First off, it is a really great feeling to have made friends through this blog that care enough to pray for me and then remember to ask how my talk went. Thank you! What a blessing you are to me!
So, I am finished and I feel like it went pretty well. I had incredible peace about what I was saying and had time this morning to pray alone before I spoke.
I was prepared. Which is shocking in and of itself since I always procrastinate. I was up late obsessing over a couple things, though.
Hubby, being the experienced speaker that he is, told me about midnight last night that I was going to run over the 30 minutes I was allowed to speak. So, I needed to cut some of it. I was a little miffed that I had to cut anything out of my talk on anger, but he was right. There was just so much I could say!
I think I ran over anyway. Sorry MOPS ladies if I did - brevity is not my strongest attribute.
The title of today's meeting was Momma in the Doghouse. Cute and appropriate for my talk.
What I really wanted the moms to know is that they are not alone.
You know, it's not like we just go and talk about it. "Oh, Susan, let me tell you how much I screamed at my kids earlier today! You could have heard me from the next county."
It's not something we are exactly proud of. But it is something many of us deal with and would like to talk to someone about.
I know I feel and other moms feel frustrated in parenting and often do not deal with that frustration in the healthiest ways.
I know I have have been angry and hurtful with my husband and kids at times and that it grieves my God. But he is a god of grace and forgiveness. I wanted the moms to know that.
Mothering is hard work.
Hormones going all wacky are real.
Lack of sleep and "me time" can have a profound effect on how you respond to your children.
I think that moms put their needs dead last most of the time and that it can be draining.
I think we allow ourselves to get over tired, over booked and lack clear boundaries with those around us.
I think our anger, frustration and tempers are results of unfulfilled needs in our life. Lack of sleep, no date nights, lack of time alone, etc.
I know, I'm probably preachin' to the choir here. I am not sharing any big revelations. But I did feel led to share my story so they could be free to share theirs with each other.
The specifics of my story are most likely different than yours or the moms I met today. Or maybe not.
I definitely don't have it all figured out.
This is what I do know, though. I must depend on God for help with raising these kids he has gifted me with. Without him, I can easily lose it. So, I must lean on him and find his strength in my weakness.It seemed like the questions that came at the end of my talk were mostly about how to discipline a child or how to help a child work through their own anger or emotional outbursts.
I did have a few tools for this that I shared with the moms when they asked. I'm sure they could have used more. I am no expert in this area.
But - Since, through my own actions, I taught my daughter how to have a tantrum when life hands you lemons, I in turn, had to teach her and myself for that matter, to deal with frustration in a healthy way.
We are all about feeling our emotions around here. We try to be keenly aware of them. We talk to counselors when we need to, pastors and friends other times. We acknowledge that anger and sadness are just a part of life that we often have to work through. There is no suppressing anger or sadness around here and as a family that is just how we roll.
I also feel I need to teach my children how to work through their own anger. My job is to raise them into big people that have self-control over themselves. If they don't learn that now, then they will have to face the challenges I've had to face in learning self-control as an adult.
And that is not easy my friends. Not easy at all.
Lastly, I need to teach them where to look for their own help. I want to teach them about hope. Hope and peace that only a loving God can bring.
There are hundreds of books out there on parenting. Discipline and parenting are personal family choices and not something God has laid on my heart to speak on. Honestly, I am not the best at discipline.
What he did lay on my heart was to talk about how to deal with the strong and sometimes dangerous emotion of anger as a mom. That is what I tried to do today. Not how to control your kids, but how to control yourself. I am hopeful that was my message.
I hated to leave the discussion today on this topic because I really felt like those moms had so much to say. But, alas, our sweet mommy time was up. The childcare workers wanted to go home. Imagine that?
I would love to have more discussion here on this blog, though. If there are some ladies from the MOPS group out there reading, please leave a comment or email me.
So, the big question that was left hanging at the end of our time together was this...
What are ways you help your children deal with strong emotions of anger and sadness?