Today’s post is written by our Brave Writer, Lindsay Munoz
The one thing I have learned about parenting, is that it doesn’t turn out the way you expect it to. I always envisioned myself as this patient and kind parent who always exhibited self control. Oh, and I would definitely NOT be a yeller. Having experienced the effects of having a yeller parent personally, I knew that would not be me.
Here I am now, a parent of two and I have become what I always said I wouldnt. I dont know how it happened. Maybe it was because my two year old is much more difficult than a normal two year old. It’s like he has the terrible twos on steroids. He likes to challenge me on everything and to be honest, it drives me nuts. To be even more honest, once you start yelling, you cant really stop and you begin yelling at your kids for things that dont warrant yelling.
Spilling cheerios on the floor.
Spilling milk out of the sipping cup onto your already stained carpet (other sippy cup accidents).
Running around the apartment and jumping up and down (our poor neighbors), after you have told him 1000 times to stop doing that.
Every other normal little kid activity/learning experience that would irritate me.
I was like a volcano; unpredictable and ready to explode at any moment.
As I write this I am ashamed and embarrassed.
A week ago, I was browsing facebook when I saw this article The Important Thing About Yelling and it has changed my life.
I was reading it quietly to myself and tears began streaming down my face. What had I become?
This article called me out. I was distracted and busy and overwhelmed and stressed. I was putting other things before my kids and it was causing me to become easily irritated with them.
Then I saw this key line; ‘no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day.’
I decided to make that evening my ‘new day’. I deactivated my facebook and twitter. I decided to not start work early, but to enjoy being present with my kids until I was ‘on the clock’ at 11. I decided to do proactive things to replace my need to yell. Saying I love you over and over when I am about to lose it helps. How could I yell at my cute kids when I am busy saying I love you? My biggest thing is now taking a break. If I feel myself getting ready to pop, I stop and take a deep, deep breath; allow myself to calm down and remember what kind of parent I not only want to be, but was made to be.
In all of this I remember that there is grace. There is hope. There is peace. I pray constantly for patience, kindness, gentleness, love, and self control. I admit that I can not parent alone. If I was left to my own vices, my kids would be terrified of me and generational cycles would be repeated. I want my kids to be raised in a new environment. I want them to be able to come to me for all things and not be afraid of my reaction. As I spend more time in the Word, the qualities of God and His heart have begun to really permeate my life. I am so far from being where I want to be, but I am making progress.
My hope in posting this raw truth about my downfalls as a parent, is that other parents out there would not lose hope. Don’t be ashamed. You don’d need to go to bed hating yourself or thinking you are a bad parent any more. Every step towards patience and gentleness and self control is a positive step. While we cant do it alone, we can do it with the help of our heavenly Father. He is the ultimate parent. Patient, kind, just, gentle, loving and full of self control. And on the days when we slip and mess up, remember; ‘no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day.’
Lindsay Munoz is married to the love of her life and the mommy to two amazing kids. Her passion is for others to know how deeply loved they are by God. You can visit Lindsay at her blog at http://munozmama.wordpress.com
Gilmore Girls Quote courtesy of http://fyeahgilmoregirls.tumblr.com/post/25094987316