I don’t know about you, but there are days that being a stay-at-home mom is not so appealing. I want to throw in the towel, go lay on the beach by myself somewhere, with no husband and no kids, and just be all alone. Soaking up the peace and quiet. Enjoying the sunshine without kids screaming and my husband tugging on me because he is horny again. And sometimes it seems like those days creep in more than other times. So the other day I asked myself, why is it that there are times when I want to give up being a stay-at-home mom? God answered with, you need an attitude adjustment.
Seeing it Through God’s Eyes
So many days I wake up with a check list in my head. I need to get this done and this done and this done and before the day even begins, and then, I am stressed out. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Then my kids wake up and they’ll ask me questions or want things and I will get grumpy because I feet like there is already too much on my plate. AWWWW!!
God has been telling me for awhile that I didn’t give you your family to put them second. That they should be my first priority. I want to live that way, but the house is a mess, I need to get groceries, run errands, pay the bills, work on my website, get homeschooling done, go to work, take care of the animals, and on and on and on the list goes. And I am suppose to do all of this and still be horny at the end of the day for my husband. My head hurts just thinking about it.
Something has got to give before this momma explodes!! So I just stopped. I didn’t think. I didn’t worry. I didn’t stress out about my to do list. I just stopped and prayed. And all I got was that my family is suppose to be put first. FINE. I hear you!!
OK God, here I go. I took a look at the list in front of me and realized that not everything had to be done today. That I needed to lower my expectations on myself. That my kids were only little for so long and that if I didn’t stop and enjoy time with them now, that it would be too late. Then, I asked God to help me see my life through his eyes. Wow, was I way off the mark. God called me to have JOY. Jesus first, then others, then myself. And the others on my list are my family.
How to Change Your Attitude
Well, I am suppose to put my family first. I thought that I was already doing that. I had quit my job as a public school teacher to homeschool them. I spend countless hours trying to make homeschooling fun. I run the local soccer program and coach their soccer teams in the fall and even coach their indoor soccer teams as well. I keep the house clean and make dinner at least half of the time. Isn’t that enough. NO, it’s not.
Where is the fun loving mom that just spontaneously takes her kids out for ice cream? Where is the mom who drops everything that she is doing to listen to her kids? Where is the mom who puts her family first over the house work? Where is the mom that God called to love her kids more than herself?
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I am not being the mom that I want to be, or that God has called me to be. My heart felt to heavy.
So here I go, I need an attitude change. Lord, please help me.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
If I truly believe in Jesus, then I am called to live my life by a different standard. I am to express my love by my words and actions. This is not something that I can do on my own. I have to keep turning to Jesus to help my attitude to change permanently. I have to put Jesus first and in the process my heart will change allowing me to love our kids the way that God wants me to.
I have been making sure that I take time in the Bible each morning. Not, as a check list activity but to really dig deep into His word and what it means for me. To see how I can use His word in my life. To take action for the words God has given to me and really use them each day.
I have also been trying to pray more. It was hard at first, and sometimes can still be. I tried praying for 5 minutes. I think I made it to about 2 minutes. As I continue to pray, it seems to be easier to just talk to God. To listen to Him. To slow down and enjoy time with Him. And in doing this I feel less stressed and the need to control everything has started to diminish.
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14)
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Is this how I felt towards my kids? Thank you God that I am not like my kids! Thank God that I already do everything right! Thank God that I am such a good mom that everything is going the way that I want it to! Thank God that I am trying my best and that is all that I can ask for! Or even, thank God that I am not like that mom!
How is my attitude suppose to change, when I can not even acknowledge my short comings? If I am always so busy running around with my head cut off to even evaluate myself as a parent? All the other things in life that are so important that it pushes my family to the side. Causing a rift in my relationships with the people that I love the most. This is not what God wanted when he asked me to homeschool my kids.
So I have been making sure that I STOP more each day and just enjoy what is going on around me. Taking time to play with my kids. As a homeschooling mom I will feel exhausted at the idea of playing with my kids. I just spent hours working on school with them. Isn’t that enough? I have literally been with them all day, Why do I have to do more?
God loves us everyday, even in our short comings. He listens to us ask Him for help, about our problems and even our whining. He loves us when others would turn us away. He loves us when we are good and even when we are bad. As a mom, I am called to love my kids in the same way. That includes spending time enjoying and taking an interest in who they are. Taking time to listen to them, even when they are whining for the 10th time that day. To discipline them in love when you want to pull your hair out. To breathe, and enjoy all of their idiosyncrasies even when I am at the end of my rope.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of still loving them when they have driven me crazy all day seems like an unattainable goal. But, nothing is impossible with God. I am on a mission to love my children the way that God has called me to love them. I am ready for a change in this stay-at-home mom gig. I am ready to embrace a new day, a new way of thinking and especially a new attitude.
God, please help me on my journey to love my kids the way that you love me. Help me to have patience when
they are screaming and fighting, when they are misbehaving and not listening. Help me to STOP everyday and enjoy them.
To put my to do list aside and find JOY in what is going on around me. Help me to be the
mom of the present and not a mom that is worrying about everything that needs to be done. I know that it will take time,
prayer and trust in you to get there. But I also know that in you anything is possible. Amen
Alright stay-at-home parents, let’s start becoming the moms and dads that God has called us to be!!
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due
us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
(2 Corinthians 5:10)
I will held accountable for the way that I raised my kids. For the way that I loved my husband. For how I loved others.
God is not going to punish me for having a house that is not perfectly put together. He isn’t going to yell at me for the email that I didn’t answer. He won’t even reprimand me for the list of things that I didn’t finish each day. So if He isn’t worried about those things why am I?
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has
denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing
from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not
only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4)
I never want to deny my faith to God and become worse than an unbeliever in His eyes. I do not want to hurt God or my family. I must in humility put others first, before myself. Let my life be a reflection of you Jesus in my actions and my words and let it start with my family.