Another step in the right direction…
So now that I have happiness at work but I’m picking up on the unhappiness at home. I have a great life and my family is blessed way beyond what we deserve. God is good! So why is there so much stress at home? It may be the fact that we are a working family with teenagers and a toddler. Yes, that may be it. From work to home to running kids around to appointments and sports, it’s more hectic at home now than at work! For some reason my patience runs out and I’m frustrated that I can’t make my kids happy. I find myself yelling more and losing my patience easier.
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
Why am I so quick to anger? I asked various moms. Some Christians and some non-Christians. I was amazed at the answers! The non-Christian moms said I was burned-out with my lifestyle and I need a weekend away from the family. Go do a weekend of shopping for yourself and wine drinking. Sounds great! But how does that really solve the problem? Then a Christian mom looked me directly in the eye and said, “Don’t be unappreciated of the hidden joys God has given you or he will take it away.” What? She went on to explain how God will give us stress and frustration so we become stronger in our faith. You don’t need a weekend away, you need a weekend together.
She was right. We need a weekend together as a family. No running around everywhere, no eating meals separately, no skipping out on church because we’re all too tired. I mention the idea to everyone. My husband was totally on board. The kids…not so much. Then it dawned on me: I’m the mother and they are the children. Why do I let them run the show? I was creating my own stress!
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20
I laid down the “Law of Mom” that day. I made it clear the plans for the weekend. From that point on during the week, I told the kids, “I’m the mother, you’re the child… oh and if you want that new video game, you’ll have to buy it for yourself.” After only two days of struggles, the atmosphere in the house changed. I don’t know if it’s because I decided my job was to be the mom and not the “happiness doctor” or the kids realized they were unappreciated of what they had.
The teenagers are doing chores with no arguing since I made it clear there will be no allowance unless there’s work done. As for our toddler, that girl is strong-willed, and it will take time and tons of patience from everyone to get her into a routine. For now, she seems to love helping us around the house and sooner or later she might sleep through the night again. I have found more joy in raising her – it was just hidden like my friend pointed out. We will be doing more weekends of togetherness. The time we spent together was fun and filled with family meals with prayer, outdoor activities, and church. Always amazed how happy everyone is when we leave church…why don’t we always go?