Mama Q & A - Frustration
What do I do when I feel impatient or frustrated toward my kids?
Let's talk, mom to mom.
Motherhood doesn't come with a map, but it does come with community! We all struggle with things, and I think we'd be surprised how many of those struggles we share in common with one another. But growth can come from healthy community and godly advice!
Have you ever felt at a loss when you're faced with impatience, frustration, and even plain old anger when it comes to your kids? I've gathered a few suggestions from some amazing Christian mamas. Read their thoughts - I know you will be encouraged and learn something new!
Many thanks to these sweet friends who contributed.
Ashleigh - Mama and Real Estate Agent; Daughters ages 2 & 4 yrs
"Patience is by far my biggest struggle in motherhood! I do my best to own up to my mistakes: if I lose my cool with my girls, I apologize. I think I apologized like 4 times this weekend alone! I am far from perfect, and live most of my life living in that humble reality that I am covered by my perfect Savior."
April - Mama and Doula; Kids ages 6 - 24 yrs
"When it comes to having patience with and for my children, one of the big things that helps me is to have realistic expectations. For me that looks like remembering that they are children! They don’t have the emotional maturity, wisdom, knowledge, or ability of an adult. Yes….that’s super obvious, but in the times of frustration or impatience I can almost always trace it back to having an expectation for my child to act in a way that is unrealistic for their level of maturity in any given area. This doesn’t mean that we give them a pass and don’t require much of them…but rather that we have lots of grace for where they are and come alongside them with compassion to help them grow and mature bit by bit."
Chantel - Mama and Missionary; Daughter age 1
"For me when I feel frustrated I try and breathe in and walk away and voice how I feel to my husband so he can step in. If he isn’t around I still take the breath and think, okay how can I deal with this without anger / frustration. Which often includes me actually explaining in words to Dahlia how she might be feeling and why I am doing what I am doing. 'I know you are tired but we need to change you so you can go to bed.' This voicing often helps me to step back from acting in the frustration."
Leah - Mama and Artist; Daughters ages 6 mo & 2 yrs
"Slowing yourself down when things start to spiral out of control is the way I take the first steps to control frustration. If I am running and rushing around, my frustration and anger tend to jump to max way faster. If I slow myself down, I can analyze the situation more accurately and catch myself before I start to act on my frustrated thoughts. Getting perspective involves me asking myself how important is this battle in the grand scheme of things. Am I losing it over something small that I really should be able to just shrug off or is this worth my time and effort? Finally, being honest with myself. I ask myself, why am I getting frustrated? Is it because I didn't get any sleep? Is it because I haven't eaten? Is it because deep down I'm feeling really anxious about something? I realize it's really not my child's fault I'm frustrated and I'm able to have more grace with myself when I step back and honestly evaluate why I'm getting frustrated in the first place."
Trina - Mama and Massage Therapist; Kids ages 16 - 21 yrs
"Once I realize my patience has been compromised I stop what I am doing, take a deep breath, and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. It may sound cliche, but my emotions need to be intact before continuing a conversation or correction/discipline. If I am not in check, the emotional atmosphere will be chaotic and spiral out of control. I have older kids now, and rebellion can be enhanced when compared to littles, so me keeping calm is critical to guide the situation. Controlling myself is where I have to start. Then start asking them questions to move forward."
Abby - Mama and Photographer; Daughter age 7 mo
"I have found that when I'm spending daily time in Scripture I'm a much more patient and loving mom. When I slack on that I notice myself being more irritable and easily frustrated. That felt impossible when I had a newborn but is something I've been learning as she gets older!"