As we enter a new school year, I thought it might be a good time to encourage moms who want to have better reactions with their kids.
And just in case you aren’t feeling like mother of the year today, let me make you feel better. While I was packing lunches recently my daughter said with great urgency, “Mom, just make sure none of the food you are packing in my lunch is rotten.”
Alrighty then. A statement like that will just build your mom confidence ALL DAY LONG!
Do you ever have these little zingers that fly into your morning and sting your heart? I suspect you do. And it’s these kinds of things that can catch us off guard and start ratcheting up the tension that leads to coming unglued.
We don’t want to be unglued mamas. We don’t want to have mornings filled with unglued moments. So, today let’s think about what we do want our mornings to be filled with … love, peace, joy, sanity, kind words, and interactions with our kids that won’t be retold years later on some therapist’s couch.
Yes, that’s what we want.
But here’s the tricky part: I can’t control the unpredictable attitudes my kids are going to bring into each morning.
I can’t set my hope for a good morning on what my kids might or might not do. I must bring the attitude with which I want the morning to be filled. Just like Colossians 3:2 says, I have to set my mind on things from above … things from God.
A few years ago, my friend Angela Thomas challenged me with this “bring it” idea. We were talking about how sometimes when we show up to speak the audience seems a little lacking in energy. As a speaker, it’s really hard to step in front of an audience with very low energy. So, Angela decides what kind of energy the room needs to be filled with and she brings it as she steps on stage.
She focuses her energy on what she has control over.
She can’t control the mood of an audience any more than we can control the moods of our kids. But we can determine if a good mood is what we want as we pack lunches, sign last minute permission slips, and pile backpacks into the car, then we can make the choice to bring it.
Here are three reminders that will help us bring it:
1. Feelings are indicators not dictators.
I’m not always going to have blissful, happy feelings. I’m just not. But while my feelings may indicate I have some things to address, they don’t have to dictate a bad mood. It’s time for me to be the boss of my feelings and determine to bring the joy I want my home to be filled with today.
2. Bad moments don’t make bad mamas.
Have you ever caught yourself labeling the kind of mother you are in light of a few bad moments with your kids? “I’m not patient.” “I lose it all the time.” “I’m the most disorganized mother on the planet.”
But these labels won’t help us bring more joy into our mornings — they’ll just bog us down. Here’s the reality … just because I have an impatient moment doesn’t mean I’m an impatient mother. We need to stop the self-condemning labels by matching each negative moment with a positive reality. Maybe I had an impatient moment when I helped with homework last night but this morning I’m bringing patience in the way I helped my daughter find something to wear.
3. Find the joy treasure.
There will be a treasure hidden in the moments you experience this morning. Look for it.
Look for the way she tucks her curls behind her ears and ties the ribbon in her hair. Look for the way he fiddles with his hat trying to look cool. Take a snapshot this morning of this joy treasure. Don’t miss it. When you find it, tuck it in your heart and let it sink deep. These are the moments that form that wellspring of joy and help us keep bringing it.
Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness—these are the things with which we want to fill our mornings. Despite the circumstances we face and the attitudes of others, it is possible to have this wonderful atmosphere — if we decide to bring it.
If you’re ready to have better reactions for the start of this school year, sign up to have my 5 day Unglued Challenge sent to your email inbox! Click here for more information.
Today, I’m giving away 5 copies of Unglued to help relieve some of those stressful mornings. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below.