Humble Pie and Anger Management

Sawyer says to me the other day, “Don’t yell. I want you to be a good mommy.” Whoa—time to take a step back and evaluate what’s going on in our house. Am I really an angry mom? Am I becoming one of those yelly mom’s that hurt your heart when you hear them talk to their children? Not me…or should I take a moment to reflect on my actions and attitudes?

I have been home full time with my two children since the end of May. I knew transitioning to the stay-at-home mom life would be an adjustment, but I was surprised at how I initially found my children so irritating. After all, I do love them so much and I have such vision for their life and deep motivation to see them develop into Godly, smart, responsible people. But it is so frustrating to have to repeat yourself over and over and let’s not even start talking about potty training which is the bane of my existence right now. One thing is for certain, bringing up children will surely bring every ungodliness to the surface of your own life. I kept asking myself….why am I so angry right now? Me and my two year old son came to heads more than once. I felt frustrated, disappointed, and dare I say fearful that I wasn’t measuring up as a mom. Not only that, I certainly wasn’t measuring up to God’s standard of love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Wow–these verses becomes so much more powerful when you realize how tall an order living this way really is. I can’t think of any other relationship other than my marriage where living this out in everyday practice is more imperative. Sawyer is learning from me and Lucy is too–Did you know children as young as four months can tell the difference between a happy and an angry voice. Yikes!
After a lot of prayer about my anger problems, I did what any over-educated first time parent would do–I checked a book out from the library so I could get some “expert” advice.

The book I am reading right now is How to Behave so Your Preschooler Will Too by Sal Severe.

Here’s what I like about the book:
It is targeted towards parents and encourages parents to take responsibility for their actions while reminding them of the importance of their role as models and life-shapers for their children.

It gives great examples of positive discipline. Which I am willing to admit I need some help and guidance when it comes to not stating directions and warnings in the negative.

It provides the reader with excellent summaries of the best of many developmental findings and relates them directly to child behavior and parenting.

So far the only thing I don’t like is that like many secular books on the market, human understanding is interpreted from an evolutionary scientific point of view rather than from coming from an intelligent design point of view. But, put on your critical thinking hat and sift though the mumbo jumbo to gain valuable information on God’s awesome creativity and intentions for human beings—especially children!

If nothing else, reading this book is helping me step back from the anger trap I have so easily fallen into and allowed me to see myself critically. Not only that, this self-evaluation is providing hope that I can control my tongue, my emotions, and become the positive (not perfect) role model God has called me to become as a mom.

What next? Well, I am going to take some notes from my reading to post on the refrigerator as a regular reminder. And I certainly want to remain soft-hearted when it comes to recognizing my sin and weaknesses so that God can be the center of our home and I get out of the way of what He wants to do in my family.

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