A few weeks ago I shared something with my email subscribers–one of the more intimate “secret” posts I send to them that I do not post to the blog. (Psst! If you want to get them, too, you can sign up for free here). It was all about what my priest taught me in the confessional.
When I confessed losing my temper with my kids and being consistently impatient and frustrated, he told me to pray. But he didn’t tell me to pray for patience, instead he suggested asking God for surrender. He believed the anger and yelling is a result of the fear of not being in control. It was such an “aha” moment for me.
I have noticed lately that YES that’s when I lose it. When we need to get in the car NOW and one kid still hasn’t put her shoes on even though I have reminded her 6 times to do so and now we’re going to be late to Jiu Jitsu and I am completely not in control of the situation and BAM! Mom explosion.
Or when the sibling bickering gets insufferable and I start yelling (so helpful, right?) for it to JUST STOP. And I realize that I’m actually terrified. Terrified that my kids won’t learn to love each other the way they should. That they won’t be close when they grow up. That they’ll have trouble getting along with spouses and friends. I am scared and so I yell.
I haven’t conquered this problem. But I am noticing when it happens and why it happens. Parenthood puts us in situations that we cannot 100% control. And my prayer is to grow in this regard–to surrender myself to the interruptions, worries, frustrations and trust in God rather than grasp for control that I cannot have and will not achieve not matter how loud I yell or furiously stomp my feet.
I recently had a very terrifying health scare. After some tests, everything seems just fine but I did have some dark and awful thoughts. If I have to leave my family soon, will my kids remember me as the woman who was always yelling at them? And it broke my heart.
So I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot. I’ve tried to be more intentional about leaving plenty of time for things like loading up in the car so that even if it takes forever, I’m not freaking out and tempted to yell. I’ve also been prioritizing self-care which makes a HUGE difference on my patience levels. If I’m not depleted and burnt out, I’m much more likely to handle parenthood graciously. But those moments of stress will still happen no matter how carefully I plan my time, so I’ve also been trying to change my own heart and habits so that my first response isn’t to lose it. Because my kids are so precious to me! They’re the last people on the planet I’d want to lose my temper with.
And I know I’m not the only mom who struggles with keeping her temper. Anytime I’ve been vulnerable with a friend about the yelling, they’ve said, I’m so glad you told me because I do the same thing and I feel so guilty. We shouldn’t feel alone and ashamed. We should support each other toward change.
As soon as I heard that writer/blogger Lisa Jo Baker had created a Temper Toolkit course for learning to control your temper when dealing with your children, I thought, “Oh my gosh, I need that.” The introductory video spoke right to my heart. I felt like she was describing me. I never struggled to control my temper until I had kids. I would NEVER have described myself as an angry person. And here I am struggling every single day.
This course is not about guilting you about how bad it is to yell at your kids. I think as moms we all already carry plenty of guilt around and we KNOW we don’t want to be losing our tempers. We don’t need someone to tell us that. What we need is help so we can stop and I think that’s exactly what this course offers.
I don’t want to be the mom who yells. I want to be the mom who can model control, patience, and kindness for my children. I want my kids to remember feeling cherished and treasured, not barked at by a stressed-out woman raging around the house. I know my temper is much more under control now than it used to be a couple of years ago. I’m not dealing with pregnancy or post-partum hormones and I’m not overwhelmingly stressed out with a cross country move, career changes, etc. But I’m homeschooling, working from home, and writing a book in addition to all the typical life stuff to deal with like maintaining a house, buying groceries, and getting everyone to dentist appointments. Life is still full and always will be, right? I can’t wait for that imaginary time when there’s no stress to fix myself.
So I highly recommend the Temper Toolkit. Lisa Jo is so relatable and brings a Christian perspective to this problem so many of us face in our parenting. I am learning a ton and I want to encourage you to join me in conquering this struggle in motherhood. I’m human and will continue to make mistakes, but I want yelling to be the exception, not the rule. I owe that to my kids and to myself.
The Temper Toolkit course is usually $29 but through Monday, May 1st it’s included (along with my newest ebook and 104 other great resources) in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. So you can get the Temper Toolkit and dozens of other ebooks and ecourses on organization, intentional living, self-care, marriage, finances, healthy recipes, and parenting to help you make your home a place of peace–it’s worth over $1980 and if you grab it now it’s only $29.97!
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