This is really hard for me to admit but I’m going to go ahead and do so today. Why? Because I recently had a bad day that made me feel like a bad mom. And I know I’m not alone in this. You’ve been there, right? All of us moms – no matter the age and stage – struggle with feeling like a bad mom at times.
Here’s the confession I’m making. Because I know if I struggle with this, there are countless other moms struggling with the same thing. So, deep breath, here goes.
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I yell at my kids sometimes. I don’t like it when I do and it never helps but I still find myself yelling.
I am a trained early childhood teacher, for goodness sakes! I taught Kindergarten and / or Preschool for 7 of my 10 teaching years. I know how to be calm. I know how to work with children at their development level. I know how to handle disobedience and temper tantrums. I am a generally calm person who is cheerful and positive. Little kids are my passion but my own? As much as I love them, they can still bring me to the point of yelling.
Some days, I find myself yelling after repeating for the 328th time to put on shoes now. Or I find myself yelling when Nathan looks at me defiantly and does exactly what I just told him not to do. Or Emma is in the midst of yet another temper tantrum because she’s 3. Or it’s just been a long day and the reason for yelling doesn’t matter much but I still lose my patience and yell.
I don’t like yelling at my kids but I didn’t think I did it much until Nathan called me on it. This happened two years ago now and I still remember it. Nathan was being a three year old boy and yelling, which was fine for a bit, until I asked him to stop. He kept yelling and yelling until I finally yelled, “Nathan! Stop yelling!” (Yes, I am fully aware of the irony of this moment.) My precious little boy stopped, and looked at me with his big, trusting eyes and said, “But Mom, you yell sometimes!”
And right there in that moment, my heart skipped a beat. I paused and quietly replied, “Yes, I do, Nathan. And I’m sorry about that. Mommy is going to work at not yelling as much. Will you forgive me?”
And he did and we moved on. But later that night, I started to do some soul-searching and prayed about this very thing. Because these days when I yell do feel like bad days, and bad days make me feel like a bad mom. It is these very moments that I am thankful for the grace and mercy of God who forgives me my many sins – including yelling at my children when there is no cause for the anger. I want to share this love, grace and mercy with my children.
You see, I don’t want to be a mom who yells because I’ve learned this simple fact. I know that the tone of our day is set by me as mom. If I’m stressed and yelling, the kids are going to act out in response. I know that but I needed some help in figuring out what to do.
Enter the wonderful Lisa-Jo Baker. I’ve long loved this honest, fellow Christian mom who writes about hard challenges of motherhood. Her amazing book, Surprised by Motherhood, is one of two books I think all moms need to read.
Well, Lisa-Jo has done it again. She developed a Temper Toolkit for Moms like me and you. It’s for the moms who yell on occasion and the moms who yell on a daily basis. It’s for all the moms who struggle with our temper. I bought this video series (which I don’t normally do) and soaked in all of Lisa-Jo’s understanding and wisdom.
The Temper Toolkit was full of important truths like these.
Having a bad day doesn’t make me a bad mom.
It’s one thing to love our kids, it’s completely different thing to like them.
When we feel our blood pressure rising, moms need to stop, drop, and take a time out. We need to ask for help to make this happen and not feel guilty about it.
You were given each of your kids on purpose, for a specific purpose.
Being a mom is the hardest calling you will ever have.
I am so thankful that Lisa-Jo took the time to record and share these videos and lessons. Interested? You can learn more about the Temper Toolkit on Lisa Jo’s blog here.
I hope you find it as encouraging as I did.
And moms? Remember this the next time you have a rough day. A bad day does not make you a bad mom.
PS If yelling isn’t your problem but you still struggle with those bad days of motherhood, here are a couple of other resources you might want to check out by another amazing, Christian mom and blogger – Crystal Paine. She has some great online resources available, all of which are priced very reasonably, for areas that moms deal with daily. Make Over Your Mornings is one of my favorites!