“If I hear ‘mom!’ one more time….” Truthfully, we are not even sure how to finish that sentence, but we know something has got to change before we lose our sanity.
Maybe you haven’t thought that (yet), but most of us moms have at some point.
The incessant calls for help, the unrelenting demands from the toddler for “more!”, the continual tattle-telling and nonstop questions about everything can make any human want to just disappear into a hole of silence (for at least 4 minutes).
Well, no one said motherhood was for the faint at heart. But before we chalk these frustrations up to another challenging day of parenting, might we consider that our irritation says more about us than it does about our kids?
Not that children shouldn’t be taught that mommy can’t actually do 7 things at once, or that children shouldn’t be taught to be patient, or to do things for themselves, or learn to work out their own problems. A child should be in the process of being taught all these things. BUT where should a mom be at in the process of her own lessons? What if our children just wanted to run and hide from their challenges because they “had enough”? Would we accept this attitude as appropriate in our children?
The problem is, our culture has led us to believe that life should be fun, easy, convenient, and pretty much all about ourselves. And our sinful flesh concurs. Our culture would even go so far as to say children are an inconvenience…and when these kids of ours start in with their needs and demands, we might just find ourselves agreeing.
But take a moment to evaluate what we are really saying when we allow ourselves to get to the point of saying “can everyone just not say ‘mom’ for 5 minutes!?” (as I know many a mom has said).
Consider some options:
- I wish they would just leave me alone!
- I am sick and tired of meeting their needs.
- Can’t I just have a couple minutes of peace and quiet to myself?
- I can’t handle this! This is too much!
The common denominator in all such thoughts is “I”. Me. Myself. We are thinking selfishly, and letting it get the best of us. We are forgetting that life is not about us. We are forgetting the example of our Savior.
We hopefully recognize the potential shortfall in our thinking when we read these words:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3–8
Jesus had every right to demand worship, obedience, and recognition, and yet he humbly became a servant, ultimately to die for the benefit of others. We have no such claim on personal rights, and yet we quickly get sick and tired of feeling like anyone’s servant.
On days like today, we need to let go of our sense of pride, our desire for ease and convenience, and to put it bluntly, our selfishness. We need to instead remember our Savior’s example, and ask for his help to lovingly serve those around us.
So next time you hear “MOM!” may it be a cue to forget yourself and look to the interest of the little people entrusted to your care.
Prayer 4 the Irritated Mom
Lord, I recognize that I have selfish tendencies. I realize I often wish people would be more aware of how they can make my life easier. But regardless of what people (including my children) demand of me, I know I need to have the humble mindset of a servant. Help me rid myself of the irritable attitude of someone who doesn’t want to be bothered.
Help me to teach my children how to ask things of me rightly, but more than that, help ME to respond rightly to their needs. Lord help me be more like Jesus and be ready to willingly put other’s interests above my own.