One of my favorite family pics of almost all of us a few years ago!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Confessions of An Angry Mom: It’s Time To Get My Heart Checked.

  

Confessions of An Angry Mom:  It’s Time To Get My Heart Checked.

Warning:  If you are sensitive to certain word choices, you might not want to read this the third column of this post.  It is honest.  When I’m really frustrated or overwhelmed, I use words that some would consider impolite. Consider yourself warned.

I’m a mother and a teacher and a coach.  Most of my days are spent teaching, training and taking care of others.   My favorite verse is directly related to my obvious NEED to remember that if I do not have a servant’s heart, then my service is just good works and I’m screwed.  The verse I quote over and over to my kids and my students is from Luke 6:45:   “... For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” In other words, if my heart is full of good, good things will come out.  If my heart is hard and angry, then bad things come out. 

I’m a good teacher and coach and I know exactly how to help my students, friends and clients.  But it would really help me to have a ME in my life, someone who is willing to call me out.  Although it might not be obvious from my conduct, I spend a good portion of my day in self-evaluation.   I’ve decided that I’m pretty selfish and self-centered.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be upset about anything, because my anger seems to be rooted in the problems that someone else causes for me.

I’ve decided it’s time for true confessions.  I’m speaking for myself, but I’m willing to bet that if people are honest, almost all moms and dads find themselves thinking, if not saying, similar things.

WARNING: If this makes you laugh or cry, you might need to check your heart!



What happens.


What I say on a good day.


What I think and should - but don’t always - edit before I say on a bad day.      
My 3-year-old is play wrestling with his 5-year-old brother. I warn them that someone is going to get hurt.  Someone gets hurt. 
“I’m sorry.  But I warned you that you would get hurt.  Go wipe the blood off your nose.”
“What is wrong with your brain?  I tell you every single time you are running through the living room and doing head butts into his stomach that you will get hurt.  Big surprise.  Tough it out.  Now go wipe the blood off your nose and clean it up off the floor because I’m not cleaning your mess.”
My teenager waits until the night before a big paper is due to start. 
“Son.  You know the rules.  You must have the final draft ready two nights before it is due so that I have time to help you edit and figure out your problems.  I have 50 other things I need to be doing right now and I’m exhausted.  I can’t start helping you at 10 p.m. the night before it is due. You are on your own.  But if you don’t make a decent grade, you won’t be going anywhere this weekend.”
“Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid. You are too smart not to understand the problem here.  Procrastination doesn’t work.  Don’t expect me to feel sorry for your decision to procrastinate.  I’m not feeling the slightest bit guilty.  Just pissed that I have to keep repeating myself. Now go fix the problem that you created. “
Two children get into an argument.  One hits.  The other returns the hit. 
“I’m sorry, but you deserve each other.  Both of you are hitting to solve your problems and it hurts.  Both of you know not to hit.  Use your words.” 
“Why do I have to say this 25 times per day?  Haven’t ya’ll figured out the problem yet?  Maybe you will beat the living crap out of each other and decide on your own hitting is not the best plan. “
I tell my extremely stubborn 6-year-old to go pick up his towel and hang it on the hook.  He starts shouting and wailing, “No!  It isn’t my towel.  I already did.  I don’t want to.  Why do I have to get the towel, no one else did?”   
“Excuse me. ‘No,’ is not one of your options.  The correct answer is ‘Yes Ma’am.’  Now go pick up the towel.”
“UGGGGHHHH.  I can’t stand this!  I hate stubborn disobedience and intentional defiance. What am I doing wrong that makes you think that it is okay to refuse to obey?  I get so mad I just want to throw something or hang YOU up in that towel.  Why are you so damn stubborn?  It makes me not want to be around you at all.  Is that what you want?” 
My adult daughter calls to tell me that her car just died and she needs help getting to and from work.
“Sure.  What time do I need to come get you?” 
“Really?  Really?  It is always something.  I finally get a few hours to myself and what do I get to do?  Drive my adult children.  What fun.  I can’t wait. “
I tell my 7-year-old to get her snack and put it in her backpack for school.  She hears me, but continues to play and forgets. I move on to the next thing. On her way out the door the next morning, she suddenly remembers and tries to run back inside to get her snack.

NOTE:  This is not a child who must have a snack to function in school. I have some kids that can’t afford to miss a snack.  She can.
“I told you to put the snack in your backpack. I’m sorry, but we are running late.  You cannot go back to get a snack.  Next time, maybe you will obey when I remind you. And you are not allowed to get a snack from the teacher.” 
Thinking… “Oh great.  Now I have to take the time to email the teacher so my child doesn’t use this as an excuse to get a junky snack from the teacher’s community snacks.  Uggh!  I don’t have time for this! But I know that she is going to whine at school and tell the teacher that I didn’t give her a snack.  And I don’t want the teacher to have to deal with her either.  If I don’t call, then the teacher will feel sorry for her and give her a snack out of the community snack bucket.  It will be chips or something she loves, so the lesson will be lost.  And I’ve already spent far too much time thinking about this stupid issue.” 
My toddler crawls behind the couch and unplugs the lamp cord which is directly below the safety cap on the upper plug.  He then proceeds to take a fork and stick it as far as he can into the socket.
Leaping forward not knowing what he is sticking into the light socket, I shout…
“OMG!!!  NOoooooo!
Stop baby. That is a No No!  No! No! That will hurt baby.  OUCHIE!  No baby No!  Thank goodness we use plastic forks!  That would hurt baby.” 
“OMG!!!  NOoooooo!  Stop!  What are you doing child?  Are you crazy?  That is a No NO! Did I say that is a No No, because I meant to say it was a NOooo NOOOOO!  You can’t do that!  OMG.  OMG. OMG.  Thank you God for watching him and taking care of him. Thank you for plastic forks. I can’t do this.  I’m not smart enough or fast enough.  I can’t be  everywhere all the time.   Ugggh!!! Pant. Pant.  OMG. OMG. OMG.”
My teen doesn’t want to go to church with the family.  He would rather sleep in or go to the church where his best friend goes.  He whines and moans and complains and asks if he can just skip “this week” or  go to another church.
“I understand that you don’t want to go, but this is my only opportunity to gather the entire family together at one place and I need that every week.  It is important to me.  And because it is important to me, you must go.  Sleeping is not an option and you can go to youth group at your friend’s church.  Now get dressed without complaining and be ready at 9:30.” 
“Screw it.  I don’t care if you come or don’t come.  Sleep all freakin’ day or go with some other family to church.  I HATE listening to you complain week after week.  It puts me in a pissy mood and makes going to church miserable.  Every time you try to get your way it is saying to me that I’m not important enough to you to cooperate.  I hate that feeling.  I want you to go whether you like it or not just because I need it. I spend most of my time meeting ya’lls needs.  Is it so wrong for me to ask ya’ll to fulfill one of my needs?  But whatever.  Do whatever the hell you want and I’ll go worship God by my damn self!”
My son spills his juice accidentally.
“It’s not a big deal.  Go get a towel and clean it up. Then get the juice and I’ll pour you some more.”
“Crap. Crap. Crap.  I know it was an accident and you weren’t doing anything wrong, but now I have to get all the sticky juice off the floor and counter and chair.  More work.  More work.  Does it ever end?”
My son spills his milk after I tell him to sit down and quit playing at the table. 
“Go get a towel and clean it up.  That is what happens when you play at the table.  No more milk tonight.”
Crap. Crap. Crap. I JUST mopped the floor an hour ago! I tell you over and over again to stop playing at the table.  Can’t you just obey me? Can’t you just listen so you don’t keep making messes?  I’m tired.  I’m sick of cleaning. I’m sick of disobedience.  I just want to quit this job forever!”
My adult child calls at 10p.m. and just wants to process with me.
“No. I’m not busy. What can I do for you?”
(Eyes rolling.) Ahhh.  Maybe if I just don’t answer the phone she will go away.  It’s late.  I just got into bed.  I’m exhausted.  I hate talking on the phone on a great day.  I have already had my fill of helping people today. Do I really have to listen to more people talk?
My son needs to go to the bathroom in  a public place. He must go in the women’s room with me.  He starts to pee without lifting the seat and gets pee all over the seat because he has unsophisticated aim!
“Sweetie.  You need to remember to lift the seat before you go potty.  If not, you get pee on the seat and girls don’t like to sit on your pee.”
“Lovely.  Just what I want to do.  Wipe your  pee off the seat in a public bathroom.  Whatever!”
Same bathroom trip… My child tells me that he needs to go poop.  Before I realize what he is doing, he has LIFTED the lid and is going to sit on the toilet!!!
“Wait! I didn’t mean the lift the lid when you POOP! Oh well, at least you tried to obey!”
What can I say.  Good or bad day --- this is the point to simply laugh!!!!



My adult daughter wants me to play Nanna and keep her kids while she and her husband get away for a few days. 
“I can’t wait to see the grandkids and I know that you guys need a break. Can you bring them over now?” 
“Agggh.  I really want to see the kids and I definitely want to give my daughter a break, but I am so freakin’ tired.  I just want to crawl into a hole and hide.  When is it MY turn to take a break?”
The teacher sends home a note asking for a family picture. I read the note and remember it 3 days later. 
Note to the teacher:  “This is our family picture.  It contains as many kids as we can gather in one location at one time. Please don’t expect my child to be able to explain all of our rather unique relationships.  All he knows is this is his family!”
“Crap.  I vaguely remember that I am supposed to send a picture to school, but I have no idea which kid is supposed to bring it.  Crap!  Crap! Now I have to look through 8 school folders and assignment books to figure out which child OR I have to print 8 copies and send one with each child and hope for the best. Doesn’t anyone know how hard it is to get a picture of this crazy group?  My kids, even my teenagers have to ask how many siblings they have.  Anyway, I’ve looked in eight folders, and I still have no idea.  Whatever.  My kid is the only one with a family the size of Texas and not a single photo to prove he has a family at all.”
My pre-teen gets so angry at me that he punches the wall and his fist goes through it.  He runs upstairs to his room and sends me a text.  “Just tell me when you are going to make me move out and where I will be living. I need to know now.”
“Son, what makes you think that just because you make a mistake we won’t keep you? I needed to know what you would do if you were pushed to your limits.  I needed to know that you wouldn’t hurt me even though you were raging.  You didn’t hurt me.  You hurt a wall. And your fist.  The wall can be fixed.  The important thing is that you proved that you won’t physically hurt a woman. 

As for the hole:  You need to research how to repair sheetrock and start learning.  Either you will pay to fix the hole or you will learn to do it yourself. 
Oddly.  I don't have bad days when I'm dealing with really big stuff.  I would have reacted this way no matter what my mood on any given day. It's the little stuff that gets me. 

9 comments:

  1. Hello,

    My name is Allison, I am a mom of 14. I've recently re-picked up blogging. I found your blog through Mama D at http://www.ourjourneyoffaith.net/. I'm looking to connect with other adoptive families as I know we can provide each other understanding, love and support that others cannot fully understand. If you ever need an ear or someone to pray for you please know that I am here. I really appreciate this blog post as I have been there many times!

    Many Blessings,
    Allison

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  2. Thanks Allison. I need prayer daily. I would love to know more about you and your family.

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  3. Wow, I love your style Anna! Good for you! I have only three kids myself, and live miles away (New Zealand) but am also a Christian trying to keep it together with my kids etc. I think we can all relate a little to your scenarios :-). Sounds so much more real than a few other American Christian family blogs I have come across....not that we are supposed to compare, but I was beginning to think Christianity in the US must be this whole other alternative culture.

    Cheers
    Tania

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  4. Tania,
    Your comment about the "alternative culture" made me laugh out loud! I haven't read many blogs from New Zealand, but I think moms are pretty much the same is all cultures. However, what and how we talk about it differs! So many people are afraid to be real because they fear being criticized or disliked. I decided that I was writing first for myself and my family (as a means to stay sane) and then for other people like me who needed to know that there are other dedicated crazy moms out there. For me, being transparent is part of who I am with everyone I meet. I strongly encourage others to be the same. It is scary at first, but so freeing because you quickly learn that you are not alone! Motherhood is already hard enough. There is no reason to add to the stress by trying to live up to some imaginary, impossible to achieve image of the perfect mom. I pray this day (it's almost the next day for us) that we can both learn to live as authentic, real followers of Christ - whatever that looks like!

    Anna

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  5. Haha, love your blog! My wife and I are just starting a family through adoption (we are unable to naturally) and are trying to adopt an infant for our first child and then are going to get into fostering and further adoption. It amazes me the amount of children's lives you have touched! If anyone reading this blog would like to help my wife and I begin our family together we are accepting donations to help with the large fees, thank you ahead of time if you visit our page! http://www.gofundme.com/awreyadoption

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  6. I have to admit, I too have regretted my words many times! I have two teenaged sons that i homeschool and I can't count the times I have "threatened" to quit!! I DO NOT want to quit, but I am definitely the vocal one while my husband is the quiet type. I have had to apologize much and sometimes I don't know if I should or not. Praise for their good behavior seems to counteract the negative?! (probably not!) thank you for your honesty!!

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  7. I think everyone has that from time to time. NO one can manage to keep it perfect all of the time.

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  8. Finally found someone who has put my thoughts in print! Thank fully the good Lord is FULL of grace and forgiveness!!!!

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