Dear summer,

You started off strong, with lemonade stands and trips to the zoo. You showed off your stuff with perfect temperatures, plenty of playdates, and poolside popsicles. The kids all passed out early, drained from long, fun days.

Well done, summer! You. Owned. June.

Then along came July, with your soaring temperatures … and my short fuse got lit right about the fourth of July.

What happened to this laid-back pool-side mama? What have you done to me? And why can’t I find anyone’s bathing suit bottoms and swim goggles? And why are the children fighting one another and why am I fighting everyone back? And “No you can’t have another popsicle!”

Dear, sweet, much-anticipated summer, you’ve got to know what happens to us when you turn it up past 100 degrees with one billion percent humidity! The children wake up disgruntled, begging to watch “one more movie” before 8am. The kiddie pool pops from the heat. THE HEAT alone does it! And the slip-n-slide has all but killed our grass—my husband dragged it out to the garbage can last Wednesday with a train of crying kids in his wake.

And the house is in a constant state of awful.

We’re halfway through the summer, but I’m singing The Summertime Blues because it’s only 11am and they’re all begging for an indoor playground—what with the slip-n-slide in the trash. Honestly, I thought long and hard about taking them to a trampoline park or something, but that costs $50 for 90 minutes of air conditioned fun, and with juice boxes at $4 a pop, there’s no way I can say yes! Except the sound of them whining at me and fighting each other makes me think that taking out a second mortgage on the house to pay for some chilly recycled air may be worth it after all!

So here I am, summer, standing at the sink, trying to get myself motivated to tackle these breakfast dishes before the lunchtime rush. What’s a mom to do, summer, answer me that!

In the heat of the moment, in the heat of the day, moms tend to explode at their kids. Complaints about boredom, incessant cries for more screentime, and dissatisfied eye rolls cause us to react in anger rather than respond gently—and the guilt we feel as we lecture our way home from the beach is the worst of all!

We don’t mean to be mean, if you know what I mean … we’re just hot and bothered. We started the summer with a heartfelt halleluiah, one short month ago, and we love these little people something fierce … but we’re out of ideas, out of money, and out of patience. What’s a mom to do?

Sincerely,

One Hot Mess

MOB Society writers Wendy Speake and Amber Lia are the authors of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. They recently released the audio version of Triggers …  just in time for your mid-summer-melt-down.

If you’re losing your temper each summer day, because the children are whining and complaining, being loud, and leaving messes everywhere they go, you’re not alone. We call these triggers!

Triggers are the things our kids do that cause us to react in anger rather than respond gently. Instead of focusing on getting our kids’ behavior under control, our focus must remain on controlling our own behavior. Just because our kids behave wrong, we must keep on doing right! Order your copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses today.