Mommy dearest.

“Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT)

I hate it when someone says,” Hello” to my kids, and they respond flippantly or even ignore them. I know I’m not supposed to freak out, but it reflects back on me, and I feel it is embarrassing and rude. My kids are too old for that kind of behavior! I can’t help but think it disrespectful and how I would have gotten thumped for doing that as a kid. This trend with the “H” kids is beginning to ruffle my feathers.
It started my morning off wrong dudes!
I corrected my son, he rolled his eyes and acted like I was interrupting his morning.
I didn’t think I’d have to deal with aloof, teenage behavior until, well…my son was a teenager. ?
What ensued was something that sounded shockingly like my dad stomping around in his work boots. I’ll spare the details…but I made myself pretty clear as to how I expect him to show respect when people address him. I hate being a grown up sometimes. It’s more fun to spoil him and take him to the movies.

I remember being pregnant with him and daydreaming the whole time about baby toes and little onesies. Planning baby portraits and nursery decor. Blankets wrapping this warm little bundle, smelling like Dreft detergent and baby soft cheeks smelling of Johnson’s and Johnson’s…singing to and rocking my baby with the glow and confidence of a championed new mommy.
He arrived and much of that came true…but there was also the jaundice, throw up, scary fevers, the diapers, the horrid and painful breast-feeding, the crippling lack of sleep, and the sheer terror of trying just to keep him alive. I honestly remember thinking to myself when he turned 1 month old, “Wow! We kept him alive for a month!”
Ha! That sounds so grim. Eventually we got the hang of it. Sort of keeping the thought in the back of my mind that once we get out of this baby/toddler phase, things will get a little easier. The moments of pure joy are cemented in my mind and heart forever, and there are assuredly times I wish I could have them both be babies again for one quick second. But honestly, life with little ones is hectic and very demanding. We seasoned through our son and when my daughter came along, we forged through her babydom as well.

Now, we celebrate not having diaper changes to deal with or big bags to lug around everywhere we go. We are overjoyed to not have to have a stroller. We have been excited about being able to “sleep-in” on the weekends till 8:30 or so. Our children can clearly communicate their needs which eases a lot of stress. But this new phase also brings its own set of demands. Hectic-ness. Heartache. This time I won’t be naive enough to think it’ll get any easier. It seems I’ll never feel quite prepared and “ready” as a mother. I love them so much and the desire of my heart is just to be a good mom for them. I don’t want them to act like entitled brats! It’s such a hard-line to walk, giving them the world while also giving clear boundaries and expectations…this parenting thing is ROUGH sometimes. The diaper phase may have been the easiest part after all…

That being said, I had to make a choice this morning to turn myself around. I could have settled in very comfortably into bad mood for the rest of the day. That’s not fair to my kids OR me. I am realizing more and more about myself that the success of my day is directly related to how I choose to behave and conduct myself. How I choose to think and behave and treat those around me has to be filtered through love, not anger. Anger really does make you think and act foolishly, and it so EASILY ensnares us. I can’t allow myself the luxury of a being in a foul mood these days. I don’t want it to upset my “sober” living and give me an excuse to binge. I feel like I have to be extra mindful of my emotions, but shouldn’t we all be?
Lots of little annoying, disrespectful, lame things creep up on us all day, may we choose to shake them off and control them so they do not in turn, control us.

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