Allow me to share with you my biggest struggle as a mom - yelling. There, I've said it. I'm very ashamed of that. Yesterday I
Right now I'm reminded of what a dear old friend calls the "do-do" verse - Romans 7:15 For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. You see, I want to be a gentle mom. I do not want to ever yell or scream or be angry when dealing with my children.
What can one do to be a better mom? I've been studying and praying and here is what I've come up with. It is my messing up that drives me to my knees and to the Word. Once I'm there I soak up the goodness of the grace of God. I fail, He loves me still. I sin, He forgives me. Every mom has times of struggle and there is only one place to go - to God. In my own strength I regularly blow it. I'm trusting in HIS ability to change me.
A Better Mom...
- Pray to start the day. Pray when I feel myself getting angry. Pray for my children. Philippians 2:13 For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
- Stay in the Word. Read it, memorize it, soak it up, meditate on it, read it again. Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
- Confess my sins to God. I must also know that He forgives me. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Find an accountability partner. Share my struggle with a godly woman and ask her to pray with me and for me. Ask her to hold me accountable and to check in regularly to ask how it is going. 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
- Make changes in my diet and sleep habits. I have terrible eating habits and I average 5 hours of sleep per night. I've got to look at my intake of caffeine and my blood sugar levels and make changes if I want to be a better mom. 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own?
- Find healthy ways to deal with stress, like exercise. I'm dealing with a lot of stress in my life. Most all of us do at some point. There are medical issues with one of my daughters, one of my sons, and my husband. There are issues with extended family members. There is stress that is sometimes just the result of running a large family. The only way I am going to become a better mom is to find healthy ways to deal with stress. 1Corinthians 2:5 Your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
- Schedule myself some breaks. I really cannot tell you the last time I had a break of any kind. My husband and I have not been on a date in years. I have not had time alone in a long time. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying to be a better mom that has to change. It is time to ask a family member to come down for a visit and help me. It is time to schedule a date night with my husband. It is time to schedule a break for me the same way I schedule a 6 month checkup at the dentist. Is it time for you to do this also? Taking occasional breaks is an important part of managing stress. I would surely be a better mom if I had a tiny bit of outside help once in a great while. I need to conquer my fear of asking a grandparent to come down and help with the younger kids. I've asked before with no success. If I'm truly going to be a better mom, it's time to get up the nerve and ask again. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls".
There is one more thing I want to address. I have been noticing a pattern in myself. I have these "episodes" at the exact same time every month. For 3 weeks I am a pretty good mom, for one week I am screaming and/or crying. I share this because I feel many women may struggle similarly in silence. Depression, PMS, anxiety disorders and other hormone related issues are often hidden as dirty secrets in the community of Christian women. One might be looked down upon if she struggles with depression - if she is a "true Christian" shouldn't she have the joy of knowing Jesus? I'm NOT making excuses for sin. What I AM suggesting is that there may be a medical issue which should be discussed with a doctor. For me this is certainly something I am watching and praying about. If you have a struggle like I do, you may want to discuss with your doctor also.
If I asked you what you think would help you to be a better mom, what would you say? Maybe you have done something that has helped you to become a better mom. Would you send an email or post a comment and share with me? I would love your input. I'm interested in anything you might want to share...a book, a practical tip...a verse. Consider sharing with my readers and me what makes you a better mom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.