This mother thing can be SO hard! I was at a dear friend's house today. We were invited over to swim in their pool. My friend has not one, not two, not three but four beautiful children. To add to that they are all 6 and under, bless my friend! My friend is constantly telling me how she hates herself when she yells at her children. She will even say to them "Do you want mean mommy coming out?". I empathizes with my friend and I am sure you do too. Anyway, today we are all swimming and her husband comes home. He calmly asks her to come inside for a minute. When she comes out it is not good. My friend in the most restrained voice and disposition ask the three older children who cracked their TV screen? Have mercy! Apparently while she was trying her best to get the pool ready one of the children got mad about something and chucked a remote at the TV screen cracking it.
At this point I know my husband (regardless of company being over) would have lost it. But not my friend's husband and not her. However, when she questioned her children about who did it she was not given a straight answer. The fault was being passed around as bad as when God questioned Adam about eating the fruit. My friend knew the oldest did not do it so that left the middle two children. When neither came clean she did all she could do, she kicks them out of the pool. The oldest of the two is not happy about this and mean mommy is threatening to appear.
After a while the oldest of the "jail birds" is sent back out by his daddy. Apparently the youngest of the two has confessed his crime...he is three. My poor friend. I watch as she asks the recently pardoned child if he broke the TV one last time. With eyes downcast immediately and a crocked half smile on his lips he says no again. Bless her heart! She doubts the youngest was the culprit but what's done is done. I watch as she (and her husband) restrain their frustration and anger. Mean mommy doesn't come out this time...
I remember a while back I was doing really good at not raising my voice or losing my temper. One day, after my children apparently had invisible birds chirping in their ears really loud, I lost my cool. Mean mommy came out and I yelled a very loud command at them. It caught them so off guard they actually jumped! That is when I had my "ah ha" moment. Their Mean Mommy had grabbed their attention. At this revelation I began to understand the value of the mean mommy. She shouldn't come out all the time, not at every little issue that her children create. What are those issues? Spilled milk, rooms not picked up, forgetting shoes as they get into the car, etc. But when we as mothers are repeating ourselves over and over AND over again trying to prevent those issues from happening we need to know that it is OKAY to raise our voice, lose our temper a little. Our children need to hear our voices and respond the first time we speak not the 40th. Why, out of all the other things our children put us through is this one so important? I will tell you.
Our voices need to be heard by our children and they in return need to take action as soon as we speak. The reason for this is simple, it is because God expects the same from us. If our children wont listen to us the first time, their own parents; then they most likely will not listen to their Holy Father the first time. And listening to Him the first time is the most important thing they will do. So if mean mommy comes out, do not beat yourself up. We are doing the very best to train our children up in the way they should go. That is the best for them, just as God's way is the best for for them. By teaching them to listen to us the first time and the reward of doing so, we can then explain that by listening to God the first time will also be rewarding. You, mommy, need to be listened to the first time BECAUSE you love them and want what is best for them and if that means we have to raise our voice when they still aren't listening after the second time it is STILL because we want what is best for them. They need to jump when we raise our voice and they need to understand that we don't want to, but that we will not tolerate being ignored. They need to know there is a consequence that when they ignore us the first time and mean mommy comes out they will have to pay for that consequence.
So take a deep breath mommy! If mean mommy seems to have been out all day today put the kids down for a quite time and take a bubble bath (because bubble baths always make things better) and sit in the peace of the Lord. God is a loving God just as you are a loving mother. But there will come a time when God has asked enough times for his children to come to him and his wrath will pour out on his children that still don't listen. You, mommy, are training your children up to listen to Him the first time. Every time mean mommy comes out to remind them the importance of respecting their elders (and Our Father is by far the eldest) you are getting them BACK ON the right path. Take peace in that notion mommy, and take a piece of chocolate into that bubble bath with you .