How Can We Love Them in the Moments We Really Want to Strangle Them?
Last night was sucky. The cherubs were in prime summer agitation mode. They have been home too much, around each other too much and just off schedule all together. They were bickering, nitpicking and just being all round rotten. One is passive aggressive, one is aggresive aggresive and the other two do a variation. I had reached my limit.
When I reach my limit I usually do this thing where I feel that since I have been patient enough I now am justified to let loose. Honestly, it always made me feel better to yell. I come from a long line of yellers. It is a comfort zone thing. I am making progress on breaking that pattern but every once in a while….
Anyway, as I lie there in bed fuming, getting more and more irritated I prayed. This is my favorite prayer for these times. It goes something like this, “Dear God, I would like to beat all my cherubs right now. I am really mad and fed up and frankly I do not like them at this moment. Please help me to love them the way they need to be loved right now”
The end part of this prayer always keeps me from jumping over the ledge. It gives me perspective that this is temporary and that my cherubs need something specific.
I take a deep breath and go into the living room. I, relatively calmly, ask them to separate and leave each other alone. They argue, they defend their positions, but I am silent. (Silence and prayer are the two most powerful parenting tools around.) This is followed with some hugs and more of me insisting they leave each other alone. It is truly amazing to watch. When I yell and get in the mix it turns into this ridiculous moment of explosion and strife but when I am silent and hug the situation just fizzles. Don’t stoke the fire mommas. Let it die.
I may not get the initial satisfaction I get when I yell, but this ends up being so much more peaceful and effective.
I figure God is always loving us the way we need, even when we act up, so I should try and extend that same love to my family.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Kris Moriarty is a full time working mother of 3 teenage boys and 1 tween girl. She is married to a man she calls Mr. Incredible. Her blog, Just Your Average Momma, is about Faith, Family, Food, Fashion and Beer (all of my favorite things in one place). She is taking her average hands on experience and passing it along to all of you average mommas. Kris says,”We are all in this together, we need a community of real mommas, not the ones we see on social media” Check out her blog Just Your Average Momma!