My husband would tell you I come from an emotional family. My family (men included) cries at commercials, movies and meaningful happenings in our lives. After seventeen years of being married, I’d say we balance each other pretty well. I still cry when the news shows kids running to their fathers returning from active duty. I held my child in the backyard the other day and cried at the mercy and kindness of the Lord that our kids teach me on a regular basis.
A year ago the Lord hit a huge pause button in my life and what I thought was a life of limited emotion was actually overflowing with undealt-with emotions from both my kids and me. I had reached a point where I yelled, got frustrated, and lost my temper over things that did not merit that kind of emotional outburst. It hadn’t happened overnight and the stress that had coiled around my heart and head would not unhinge quickly either.
As my heart and head unwound and I realized that fear -the one emotion that had driven me beyond distraction – was rippling out from me and being replicated in my kids. I feared that my kids would fail…that my son had ADHD…that I was a terrible mother…that I wasn’t engaged as a mom…couldn’t keep the laundry up…the floors, the meals…the list went on.
Emotions Must Be Dealt With
Emotions must be dealt with. As my mom says, emotions are like trash: When they are not dealt with, but stuffed in a closet somewhere instead, they begin to rot. And like trash, it stinks and begins to leak, and no matter how much you try to keep the door closed to avoid the smell or leaks from seeping out, it just gets worse over time. You begin spending all your time and energy keeping the door of that closet closed and the stink at bay, until you collapse in exhaustion, unable to control it any longer.
What seemed like punishment from God, when He hit the pause button, actually allowed me to open the closet, take out the trash, and deep clean the closet for (healthy) future use.
His Word Heals
Over time, I began reading the Word more. I read it in a different translation, which gave me new perspective, and read His words to me more consistently that I had been in recent months. I spent more time praying. C.S. Lewis says “Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes me.” I would agree wholeheartedly. I prayed and spent time in His word like it was the oxygen. I wish I could tell you that I faithfully had been reading all along, but when fear begins to wrap its way around you, there is a loss of perspective.
Giving back all those emotions to the One who created them, asking for Him to take over and help you manage them, THAT is freedom, my friend. If you struggle with anger or frustration with your boys, check out our No More Angry MOB (private) group. It will encourage you and hold you accountable.
You Are Not Alone
Know you are not alone. We all have emotions that need to be dealt with. I am praying right now that He will provide the perfect friend to help you “take out the trash” and walk alongside you as you heal.
Lord, bless and protection these sweet women who ache to control their emotions, the emotions of their kids, and maybe more. We give you our emotions and ask that they be used for my good and Your glory. Thank you for the host of amazing, Godly women that contribute to the MOB Society and that You surround us with, to affirm in each of us that we are not alone. Amen.
No, really. When I was in grad school, I was the most anally organized person around. Looking back, I can see that it was sheer survival—stay organized or fail graduate school—that made me so crazy on top of everything. I had spreadsheets, wall calendars, pocket organizers and calendars, etc…you name it, I used it.
The only thing I didn’t use was a calendar app…because there was no such thing back then…ahem.
Enter all the boys.
A few years ago, my husband actually said to me, “Brooke, I really thought you were going to be more organized than you are. What happened?”
What he thought was a character trait—one he admired—was actually just me functioning under pressure. It just so happened that I was in grad school the whole time we were dating! Prior to marriage, he never saw me in a non-pressure situation. Turns out I struggle a lot more with organization skills than he ever dreamed possible.
Why? Because my children have turned my life upside down!
Believe me, I mean that in the nicest way possible! I’m glad they’ve turned my life upside down, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But homeschooling two boys, running a business and a ministry, writing books, and keeping up with a family of four’s schedule is more than my poor brain can manage. My friends actually joke about what I’ll forget next. Having a planner (and actually using it) is an absolute necessity for me. But not all planners are created equal.
I’ve been searching for years for the perfect planner to help me manage my life as a business mom, and last year, finally found it!
Here’s why the iBloom Life and Business Planner is so amazing…
1. It is thoroughly and completely biblical.
I don’t mean this planner is the only one sanctioned by the Bible…I just mean that it is skillfully and carefully crafted to help the Christian businesswoman plan her year, months, days, and moments with God in charge.
2. It’s perfect for the blogger/online entrepreneur.
This planner covers everything I need to help me think through my business/ministry plan for the entire year. With places for yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily planning, and questions designed to really help me think about my brand and who I’m trying to reach, it’s been like having my own personal assistant!
3. There’s lots of room to make notes.
I’m a writer…no actually, what I mean is that I’m one of those people who needs to scribble notes to myself throughout the week. I need to-do lists, appointment lists, and things that tell me where I’m supposed to be, when. You guys, I need all the help I can get to actually make it where I’m supposed to be, and this planner has made a large dent in the amount of times I’ve forgotten something important. It’s saved my life on multiple occasions!
4. It’s easy to carry.
I slide mine right inside my bag and take it with me most everywhere I go!
I’ve been actively using the iBloom planner for about a year now, and I couldn’t be happier with it. My search for the perfect planner has come to an end, because this one is it! When Kelly Gore, President and Founder of iBloom, reached out to me to see if I would do this review, I jumped at the chance! Honestly, I would’ve done it if I hadn’t been asked because it’s just that good.
Through August 14th, Kelly and the iBloom team are offering a special discount code just for MOB Society readers!
If you’re a work-at-home mom, entrepreneur mom, or business mom you need this planner, and when you use the word “BROOKE” at checkout, you can get $10 off the total price! That means you get your copy for only $40! A steal, if you ask me!
It was the second day in a row where my children and I were cramped into a small doctor’s office for yet another appointment (this time for the dog). It was the second day (in a row!) where my children’s behavior towards each other (as well as myself) was just downright horrible. And you know what? I was tired. Tired of the bickering, the fights, as well as the complete lack of respect exhibited towards one another. I was frustrated, weary, and yes, embarrassed by the attitudes my children displayed in public–especially those of my ten year-old son. So much so, that I lashed out. I erupted into anger, said things I shouldn’t have, and even smacked my boy in the arm after his rude comments sent me over the edge.
Believe me, I’m not proud of my behavior. My lack of patience certainly isn’t a trait I like to boast about (or share with my inner circle of friends), but it happens–more often than I care to admit. I lose my cool, make mistakes, and say things I shouldn’t. Generally speaking, I don’t always handle my emotions very well, and as a parent, this weakness is magnified. Indeed, my inability to get control of my feelings is exposed…daily.
Knowing that you lost it–that your children’s poor behavior has gotten the best of you, isn’t necessarily a good feeling. In those moments, it’s as if anger has in fact, trumped love. That no matter how hard you try to stay calm and be the voice of reason—one moment can ruin it all.
In the past, I’d beat myself up over this. Who am I kidding? I still do. I recount every eruption, every lost temper, every angry look I’ve sent in my children’s direction. And I see their faces. I see the hurt I’ve caused, the fear I’ve created, and I can’t help but to wallow in my own guilt. I can’t help but to grow angry with myself. I just want to throw in the towel, give up, and call it quits. It’s in these moments I speak of that I seriously feel like the worst mom ever.
God’s there. He’s there right in the middle of my mess, dishing out grace in every moment of my chaotic, imperfect life. Instance after instance, mistake after mistake, he’s there to brush me off, pick me up, and remind me that I am his. He’s there to reassure me that my purpose in motherhood isn’t to pursue perfection but to seek him and his will at all times. Because lets’ face it—none of us is perfect, nor were we created to be. We’re all going to mess up from time to time just as we’re going to have plenty of regrets along the way. That’s why we need to lean on the Lord—it’s why we need to surrender to him.
Friends, surrendering to God during those hard-to-handle moments of parenting doesn’t reflect our weakness, it reveals His strength in us.
So what’s a mom to do when our emotions get the best of us? When we get frustrated, grow weary, and screw the whole thing up? Try the following:
Purge. Get rid of those feelings of guilt, friend. They’re not doing anyone a bit of good (especially you). Apologize to your kiddos, talk it out, and hit the reset button. Begin again. Emotions are temporary…love is lasting.
Surrender. I can’t do this parenting gig on my own, nor was I designed to. As moms, we’ve got to give it over to the Lord. He’s in control. He’s got this. Trust in Him, pray for his guidance and strength, and then let God do his thing.
Seek. Seek him. Pursue the Lord. As you already know, the journey of parenthood is filled with ups and downs, twists and turns and lots of the unexpected. Without his presence and guidance, we’re bound to flounder. Seek him at all times and above all else.
You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. –Psalms 119:114
Taking a few minutes after bedtime prayers to lay with my 5 and 4-year old has become a sweet time of uninterrupted and intentional conversation. It’s in these moments that I get to hear their hearts.
One evening after I had tucked in my 5-year old son into his bed, I laid next to him as we chit-chatted about his day. I took the opportunity to ask him some intentional questions.
“What is your favorite thing about mommy?” I asked him, it’s always good to start positively.
“I like that you snuggle with me,” he replied with a smile, nuzzling closer to me. I squeezed him tighter and gave him a kiss on his sweet head.
Knowing that whatever his answer, it would be an invitation for conviction from the Lord, I inhaled deeply and asked, “What do you not like about mommy?” We all desperately need change and our children get front row seats to our sin.
“I don’t like it when you yell at me,” he reluctantly replied.
My heart sank. I don’t even consider myself much of a yeller. But clearly, the times that I have raised my voice had made an impact on my son. I told him I was sorry and that I desperately need Jesus because I am a sinner too, but it was that interaction with him that drove me to look at my heart and seek the Lord for better solutions when I get frustrated and feel myself wanting to yell.
It’s easy to get frustrated isn’t it? When you ask your children to do or not do the same things several times a day, when you are tired, rushed, stressed or simply feel you have nothing left to give. Here are a few things things to consider when struggling with yelling.
Yelling is a short-term solution that creates long-term wounds.
Do you like to be yelled at? I sure don’t like that kind of treatment. And if I were to ever be yelled at, I would just shut down and shut out whoever was yelling at me. Our children are the same way. Though they may obey in the moment, they will walk away with a heavy heart and wounds that have the potential to last a lifetime.
When I want to yell, I intentionally whisper.
I learned this one from a homeschool mom that was blessed with a big family. When she felt herself wanting to yell she would draw her child close to her and whisper in their ear. This has proven effective in our home.
Yelling does not display the fruits of the spirit.
Yelling does not display love, patience, or self-control–all attributes I wish to impart on my boys. Yelling can be a generational sin cycle that you CAN change. What kind of behavior do you want going into forth coming generations? Yelling that lacks the fruit of the spirit or whispers that display peace, self-control, patience and love.
Scripture tells us that when tempted, He always gives us a way out. You have a choice when you feel yourself about to yell, choose life giving words that display patience and not heavy soul injuring words that display a lack of self-control.
That’s my little boy, with a Spiderman tattoo on his cheek and a princess ring on his finger. He has the softest skin and the most tender heart, and I would fight FOR this child in the face of danger–against a lion, against ISIS, against bullies, against the evil one himself!
And yet… sometimes I am the one he needs protection from. Me. His mother.
I can be dangerous when my tongue is unbridled, when my body is tired and my thoughts are selfish, and I forget to be on guard. I can be the danger lurking in our home, ready to attack.
There are so many directions I could take this short post. Talk about how God is the preeminent example of gentleness as a parent; focus on the fruit of His very Spirit in our lives as we learn to abide in Him and bear His patient fruit; give you my testimony, how God has taken this overwhelmed woman and is transforming her slowly and steadily as this child’s mom; offer practical advice about how to stay calm in the midst of exhaustion and weariness; confess the triggers that still cause me to explode in a fresh mess all over my children sometimes… Wouldn’t those all be great?
Instead, however, let’s talk about what to do when we’ve failed. Because we do. Fail. Here’s what to do when you blow up at your kids: Of course, we must apologize to our little loves, their father, and anyone else that’s been wounded by our words, our haughty eyes, our exasperated sighs and slamming cabinet doors. But then we’ve got come to God in humility and let Him do a serious work on our sin-stained heart.
Five things you can do when you’ve found yourself sinning against your loved ones again.
1) Recognize – “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24) Ask God to shine the spotlight of His Holy convicting love into the dark corners of your mothering heart. He will be faithful to reveal the root causes of those sinful tendencies.
2) Repent – “…the kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4) It is easier to focus on the ugliness bound up the hearts of our children than be bound and determined to consider our own sin-tendencies. But a kind God wouldn’t leave us shackled. He shows us our sin that we might receive His forgiveness, then learn to actively turn from those hurtful ways. Repent literally means, “turn around and go the other way,” and that’s what this step is all about. If you have been convicted of your own wrong behavior as a mom. Repent. Stop, turn around, and ask the Lord to lead you in the right direction.
3) Replace – “Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:24) When God convicts a mother’s heart that something’s got to give, something’s got to change, some evil root is needing to be pulled completely out of the soil of her heart, He will partner with you in the replanting. He tells us over and over again in scripture to take off our old nature, and put on righteousness. Let Him pull out your sin by the roots, and trust Him to plant something beautiful in it’s stead.
4) Rally –“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:24) Surround yourself with peace-loving women. Emulate their gentle, Christ-like spirits, and learn from them. If you are looking for a community of women who are actively, daily encouraging one another in the transformation process, from angry women to gentle moms, then look into our private facebook page – No More Angry MOBS. Miracles are happening as we learn to Recognize, Repent, Replace, and Rally together. You are welcome in our midst.
5) Rejoice – “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Lastly, rejoice. Today, right now, humble yourself like a child, like my son there in the picture, and cry out, “Holy God, thank You for continuing to transform me into the image of your Son. I praise You because You aren’t finished with me yet! I praise You because You faithfully teach moms to stand firm in righteousness, even when it’s hard. And when we have done everything in our ability to stand… you help us to keep standing! Thank you, Lord! -Amen.”
Often unexpectedly, and sometimes even…publicly, it happens.
You may have never considered yourself to be a competitive person. Maybe you grew up indifferent to sports, or even if you were competitive, you would have never guessed that your son’s little league game could bring out something so strong and emotional and crazy inside of you. You might be angry at the coach, mad at the referee, or disappointed in your own child. A sporting event that began as fun and games can turn you into a raging, overly-excited, bordering on lunacy, soccer mom in a matter of seconds.
And in that moment the little part of you that is still sane and sensible is saying to the crazy-rest-of-you: What has happened to YOU!?
Kids sports can really bring it out in us.
Our kids are our treasures. We love them more than we love ourselves, and we want the very best for them. We want them to be wise and strong and to do great things in this world. Wrapped up in that whole package of wanting good things for our kids is the truth that whether we say it out loud or not, most of us want our kids to excel, to be the best and yes, even to win.
We want them to get the blue ribbon (and let’s be honest–not the one for participation) and we want them to excel in all that they do. In the heat of a game or match or contest, our emotions can quickly rise.
This phenomenon is only compounded when dealing with team sports and coaches or parents with different philosophies from your own. A casual walk up to the sidelines at a sporting event and you might just feel the friction in the air…
Though I don’t have an easy answer for any of this, what I will share is a couple basic principles that help me keep my cool in the midst of youth sports madness:
1. My children’s value will never be found in any sport or activity they do. Searching for significance in anything but a relationship with God will never satisfy. Keep perspective, parents!
2. Kids’ sports should be fun, educational, and social. Taking sports too seriously will rob our kids of valuable experiences on so many levels.
3. I can teach my child many character values through sports: Discipline, teamwork, commitment, and how to both win and lose with grace. Parents, let’s teach and model these things.
4. My reaction to different parenting or coaching philosophies is important. I can model humility and grace in the way I speak of and react to others.
5. Keep in mind that though my child may never compete as a professional athlete, he may indeed have a serious future in sports. My support and encouragement may make all of the difference in his future.
6. My greatest role is to support my kids, and let them learn and grow naturally from their sports experiences.
A verse to remember: 1 Timothy 4:8: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
Share in comments if you have surprised yourself with a bit emotion as it relates to your kids and competition.
Here at The MOB Society we are committed to equipping and encouraging parents to raise godly men. And as a community of BoyMoms, we’re learning to delight in the chaos of raising boys along the way! Click here to read more about our story and the heart behind our ministry. And to meet our co-founders Brooke and Erin and the rest of the team, click here.
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