Are you an angry mom?
Please tell me I’m not alone when I confess that there are times when I yell at my kids. There are times when I get so angry and stressed out that I just blow my top and say things that I shouldn’t or in a way I shouldn’t. This normally comes after a sleepless night and an empty coffee creamer jug. It’s so easy to use the excuse “kids are resilient and they’ll be fine!” Which is partially true, kids are resilient, but a truly angry parent will affect them long into adulthood. A consistent, quick, angry temper will wilt their little spirits for many years.
It’s so easy to go straight to anger when you’re dealing with your children and spouse. My 5-year-old is adjusting to life with a brand new little brother and has reverted back to messing his pants, presumably for attention. He’s nearly 6 years old and was having 4 or 5 accidents a day. As if cleaning newborn poop isn’t bad enough adding 5-year-old poop to the mix (who ate Lord knows what yesterday) just makes we want to hurl. The older the kids get, the more disgusting cleaning up after them gets. No one tells you that when you’re pregnant.
These past few weeks with our new little one has given me a very raw view of my anger and my subsequent lack of control over my tongue. Killian is 4 weeks old and my hormones are slowly getting back to normal. I’m not blaming my hormones for my inability to control my tongue, but I swear it makes it more difficult. All I have to say is thank God for locking bathroom doors so mommy can take a time out before responding.
There’s nothing worse on this earth than spewing angry, mean words at a young child and watch it crush their spirit. I would rather my son fall off his bike and break an arm than watch him wince at my anger-filled words because he was being a little too loud. It’s heartbreaking! If you’re an average human mom I bet you’ve seen that look more often than you’d like to admit.
Let’s look at some scripture to find out how we can combat anger towards our children:
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
My first question is this; Is your heart right? Chances are if we are yelling, angry or about to spew nastiness, the answer is no. If our heart and minds are right then anger wouldn’t be something that we would struggle with do bitterly. Take a few moments and ask the Lord to calm your spirit and put HIS filter on your tongue and mind. Are we staying grounded in scripture? Are we reading and praying daily? Making it to church weekly and attending a bible study or ladies group? Staying plugged into the Lord is vital to combating anger.
Proverbs 21:23. “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”
My second question is this; have you waited long enough before speaking? You might need to take a few extra minutes locked in the bathroom to repent of your anger and truly get your mouth under control. The kids will still be there when you get done. This ensures that you have the ability to speak the truth in love and do corrective action correctly and effectively. I can understand that it’s infuriating to sound like a broken record because your kids won’t listen the first 27 times you tell them not to duct tape the cat to the floor. Sometimes we need a break before diving into discipline.
Try locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes or spend some time in prayer in front of your kids so they can see that you’re trying to follow scripture. I also urge you to view the world from their perspective. They’re children. How will they know unless we, as parents, instruct them? “Don’t duct tape the cat” might be something that we would never have fathomed having to say out loud, but that’s why the Lord gave parents to kids! To teach them and instruct them; no matter how silly it might seem.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
My third question is; have you repented and sought forgiveness if you blew up? We all slip and we all fail. Often. Daily even. But we can NOT be above asking our kids for forgiveness. This humility will show them the love of Christ in a way so powerful. REPENT. Ask Christ to forgive you and to keep His word hidden in our heart so our anger doesn’t spew out of there so often. There’s nothing sweeter than a hug from a child when they whisper “I forgive you mommy” in your ear. It truly brings us closer together and brings up an incredible training moment on love and forgiveness.
James 3:8 “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
My fourth question is this; do you have a good support structure in your local church that can keep you accountable to keep your anger in check? We’ve all heard the verse “iron sharpens iron”. Who’s your iron? Are they safe? (Refer back to my Safe People devotional to find out who is a safe person to have in your life for more questions to ask yourself about potential “iron”.) I strongly recommend finding a group of ladies or a bible study to attend regularly to get fed the word of God. Also in this be transparent. We don’t have to pretend to have it all together. Some days are wonderful! We get the dishes done, get makeup on, get out of our yoga pants all by 10 AM! Other days if we get our teeth brushed or a bra on… ANY kind of bra it’s a good day! QUIT PRETENDING you’re perfect. Quit pretending that bad days don’t happen to you. We all know you’re lying. EVERYONE GETS ANGRY! Only in transparency will we fully be held accountable the way the Lord intended. There’s a reason the gospels use this pattern. Give it a try.
II Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
The devil wants us to have discord in our families. The devil wants us to come apart at the seams and to yell, fight, bicker and hold onto anger in our hearts. That’s how he wins. II Timothy clearly says that the Lord gives us a sound mind. We can’t have a sound mind if we are too busy sowing discord in our own families due to our anger and inability (or unwillingness) to take a breath and strive to speak kindly.
I’m not pretending AT ALL that I have this down pat. I struggle with anger towards my kids and towards my spouse and towards life in general often. And I even struggled with it today! I think we all do to a point. We are human born into a world of depravity. We will fail epically. My point is this: When the Lord the King and center of our heart it makes it a lot harder for the devil to seep in and rear his ugly head through our mouths. We have to make a conscious effort to speak kindly and softly towards our children, even when we find melted crayons all over the dryer…and the “clean” clothes. They’re children. There’s a reason the Lord gave them parents; because they can’t make decisions for themselves. The Lord has entrusted these kids to us to train through love and through Godly correction, not through anger and scared submission.