Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I wonder if Mary ever raised her voice

Honestly, I don't much like myself right now. And this post is just as much for me as for anyone else. 

I don't get it.  Seriously.  How do some parents not raise their voices or yell at their kids? Can someone explain that to me? 


I seriously need to know.

I pray for patience.  I know God doesn't give me patience, but the opportunity to be patient. 

I pray for him to take my temper away from me. But I know he gives me the opportunity to control my temper.

Sometimes I am really good at being patient and controlling my temper.

Other times....

Well, to say it honestly.....

I suck at it.

I love my kids.  The only things I love more are God and my husband.  I would do anything for them.  Wouldn't we all, moms? 

My biggest fear is that I will screw them up, that I will say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, over protect them, under protect them, that I will scar them for life.

And my temper is what fuels that fear. 

I know that anger is a sin. 

Honestly, it is the one I have the hardest time with. 

And it isn't fair.

It isn't fair to my kids. 

No, I don't beat them or abuse them.

When I've had enough of the disobedience, the defiance, I yell. I raise my voice.

And I don't like myself for it.

Just yesterday, Colin and I read a book together about a former baseball legend.  It talked about how great his parents where.  That they never raised their voices; they never showed any hatred.

Well, I don't show hatred.  My kids know I still love them.  When I yell, I apologize. I tell them why I was upset and explain to them it was still wrong of me.  They say the forgive me. We hug, and we find something to laugh about and we move on. 

But still....

I compare myself to these parents who never raise their voices, who never yell at their kids, or lose their tempers. 

Do their kids all turn out great?

Do their kids all become successful in life?

Am I ruining my kids?

How do you not raise your voice to your children?

I mean come on....

Is that real life? 

Do your kids not disobey?

Do they stop fighting with each other the first time they are told?

Do they stop pouring their Sprite out on purpose when you tell them to not make a mess? 

Do they not back talk?

Do they stop terrorizing the cat when asked to stop?

Do they not growl at you and make faces as they are walking away because they don't get their way?

Do they not lock themselves in their bedrooms while shouting, "It's not fair!"

Is is just my kids?

I mean seriously....

For real....

How does a parent not raise their voice?

I see kids every day, even at church, when their parents tell them to do or not to do something and the kids keep on and keep on and the parents keep on and keep on and it is a never ending cycle.

Until the kids get their way and the parent gives up.

I'm sorry.

That just isn't right.

I teach kids like that.  Everyday.  It is difficult to get them to take school seriously. To follow rules. To do their work.  To obey. To be a good friend to others.  When I see they way they act around their parents, I see why they act the way the do.  The parents have no control. The kids have the control.

I'm sorry.

That just isn't right.

That isn't the real world.

In the real world, there are rules.  There are bosses that don't care about your feelings. There are deadlines and demands and bills and responsibilities.  There are winners and losers. And the decisions and choices you make mean something. 

I don't want my kids to be the adults who can't handle the real world.  I don't want them to freak out when things don't go their way.  I don't want them to be the type of person who can't hold down a job because they got their feelings hurt or don't like the rules or can't get along with others.

I want my children to be successful in whatever God calls them to do.  I want them to have the skills needed to make good choices and to meet the demands of life.  I want them to be loving, caring, honest, and hardworking.  I want them to make in impact in the world in good way.

I know I am not perfect. I know I will make mistakes. I know I should not compare myself to others.  But I guess today has been hard.

I went back to work after being home with sick kids since Saturday (and one is still very sick).  At work, instead of enjoying a laid back Christmas party day, I had to deal with lying, back talking, and disobedience. I come home and Carson still isn't any better. Feeling so yucky that he falls asleep in my arms and sleeps for almost four hours.  Carter is tired and won't listen. He punched me in the eye, kept jumping and climbing on the furniture, and poured his Sprite out everywhere. I cleaned up puke from a kid who had a coughing spell because he got too wild.  My webcam wouldn't work during Skype because someone messed it up when he was told to leave it alone.  My list could go on.  So I had enough.  I yelled. I put the boys to bed. I prayed with them. I asked God to help me be the mom they needed to be. I apologized. We hugged. We said good night. We said I love you.

But I feel guilty.

I know there are parents who are in a hell of their own who would give anything to be with their babies. And I have my babies. And I fussed and raised my voice.  I had enough and sent them to bed.

And I feel like a bad mom.

I don't want sympathy. I don't want to hear how terrible of a mom I am.  I can come up with things that go both ways. 

What I want to know is how do you do it, moms that don't yell?  How do you stay calm and your kids still obey and do what you need them to do?

Yes, I pick my battles.  That was the second step I took.  The first was prayerfully admitting that I had a temper issue.  I am usually pretty good about recognizing when I've had enough before I raise my voice.  But tonight. I had enough. 

For that I am sorry.  

Tomorrow is a new day.  A day I can start fresh and work to be the mom God has in store for me, the mom my kids need me to be.  And tonight, I will pray and hand it all over to God.

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