.
Can you relate? One or two or even three bad public incidents with our children doesn’t mean that we are a bad parent. And, who cares what the apparent on-lookers think? Honestly, most of them are probably wishing they could do something to help and reflecting on their own experiences with children being difficult. Believe me, Sister, we aren’t alone in our struggle. Let’s not worry about what “so-and-so” thought when little Jimmy burped out loud at the restaurant the other day. Worry only steals our joy and makes us lose focus of what’s important.
For more on worry, check out “Hope for Those Who Worry”, by clicking here.
5. Kids will eventually get it right.
This may sound like some kind of sing-song, “Kumbaya” statement, but honestly, Friends, our kids WILL get it right. Proverb 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”. Parenting our children is one of the most worthwhile and important things we will ever do. We can’t lose hope. We must realize that we are training our children how to live God-honoring, self-sustaining, joy-filled lives, and this is a LONG process. Sometimes this means we step away for a few minutes before we lose our cool and say something hurtful. Every now and then, we may need to seek advice from a doctor, counselor, or parenting book to learn how to discipline each unique child the best we can. There will be lots of mistakes on the way — by us and by our children. This doesn’t mean that we stop trying.
Just because we have a frustrating day or month or year doesn’t mean that our kids will never get it right. We must BELIEVE in them, PRAY for them, and KEEP TEACHING them every single day. I love the promise of Proverbs 29:17. It says, “Discipline your son (or daughter), and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart (emphasis mine).
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