As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Stop and Smell the Daisies

Wow, this week's throwback post is so poignant for me.  It was written at a time when I thought I could get this under contol, like maybe if I worked hard enough at it, I could turn things around so my kids would not know me as a raging, yelling Mom.  This was written when my oldest was four years old.  Now he's ten and I have twice as many children, and they all know better than anyone just how much I struggle with my temper.  It's a control issue I know, and one of the things that has stuck with me the strongest since the spiritual exercises I was blessed to attend a few weeks ago is that the problems of our life will reveal what is the essential for us.  I want Christ to be the essential, but in order for that to happen I need to use these problems as an opportunity to meet Him, to tell Him how much I need Him, and to let Him help.  If I keep pretending like they're just going to go away, like one day I'll have it so together that I'll never struggle like this, then I always will, because I will always be keeping the burden with me.  I need to learn to let it go, to let this daily provocation be an invitation to go deeper and meet Jesus.  Such a great reminder for me, and also encouragement to go back and reach into some of the coping techniques I had in the past.  Taking a time-out to engage myself and my with the world around me might be the best way to remember that God is greater than any of the problems I have, and that I need to trust in Him.  And if it helps to stop the screaming, on my part or the kids, that's always a good thing.


Stop and Smell the Daisies
First published July 28, 2008

I've been battling anger issues pretty much since my second child was born. I think the stress of going from one baby to two (and then later to three) was alot, plus I also went through a bit of post-partum stuff with Timothy and I think it's still lingering from that. It doesn't take much at all for me to go on a raging rant with the boys, and especially now that they're getting older, I really want to get it under control. I don't want to be that Mom who's always yelling - I want them to remember me as a good Mom, firm but fair, but mostly who keeps her cool in tough situations.

Knowing that this has been going on for so long and that my own efforts have fallen short so many times, I decided to use my company's EAP benefits and call a professional to see if that would help. The suggestions she gave were mostly impractical - she suggested I leave the kids in a safe place and step outside for a few minutes, but if they're screaming and crying while I do that it would only make me more frustrated; she also suggested I join a "Mommy & Me" group with the kids, but adding one more thing to my already crazy schedule would again be more a source of stress than it would be a relief - can you imagine what it's like to try to get three kids under four dressed and out the door on time???

However she did get me thinking about things I could do to avoid getting to that point where I loose control. As she was talking about getting out to take a break, I thought about the large daisy patch in our yard, and how much the boys love picking them. I decided that while I can't get out for ten minutes to cool down, I could manage to go outside long enough to pick a daisy and bring it into the house. The boys love daisies, so seeing a nice bouquet on our counter would hopefully turn their thoughts to less mischeivous things. And it gives me a few precious minutes to clear my head so I don't explode at them. Over the weekend I got the chance to test this twice, and it ended up working out that instead of going outside by myself, I took the offending child with me. It's amazing how a tantrum-struck child will perk up when you take them out for just a few seconds. And the daisies on the counter are now a sign that I'm surviving, I'm winning.

The battle wages on, and I still have my good days and bad days. But when things get too crazy, taking the time to stop and smell the daisies makes a world of difference for everyone. Praise God for so much natural beauty so close, and the healing it brings when you learn to put everything in perspective.

No comments :

Post a Comment