I just want to sing, “Nobody said it was easy”…
I often sing it out loud in the midst of household chaos.
My children… they are learning and testing. I have three children, ages four and under. I hear it gets much better and much easier, especially with the boys, so we shall see!
However, I totally understand the anger and impatience that can find us as mothers. Sometimes I feel like anger and impatience are like those Aunts at family parties that hunt you down to give you big smooches and leave lipstick all over your face. You feel like you have no control over the situation, and then you’re left with a crimson stain…
It doesn’t have to be like that though. We can learn to smother anger and persevere with patience!
A large part of persevering as a mother, is to remember that we are NOT battling our children, but we are battling our feelings. Feelings do NOT always lead to truth, so they should not dictate our actions. Feelings and thoughts can come from the enemy!
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s
schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against
the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of
evil in the heavenly realms.” -Ephesians 6:11-12
It can be a daily battle, which is why it is so important for us to start our day with the Lord and clothe ourselves with the Armor of God. In the morning, I try to fill myself up the Word of the Lord, which is the “Sword of the Spirit”, and pray to prepare for my day.
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.” -Ephesians 6:17-18
Remembering that our children are not our true battle can be a great step towards successfully overcoming our anger and impatience. In the same way, it is important to remember that a child does not always act out to purposely misbehave. Usually they are just reacting to their feelings that they do not yet know how to cope with! We need to help them understand their feelings, and teach them how to cope with them positively.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes
from the gospel of peace.” -Ephesians 6:14-15
Children are always watching. They notice how we react to different feelings and situations, and they learn from us. So if we react to frustrations and annoyances in anger, they too will learn to react in the same manner. If they witness us lose control, yell, or hit, they too will believe that is how to react. If they watch us give up when situations become difficult, they too will give up and therefore will not learn perseverance.
Find what works for you! Stop and breathe. Walk away from the situation to calm down. Quote scripture that gives you strength (I have helpful scriptures posted all over my house). Sing! Ask God, who so graciously gives, for patience. Calm however you need to, then approach your child with love and grace, just as the Father shows love and grace to us.
If we manipulate them, shame them, threaten them, and punish them for reacting to their feelings (no matter what those feelings are and whether we think they are right or wrong for having them), they may never grow into the self-confident, loving, gracious, forgiving, (the list goes on) joyful people that we desire them to be! Instead, we need to be prepared with the armor of God, and filled with the fruits of the Spirit, to be able to MODEL positive, self-controlled actions. Listen to their little, yet big, feelings! We need to be able to lead them with love when they are angry. Support, encourage, and guide them to persevere and smother their feelings of frustration.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Let us show them that we have faith in them; that we know they can overcome! Let us teach them to put on the armor of God daily, but show them grace when they need to be guided through their feelings and reactions. If you struggle with anger and impatience like I sometimes do, then you have however many years of practice in reacting. Give yourself grace! I know Jesus does. He can wipe away that crimson stain…
Allow yourself to search for joy in those difficult moments. Let us look at those moments as learning opportunities for BOTH us AND our child. Let us try to be a good example of Christ because sadly they won’t see Him in much of this world today. Day by day, we can overcome anger and impatience in motherhood. Love and grace.
-How do you overcome anger and impatience in motherhood? Any questions? Did you enjoy this post? Please leave your comments below!