3 Reasons Mom “Loses It” With Her Kids {& How She Can Win}

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To be perfectly honest, I never knew I had a temper.

Not until I had children.

And that’s when I discovered I had a real ugly side.

Surprisingly explosive.

My kids could say or do things that simply set me off like nothing else ever had.

In an instant, I lost it.

Again.

Not pretty.

Not nice.

And not godly parenting.

Now maybe you’re having a hard time picturing this. You can’t imagine that smiling lady in the picture actually coming unglued.

But it’s happened. More than once.

You can even ask my older children and they’ll tell you. (My full confession is here.)

I suppose this side of me hadn’t come out before because I’d never been quite so frustrated. Not quite so tired and worn down either. Not nearly so overwhelmed.

I understood that motherhood was going to be tough at times . . . I just didn’t realize how tough.

And so I lost it.

But when mom “loses it”? Everyone loses.

And I did NOT want that. I didn’t want it for myself and I really didn’t want it for them.

Not everyone struggles with this, but for those of you who do, I’m going to share a few reasons why this happens . . . and what’s more, what you can do about it.

3 Reasons A Mom Loses It with Her Kids {& How to Win}

1.  She has not taken the time to train her children.

You are frustrated because your kids are constantly making a mess. Or they’re not ready on time. Or they haven’t done their chores. Or their schoolwork. Or _______ (fill in the blank). You’ve told your children over and over again what they are supposed to be doing. You’ve nagged and you’ve threatened. Maybe you’ve yelled.

And yet nothing changes.

Winning Strategy

So here’s the problem: there’s a big difference between instructing and training. Both are important, but we moms have a tendency to leave off with the second half of that equation.

Training involves:

  1. Telling  (communicating what is expected)
  2. Practicing  (giving plenty of opportunities to do the right thing)
  3. Consequences  (what happens when it’s not done)

Personally, I’m a big fan of “natural consequences” and apply them wherever I can. (This is probably an entire post in itself, but let me give you a few examples below).

  • You’re not ready on time? Guess you’re not going to get to go to the party then.
  • Your room isn’t clean? Well, you are free to play (or have dessert, or ….) when it’s tidy.
  • You forgot to do your chores? Okay, then I’ll save your dinner for when you’re done.

One of the reasons you “lose it” in these situations is that you feel helpless. Except that you’re not helpless. You’re the mom remember?

Get creative. Remain cheerful, but firm. And pray for wisdom. 🙂

2.  She forgets to embrace the season she is in.

I know. It can seem like forever. That your child will always wet the bed. Or forget his backpack. Or break down crying at the simplest request.

But it will pass.

I was just Skyping our oldest son (now 21 years old) this morning and we were remembering a time when I “lost it” with the kids when they were younger. I cringed at the memory, even though he was grinning as he recounted the story.

Because looking back, I can see that it had been merely a matter of immaturity, but I had taken it personally. And so I lost my cool. Ugh. I’d do that one over again if I could.

Winning Strategy

Recognize the season you’re in – or maybe more to the point, what season your child is in – and decide you’re going to love it. All of it. The wet sheets, the mess, and the mud. It is only a short time and before you know it, you’re Skyping your adult kid and you’re both laughing at it.

I promise. 

3.  She is taking on more than what God has asked of her.

Surprised? Quite honestly, this is one of the biggest reasons a mom “loses it.” You are doing too much.

Here, let me say it again: You are doing too much.

Okay, so I can already hear your protests. “What do you mean, I’m doing too much? I’m only doing all the things that I HAVE to do!”

But we moms can get confused on what we “have” to do and what we (erroneously) believe we “should” do. And since we’re talking mom-to-mom, I’m going to confess a number of things that I have NOT done—and that my kids have somehow survived just fine. Ready?

  • throw big birthday parties
  • attend the birthday parties of other kids (yes, I’m serious! #don’tjudge)
  • Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Awanas, soccer club, or play dates
  • crafts, games, or Disneyland
  • and lots more…..

And yet for some reason, my kids still consider me a good mom. Crazy, huh? 

So look to God for what you really “have” to do—not to your friends, neighbors, church, or current culture. 

Winning Strategy

Step back and evaluate all that you’re doing and determine those things that are truly essential and those that are optional.

And then I suggest that you ditch the optional.

If juggling so many things brings you to the point of “losing it” with your kids? Then you’re doing too much.

Because your child needs a calm, loving hug from his mom far more than he needs to go to some kid’s birthday party.

I know this because I Skyped that kid this morning. That kid who is now a young adult.

And you want to know something? He doesn’t miss attending that birthday party.

But he said he sure does miss his mom’s hugs.

And if you’re the mom who is beating herself up over how she loses it with her kids? I will tell you something else: kids are resilient and they are forgiving.

And it’s never too late to start a winning strategy.

So start now.

Trust me, it’s a win-win.

In His grace,
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