I know that I might catch some flack for saying this, but.....do you ever get tired of us mamas being portrayed as not being able to handle the portion we've been given?? Now I'm not by any means dismissing the fact that there are some MAJOR tough moments that we face in our mothering journeys.
In fact, I'm writing this post in the midst of a bit of "weekend hangover" (my husband traveled last week and I was flying solo with my four kiddos) there are loads of laundry that need to be done and I'm pretty sure my kids tattled on each other at LEAST 100 times between 6-7am!
I'm not suggesting that motherhood isn't hard. But what I am suggesting is that the struggles of motherhood don't define us as mothers. The real story is in how we overcomes those struggles, not in the struggles themselves.
Mamas, this is my plea: we need to take our power back!
Do you want to know what I learned at the end of last week while my husband was out of town? I learned that I had given my kids way too much of my power.
I found myself getting easily frustrated by the tattling, easily frustrated by the messes made around the house - easily frustrated by just about any and everything they did!
But, after making everybody go lie down so that I could regroup and get my sanity back, I decided it was time to sit the kiddos down and have a talk with them about my expectations for them daily - especially while Daddy is out of town for work.
Typically conversations of correction are followed by long sighs and a bunch of "I didn't do it!" But this time, my kids could tell that those excuses weren't going to fly and if they enjoyed living in a house with warm meals and clean clothes, they had better listen up to the lady in charge! ;)
I am convinced that the reason kids often get squirrelly in their behavior is because they aren't clear on our expectations.
Think about it for a moment. Kids typically follow the rules at school. They follow the rules in church class. They usually even follow the rules when they go to Grandma and Grandpa's! So what makes home different?
When we send our kids to each of these other places we usually also spend time getting our children acquainted with the rules and the consequences there will be for not following them. So, right away our children know they are expected to behave.
The question is: how do we bring about the same kind of behavior in our own homes on a more regular basis?
Now, please know that I am NOT by any means suggesting that I don't have amazing kids. I love all of my little cherubs! But, the minute Daddy goes out of town it's like they've been replaced by wild things and their one and only mission is to keep me pulling my hair out!
Well, this past weekend (after several come to Jesus moments!) I decided I was not having it and that there had to be a better way. So, I sat my kids down and gave them a little review of who their mama is and what she will and will not tolerate.
I think as moms it's SO important to open ourselves up to our kids. They need to see us as human so that they don't grow up one day thinking one of two things: 1) I can never live up to what my mom was OR 2) Wow, my mom sure has a lot of flaws that I just didn't recognize as a kid.
The gift I have always desired to give my kids is to see their mama as a woman who loved herself enough to make herself a priority in her own life.
So, here I am mamas to encourage you in whatever season you may be in. It's time to take back your power!
If that means putting the kids on a solid bedtime routine, dig deep and enlist help if necessary - you can do it!
If that means training the kids to whine and complain less, then teach them your expectations and hold them accountable while making time to hear their hearts and share your own.
If that means sitting down to figure out age-appropriate chores that will help around the house - do it! Don't underestimate the desire your kiddos have to help you (especially when they are little!)
If that means pausing to address difficult behavior, just remember that our kids act out when there is something they are craving or if there is something they are dealing with that we are not aware of. Get in your prayer closet and ask the One who created them to help you on this journey.
Don't ever be ashamed and don't you dare give up your power. You can do this! From one mama to another, I am cheering you on!
I have this little mantra I like to say that I want you to remember: Tomorrow is another day.
Reminding myself of this truth helps me walk in grace and mercy no matter what areas I fall short in my mothering each and every day.
Instead of handing over my power to my kids, I'm going to allow myself to see where God wants me to grow. I'm going to see where God is trying to do a new thing in me.
I refuse to succumb to my flesh and say I can't. I can and I will, because He has called each and every one of us for such a time as this!
If you could use more encouragement, motivation and inspiration like this to help you through your marriage and motherhood journey, I'd love to invite you to join me in The Guilt-Free Girlfriends community over on Facebook (it's totally free!)
And, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!