This is a post that I want to take seriously. I don't want to be flippant. And, I don't want to be trite. This is an issue that I think many of us struggle with. And, I hope that in my honesty someone would be encouraged and would realize that she is not alone.
Have you ever read 'She's Gonna Blow' by Julie Barnhill? That's a good place to start. It would pretty much bring you up to speed on this whole issue of anger and motherhood.
But, if you haven't, I'll try to share what this has meant to me. Of course, if you struggle with this issue yourself, you'll know exactly what I'm saying.
I have always considered myself a very patient person. I never struggled with anger in my life...in the past. (Although in retrospect, I've probably done a lot of stuffing down. I'm a people pleaser by nature and anger just doesn't fit in with that. So, if I was angry, I just pushed in down and didn't really deal with it.)
Since becoming a mother, I've been forced to recognize the ugly face of anger in my own life. I've realized that I'm not beyond what I had considerd before to be one of the basest of human emotions. I always considered anger to be an 'emotion' (of sorts) that only men had to deal with.
Me an anger had nothing to do with each other. Until recently.
You see, when you become a mother suddenly life isn't just about you anymore. There are these little people who take precedent. And, they're not always rational. And, they're not always easy. And, they're not always who or what you thought they would be. They demand a lot.
And when you take a mom who is perpetually tired, who is unable to complete the simplest task (and if she does complete it, she finds it undone within minutes), a mom who barely remembers who she was before she was a mom and you combine that with these irrational little people, it's a recipe for frustration, annoyance, feelings of being overwhelmed, and anger.
At the beginning of last week I actually was not sure if I was going to write this post. It had been a couple weeks since I had a really bad run-in with my own anger and I was starting to feel pretty secure and safe in my ability to 'handle things'. The same day that I had those thoughts of 'being OK' I had a melt-down later.
You see, I want to be that calm, patient, firm yet loving mom. And, more often I find myself to be that yelling, angry mom.
And, as a mom, it's a hard pill to swallow when we realize that we aren't everything we thought we'd be as a mom. Because, let's face it. Moms carry a lot of weight in how our children grow and mature. The mistakes I make as a mother could be carried forward for generations to come.
Don't get me wrong. There are days that I'm an awesome mom. Those are the days that I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for 'getting it right'.
Then there are the days that I melt into tears with regret at how I've 'disciplined' my child. Days that I look at myself with disgust for resorting to behavior that isn't any better than that of a child. I'm the adult and still I find myself having my own little temper tantrums, saying and doing hurtful things.
So now what? What do I do about it? I'd like to think that it's as easy as a once-and-done laying it at Jesus' feet thing. But, apparently, that's not enough. I've come to God over and over begging for grace in this area of my life. But, I keep messing up.
I guess that's the thing about surrender. It's not always a once and done thing. Sometimes we need to surrender the same issue over and over. It's not that God didn't hear or understand our request the first time. It's that our own human nature gets in the way. When things start going good we assume that we have conquered it in our own right, we get cocky, and then we stumble all over again.
This has been a tough week for me. I've failed too many times to count. My heart breaks at some of my actions and words. My heart breaks for my children.
I don't want to be irritable. I don't want to be angry. I don't want to be quick to yell.
I want to model Christ's love to my children. That's a tall order. Christ's love. Can I even begin to know or understand what that truly means?
I don't have all the answers. I'm still seeking. I'm still surrendering.
And, the thing that gives me peace and hope is that God is still listening. God is still willing and able to guide my steps, my thoughts, my actions, and my words. If I continue to surrender myself to Him.