Are you weary? God’s mercies are new every morning. God is ready and able to equip us to respond to whatever comes our way today. Joy comes in the morning.
Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like I failed at my job as a mom.
After the kids went to bed, I sat with my husband, recounting the day, tears streaming down my face.
I told him how I was still feeling just as helpless, ill-equipped, emotionally raw, and disrespected as I had earlier in the day.
I felt like I failed.
Even worse, I had no idea what I could have done differently.
I told my husband how my son had ended up in his room, completely out-of-control, caught in the throes of an EPIC temper tantrum.
And how that tantrum left both of us in tears.
I recalled how the whole day leading up to that moment had been emotionally charged, and filled with out-of-character defiance from my son.
How at 9 am I was already searching mom-blogs for advice on how to discipline (I should note, I found one worthy of reading here). And the day went on from there.
To say I was frustrated is an understatement.
Knowing my husband was in a meeting, I had called my mom in desperation for advice. She must have heard the defeat in my voice, because my parents were at my doorstep in 10 minutes.
Calling for backup.
At first, I felt sheepish. Like I should be able to handle it. I second guessed my decision to call for help from the moment I hung up the phone until they arrived.
But as they arrived, the tension diffused. Relief washed away any embarrassment.
This mama had no big ideas on how to proceed. I also sensed that if I went in and talked to our son, who had finally quieted down, it would cause him to again spiral out of control. I certainly didn’t want to risk it.
My dad went upstairs and had a grandpa-grandson talk.
A little while later, our son emerged. Calm. Apologetic. Tear-free.
I don’t know what my dad said or how my son responded to him. I don’t need to. What I do know is it was effective, and expressed in a far more gentle way than I could have in that moment.
My sweet parents stayed until my husband got home, and then my son and daddy had a talk.
While I was grateful for all of the help and the uneventful evening, I felt defeated.
Don’t get me wrong. Our son’s behavior was unimpressive. But what stood out most was my lack of skills to handle it, practically or emotionally.
Kids have temper tantrums; it’s a fact of life.
Especially kids who have gotten ear tubes, a nasty cold and a cough, and started fall activities and preschool, all in the last 2 weeks.
Of course our son was exhausted! And rightly so! He was still in the process of healing and learning to cope with the increase in stimulation and activities.
I get it.
He. Just. Lost it.
My husband was so kind. He encouraged me, hugged me, and we set a plan in case something like that happened again.
Still, I went to bed with an empty feeling. I was so disappointed in myself, and my reaction to the day of epic tantrums. So, I did what many of us do in this situation; I allowed myself to wallow in mom-guilt until I fell asleep.
Joy comes in the morning.
When I woke this morning my daughter was yelling. As I entered her room, she was jumping up and down, cracking up, excited to see me.
We ventured out to find my son reading quietly in his bed. He, too, was excited to see me, and to share what he was looking at.
He wasn’t still thinking about yesterday or how mommy couldn’t handle the situation. Nothing held him back from beginning today anew.
We headed downstairs and I made them breakfast. While they ate, I sat with my Bible and spent some time reading and praying before God.
Still feeling raw, I flipped the Bible open to Psalms, in hopes of finding words to begin the day with worship.
A familiar, highlighted verse from Psalm 30 popped out at me.
For his anger lasts only a moment,Psalm 30:5 (NIV)
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
I find it even more beautiful in the King James Version:
For his anger endureth but a moment,Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
in his favour is life;
weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning.
I may have ended the day in failure yesterday, but my son and my God have not given up on me yet.
Yesterday held failure and I didn’t do it all right. I wasn’t ‘mom-enough‘ to handle it all by myself. But my God and my son haven’t given up on me yet.
Why should I?
A fresh perspective.
While I did pray for help yesterday in the thick of it, it was more of a plea of desperation. I neglected to lean into God in the midst of circumstances beyond my control. Parenting felt like a chore, instead of a joy.
Earlier in the day, when I was searching mom-blogs for parenting wisdom, I should have been consulting the Bible and praying to the One true God. The source of all wisdom.
The ultimate parent and Father who has watched every temper tantrum in the history of the world (Ugh, aren’t you glad YOU haven’t had to do that?).
It isn’t that other parents (or my parents) can’t give wisdom. They can. I am grateful they do.
Yet, relying on my own strength and the wisdom of other people or Google doesn’t hold up under pressure. It can’t. And Google doesn’t claim to give us any joy.
Only the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control given by a relationship with Jesus Christ can prepare us for the unknown. Even the unknown of the most loved people in our lives.
Mom-blogs are great, but they are no match for Jesus.Mom-blogs are great, but they are no match for Jesus.#thisgratefulmama #cometothewell #momlife Click To Tweet
Come to the well.
Yesterday I was reminded of the importance of praying daily for God’s guidance and wisdom in parenting.
It’s clear; I cannot do this in my own strength or wisdom. Yesterday confirmed my inadequacy.
I must ask God daily to help me rely on His strength, not my own. And to seek His wisdom in responding to daily life.
What a faithful God we serve! God is a good Father. As we open wide our mouths, He promises to fill it.
God doesn’t expect us to do it all on our own. He is ready and able to supply all we need to respond in love, not emotion.
He will provide strength and endurance to sustain us through even the most epic tantrum. And any challenge we face as they grow up. Come what may.
And when we’re looking back on failure, God is faithful to forgive. His grace is enough to cover even our most epic failure. Even mine. And yours.
My children have been calm and pleasant today and very little course correction has been needed.
It’s like yesterday never happened. And yet, the truth of what was learned remain.
His mercies are new every morning. JOY comes in the morning. And God is ready and able to equip us to respond to whatever comes our way today, by His Spirit.
7 DO’s and DON’Ts After Your Child’s Public Meltdown, This Grateful Mama
Biblical Affirmations for Christian Moms, Surviving Toddlerhood
Not My Own Strength, My Joyful MOMent