Photo by joka2000
As a mom, have you ever felt like the grouchy ladybug in Eric Carle's book of the same title? I sure have lately.
I'm realizing that my children need near constant-supervision at this stage in their little lives. I turn my back for just one instant (which as moms, we need to do. Dishes don't do themselves), and I regret it later. If it's not writing on walls, putting mascara on the couch and door, ripping dollars from their piggy banks, filling the bathroom sink and splashing the water with tsunami force, climbing on the counter for candy, or pinching/hitting/biting a brother, it's something else I could never anticipate. And it makes me grouchy.
Feelings follow thoughts. At least that's what Dr. Laura Schlessinger told a caller today on her radio program. What this means for me as a mom is--if I am thinking about how resentful I am at my children's childish behavior and misbehavior, then I am going to feel angry and grouchy. All day long. And these feelings will probably continue to grow, as I don't see an immediate end to their antics.
Instead of resenting that children cross the line, rather than tow the line, I need to remember that my job is to consistently teach the line. I can't expect them to automatically know that finding the car wash soap in the garage and "washing" the pavement, bicycle seats, the new easel--just about everything but the car (no rinsing either--just smearing concentrated soap all over everything) is not something they should be doing, and that green tire slime for fixing holes is not meant for finger-painting. Then once I've taught them not to do things like this, I can discipline them for crossing that line again.
Sometimes bad days just happen. Sometimes we have less tolerance for childish misbehavior, especially when it is sustained throughout the day. That's why we are all moms in need of mercy. Thank God that He gives us grace and mercy to help us in our time of need.
When a bad day can't be immediately transformed, may we endure patiently. May we not become irritated that we must consistently lead them into proper behavior and discipline them away from wrong behavior. Left to themselves, most children become wayward. The Proverbs talk about this, and I see it in my own home.
I'm going to try my hardest to remember these lessons, and that my job as a mom is to provide constant leadership so my children grow into well-behaved adults. I cannot think, and then feel, like they should just know--and then do--the rights things all day long. Despite keeping this in the forefront of my thoughts, I am sure I will still have grouchy days. Just so long as the grouchy ladybug doesn't stick around for long. Tomorrow is a new day!
Since it's Coffee Talk Thursday, I'd love to hear what helps you when you have a grouchy/exasperated day.