I am excited to be part of the Hope for the Weary Mom Blog Tour with Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker. You can find out more and join the tour by clicking here.
The above quote from their new release today, Hope for the Weary Mom, hits a little too close to home. If you see me at church or play group juggling my boys, you’ll probably see buckets of patience and hear lots of Love and Logic statements. What you don’t see is what these cost me.
We went to Chick-fil-A (CFA) with some of Ethan’s friends from school a few weeks ago. It was our first time to hang out with these moms and their sons, and I was nervous! When one of the moms took my sons to sit down while I ordered, and I wanted to cover my head as I heard them laughing and talking all the way across the restaurant. They were so LOUD!
The play date went well, and I really enjoyed meeting the other moms. They were just like me! Surprise, surprise! Then it came time to go.
As all moms know, leaving CFA is often the war of the century. I gave the 5 minute “choice” to stay or play for five more minutes, and set the timer. When it went off, I called the boys to come get their shoes and coats on. The other moms gathered their boys pretty quickly, so I sat the baby preciously in an empty highchair while I helped #2 with his shoes. When I turned around ready to go, #1 was hanging over a chair with no shoes or socks on claiming to be stuck. Augh! I firmly told him to get his shoes and socks on quickly.
Then they remembered the balloons. Chick-fil-A, my kids love your balloons, but I do not. The last time we had been to CFA #1 had thrown a terrible fit because he didn’t get the color of balloon he wanted. The consequence I gave him was that he couldn’t have a balloon next time. This was next time. When the CFA lady asked if they would like a balloon, I told her #2 could have one, but not #1. A melt down ensued, but I held my ground and reminded him why he wasn’t allowed to have a balloon this time. As I walked out with him in tears, a lady who had witnessed the whole exchange told me, “Good job, mom! It’s good for them to learn a lesson.”
We slowly worked our way across the parking lot with two of them holding one of my hands while I held onto the baby in the other and tried to keep my diaper bag from sliding off my shoulder. When we finally got the Xterra, I held the door open and told the big boys to get in and buckle themselves up while I helped baby.
I know you’ll be surprised to know they didn’t listen. As I leaned over to try to buckle them in #1 started yelling, “Ow! Ow, ow, ow!” He’s a drama king and usually makes mountains out of molehills, and I told him to hush and stop yelling. When he didn’t, I snapped and reached out to slap him in the face. I stopped a mere 1/2 inch from his face. Both of us were shocked. That’s something that happened to me as a teenager, but I had never passed it on to my kids. Until then.
In that moment I had a choice. I could choose to act as if he was still in the wrong and justify my action, or I could show him and me a better way and apologize. I choose to apologize and told him I was sorry for almost slapping him. That wasn’t the way Mommy should act.
I constantly struggle with overcoming the abuse from my past and parenting a better way. Thoughts, words, and actions constantly come to mind, and I have to purposefully make a choice. Daily by the hour even, I have to make a choice. I can choose to act out, or I can choose a better way. In middle of the fight, I can choose to allow guilt to drag me down to a place of hopelessness, or I can choose grace that lifts me up to a place of hope.
Today I choose hope. I choose to run to God and beg him for the strength to overcome and make good choices. I choose to cling to God’s truths about me and by them find freedom. I choose to love and parent my children a different way because of God’s great love for me. I choose to let God’s grace wash over me and lead me to a better way.
If you’re short on hope today, find some of God’s truths in his word that speak to you and cling to them. Read them, memorize them, say them until you begin to believe them. Ask God to strengthen you in your weaknesses, to help you make better choices, and to let his grace and hope wash over you.
If like me many a day and need someone to show you how to find hope today, you might also want to check out Brook and Stacy’s new book Hope For the Weary Mom: Let God meet you in the Mess. Hope for the Weary Mom is a book about letting God meet you in the messy places of motherhood and finding true hope. You can find out more information here!
If you’d like friends to come along side you as you learn to choose hope, please join OverACup in our Facebook group beginning March 2nd as we support and love on each other and learn to choose hope together. We’d love to have you!
I’m excited to tell you OverACup’s new Resources page launched this month! There you can find resources like Hope for the Weary Mom to help guide you and encourage you on your journey to walk with God daily.