Finding God in the mess

We all get cross with our children sometimes, but that will come out differently for each of us. One mum this week shares how she turned her challenging moment into a teachable moment.

I had a particularly embarrassing and immature episode the other day, where I was so frustrated about the state my house was in, with all the washing, cleaning and tidying being left to me to sort out. I really lost the plot.

I actually stole my children’s football so that they couldn’t play until they had helped clear up what felt like a million toys in the living room and tidy their bedroom. Between me shouting and snapping about the bits they had missed, and listing all the things I do to make our house run like clockwork, I displayed very little love and certainly did not model well how to handle out of control emotions.

At this point there was guilt galore at how terrible a mum I was, that I hadn’t set a good example and just how poorly I had handled the situation. But I did take the opportunity to say sorry.

Once I caught myself and calmed down, the first thing I did was sit my children down and say “I am so sorry. I really shouldn’t have reacted like that, and it was wrong of me to speak to you like that. I should always speak nicely to you, even if I am cross. Please will you forgive me.”

I feel that I was justified in being cross and needed help tidying up (others may have a different opinion!). But my behaviour wasn’t what God calls me to, and actually the fact that I showed my children that I was wrong helped them to understand that we all make mistakes. That their mum isn’t always right, and I explained that I need to say sorry to God too, and receive his forgiveness so I could start fresh.

I have children with very different personalities, one gave me a big hug, the other took a few hours to come around. But again – what a teaching opportunity to explain the importance of processing our feelings and asking God to help us forgive others.

Unfortunately I know that this will likely happen again at some point, but maybe I’ll grow a little and react a little better, and my kids will get to see that I’m a work in progress too!

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