Sunday Morning Breakfast

Ever have one of those days where you are certain that your children are trying to drive you crazy?

So far this morning, they have taken my lovely decorative flowers and ripped them apart from the stems, taken handfuls of goldfish and crushed them in their hands and then thrown them all over the kitchen floor, thrown a *not so soft* ball in the direction of their baby sister, and rambunctiously climbed up the back of the couch and jumped from table to couch, table to couch, over and over and over again.

Okay, so maybe they really aren’t out to get me. Maybe it’s really not that bad. Maybe, its 117 degrees outside and the heat is making us all mad. Whatever the case, I know I am called to respond differently than I have this morning.

Let’s just say that I may be genetically predisposed to having a short temper. However, a mean, angry person is far from how I, and many who know me, would describe myself. But in that moment, the moments of finding my things carelessly destroyed, or messes intentionally made, or even the thought of my sweet, innocent baby being harmed… those moments I feel as if I can’t hold back.

It comes out. The angry calling of my children’s names. The fuming huffs and puffs. Even the spankings that don’t teach a single lesson. It’s all quite embarrassing to admit. But I am human: a flawed, temperamental human.
It’s time to be honest with myself.

Do I want my children to grow up afraid that their mother will fly off the handle at the silliest little mistakes? Most definitely not!

Do I want my children to miss the lessons in those small, or large mistakes? Not in the slightest.

And I must remember that there is a middle ground to the two extremes. A place of lovingly showing them the error that has been made and correcting the behavior. All-the-while simultaneously allowing them to know that their father and I will not allow them to be disrespectful, hurtful or disobedient. We all need those boundaries.

Some days I feel as if I have mastered this dance of lovingly laying down the law, other days I feel like I am back to square one. The good news is my children are accustomed to the need for forgiveness and know that need applies to mommy too.

It’s time to practice pausing.  {Thinking before I respond, taking a deep breath, counting to ten, saying “I love you” before I respond in a way I might regret.}

It’s a moment to soak up the grace that is being offered, even when I feel my anger is justified.

A moment of humility. A moment of peace. A moment for growth.

Will you join me?

Do you have any tips for not losing your cool with your little ones? Let us know what they are!

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