When Good Moms Lose it
This post is for the moms that lose it. Patient, good moms who pray for their kids and read all the books and blogs, who balance rules with fun and try to bring their kids up to not be little jerks.
I just don't want my future daughter-in-law calling me crying all the time. I'm trying, honey, I promise. You're getting a good one, of that I am confident.
But even in all the biblical, parental training I've received I am still a Daughter of Thunder. That’s right. I’m crazy. Just ask my kids. I've unleashed crazy on them so many times, they're immune.
I recall unshackling a particular brand of crazy one day after church. Yeah, I know. Timing.
My oldest and I were arguing over yet another episode of "I didn't hear you" and "You never told me to do that," when I turned on him and told him if he ever said that to me again I would throw him in the dungeon with boiled hot dogs for the rest of his life. He tells me that I am over reacting and then laughs as he adds, "That's what I told the guest speaker we had in church today."
Picture me stopping dead in my tracks halfway across the kitchen. Then I do that mom-thing when I blink heavily, then get wide-eyed while I cock my head to one side and my hips to the other. My hand comes up with dual purpose - to stop by son from saying anything more and to call on the precious name of Jesus.
I can faintly hear my husband call out from the living room, "Son, noooooooooo."
My son knows he has two seconds to run and hide before the crazy appears. "Please explain yourself."
My son's version of little church went like this: A guest speaker asked the children about what type of parenting style their parents had and how they felt about it. It resulted in kumbaya moments and tears. Uncomfortable with this scenario, my son, the purveyor of antics, tried to lighten it up by sharing stories of my Thunder Mom moments. His stories resulted in the guest speaker asking if my son needed to talk to him in private.
With a calm, but strong voice that makes it clear he has one last chance to clear this misunderstanding up, I say, “Let me see if I understand correctly: a perfect stranger, with zero knowledge or relationship to our family asks YOU, a child, to reveal YOUR feelings about MY parenting skills, in front of a few other adults and teens with zero knowledge or relationship to our family and you thought to yourself, 'of all the things I could share in this moment, sharing that my mom is an over-reactor is a good idea.' Is that about right? Did I get this scenario wrong in any way?"
Crickets. Then, "Wait, what?"
"How do you feel about it now? Still a good idea?”
Luckily he is rescued by my laid-back, easy-going husband with a soft, "Now, honey."
I breathe a heady sigh. Daughter of Thunder. I mutter something like, "you better talk to him," before heading off to fury-clean the tub.
Can you relate?
A beloved member of my mom mafia and I recently discussed this and took a few pics depicting our various "thunder" looks. Can you relate:
I think at times, we are all sons and daughters of thunder. Like John, brother to James, son to Zebedee. "to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, "Sons of Thunder". (Mark 3:17)
While there's no direct explanation why Jesus gave the brothers this nickname, it is not hard to imagine. When Jesus was denied lodging, James and John stepped to the front of the line, "You want us to call down the fire of heaven on them?" (Luke 9:54 NKJV)
Can you picture it? You and your mom mafia are hanging out and someone threatens one of them - how do you feel? Someone in your group is the one to say, "you want me to take care of this?"
John didn't mess around. But the Son of Thunder was also the Apostle of Love.
John learned that love tempers the thunder. His thunderous moments were outweighed by the moments he shared love with those he was called to love.
Why do we lose it? Because we love. Because we take the mischievousness and mistakes of our children and see it as a reflection of our parenting skills.
God gave even our children free will to think and behave and make choices. We can lay out all the rules, create chore charts with stickers, offer pudding when they make a happy plate, hold the wifi hostage when they misbehave and pray that their path is lit by the Lord, but in the end, it is their choice.
How do you think God feels about us as his children when we behave like our own?
Probably a little angry" Leviticus 19:18 says the 'Lord is slow to anger', not that he doesn't GET angry.
A little confident in the space between us: "there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 8:39) He understands we are sinners and will have obstacles, but what he knows and we often forget is that those obstacles do not separate us from the love of God.
Follow in his example. As a parent, love hard, offer a hundred times more grace and love as instruction and keep praying, being "rooted and grounded in love, (may) have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19
And give yourself a little grace. God has every second of their life planned out, so you don't have to. Quit trying to take over his job and take a break. Hug a mom today, tell her she is doing a great job, then hug your kid and tell them you love them. I'm praying over the moms reading this. he picked you specifically for this job because he knew you'd do a good job. Give thanks to Him who brings us joy and peace and who gives us grace through Jesus.