More Hugs, Less Yelling

We’re just going to get this all out here at the very beginning:

This last week has not been my best week.

I’ve lost it more times than I can count with my kids. Sad, but true.

I mean, most of the time I can juggle a full schedule and the swirling tween/teen emotions in our household with a firm but gracious grasp. But this past week I’ve been more like a raging mamasaurus on a rampage, throwing yucky mean phrases across the kitchen island faster than an ice-cream cone melting on a hot summer day. We’re talking potent word grenades, my friends. Deadly poisonous things that stick with you long after the conversation is over.

Now I don’t want to make excuses for myself, but I also want you to understand where I’m coming from. Like many a tired mom who has come before me, my nerves have been rather fried as of late; frazzled with long weeks of work and school and taxiing kids hither and yon. In fact, if the mileage gauge on our car could speak, I’m sure it would say, Long live the oil industry!

Like metal spheres in a Newton’s Cradle that clank back and forth on those itty bitty strings, hitting each other and then pulling apart, the week has carried on somehow. But with all of us hanging on by a mere thread.And due to the busyness of our family’s current season, the emotions in our household have been running abnormally high. Mix fatigue together with a general feeling of overwhelmed-ness, and you will get some extra spicy reactions. My threshold for disobedience, talking back, forgetting to put laundry in the laundry basket, or leaving dishes in the sink has been extremely low. I repeat, extremely low.

Anytime the kids have asked me a question, I’ve barked out my response. And if they’ve forgotten to say, “Thank you,” I’ve totally lost it.

But this is not who I want to be! And my guess is, this is not the kind of mom any of us want to be.

Because we want our children to remember us as loving mamas. As kind mamas. As hugging mamas. Not the crabby yelling cranky kind.

So here we are with a new week and a new opportunity to illustrate love and demonstrate grace to our families. A brand new chance to utilize all those new morning mercies the Lord never fails to pour out on His kids.

And because I know I could use a some help in this area, I was thinking maybe we all could.

So what if we made a pact to hug more and yell less.

To pray more and stress less.

To lovingly give our hearts to our families more and take it out on them less.

And if we totally bomb it and lose our junk on our kids this week, we’ll humbly apologize (to God and our kids), give them a hug, and begin again.

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Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.
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