Two weeks ago my 14 year old son gave me a scathing review as a Mom. He told me I have been acting super annoyed with them lately and yelling a lot, he said, "Sometimes you act like you don't want us around." It was not a proud Mom moment because I do greatly enjoy being with my kids and want them to feel that I do.
I had to agree with him, so I started to think of why I have been so easily annoyed. We moved. That says enough right? Moving is supposedly one of the top ten most stressful life events. We lived in that home for 10 years and moving 7 people and all their stuff isn't easy.
I also severely broke my toe 5 days before we moved. I was frustrated and in a lot of pain. I also got really sick the week after we moved and literally didn't sleep for 5 nights because of a horrible cough.
Stress, pain, no sleep and sickness are not a good combination for a happy, patient Mom. Fortunately in spite of my frustration I had an encouraging thought in my head that said, "You had a bad few weeks, it doesn't mean you're a bad Mom, give yourself a break."
Now I don't want to use my hardships as an excuse for poor behavior, but I do think that sometimes as Mothers we need to allow ourselves to be human and make mistakes. We need to not beat ourselves up for a bad moment or week or month. I have apologized to my kids and husband and we are moving on, not perfect but improving.
However, I also was reminded by this conversation that my behavior is my choice. I can let it be dictated by my circumstances or I can choose to rise above them and be patient and loving. It has to be a very conscious choice because it is much harder to be patient than to blow up and lose it. However my relationship with my children is extremely important for me to preserve and build up. I also feel strongly that how I behave in difficult circumstances teaches my kids how to react to hardships they will undoubtedly have in their lives. I can choose to find joy in my circumstances or I can let the happiness and joy be sucked from my life due to difficulties.
I was recently inspired by this article by a Mom who made the conscious choice to stop yelling. She admits her personality is fiery and she has a temper, but she says her children do not remember her as a yelling Mom because she chose many years ago to not yell. She admits she isn't perfect but works hard at it.
So I am working on it. I won't say I'll never yell again but I am making a choice and commitment to improve my behavior and patience and in turn I am certain my children's behavior and patience will improve.