I have a confession to make.
I struggle with being a crabby mom.
That's right, me, all beautiful messy life and live fully tattoo, and I struggle with being a grumpy mom day in and day out.
I have my own things to do, you know? I have to clean the bathroom and do the laundry and tidy the dining room and sweep the floor and pick up all the toys we've ever owned fifteen times a day. Those things by themselves would be a challenge, but add in two small people who want me to play and read every minute of the day, and I bend beyond my flexibility.
I get grouchy.
I get mad about little messes.
I look forward to going to work because I get a break from it all.
This is my every day.
I hate it. It's not that I hate the challenge; I love the idea of being at home with my kids. I love being the person who shapes them into productive people. I love knowing them better than anyone.
Except, the reality of how it plays into all the stuff I have to do every day gets on my bad side.
What I need is an attitude adjustment, and I'm wondering if you need the same.
I need to look at their demands for another book as an opportunity to cuddle. I need to look at the little messes as just that - little - and opportunities to train them on how to take care of their things.
I have found a few resources that have helped me to push my attitude in the right direction. I have them all saved to my phone for quick access during my morning devotional time. (Because being a happier mother is part of following Jesus, I think.)
- 25 Days to a Happier Home by Alison Wood from Pint Sized Treasures - I wish I could have written this ebook. (But Alison is more than qualified being she's the mother of six.) It is all the things I know about being a happier mom - say yes more, count your blessings, be kind - but it is much more than that. Each chapter shares real, practical tips for how to implement the strategy of the day. It's more how to than why you should, and that is super helpful to me and my limited brain power.
- On the Road to Joyful Motherhood by Jessica Fisher from Life As Mom - I really like Jessica's style on her blog and in all of her ebooks. She also has six kids, and she writes in the introduction about how she chooses to be a joyful mother. I have long known that happiness is a choice we can make, but I have forgotten how to choose it over a few long, weary years. This book is more like a devotional than a read it at one sitting kind of book. It has 31 chapters, each with practical tips like negativity breeds more of the same, be all there, and get outside. Each chapter also ends with a journaling prompt to help you take the lesson a step further.
- My Practices of Mothering: the things I actually do to enjoy mothering the tinies by Sarah Bessey - This book is like a balm to a raw soul with lines like, "I made it through that too-hot day with my too-hot temper, and at supper I was completely disarmed because everyone said thank you and meant it." It's not as practical as the books above, but every page holdsÃ‚ pure encouragement in Sarah's sweet prose. I feel like she's writing me a letter, not that I'm reading a book for the masses. It's so so good.
- Life Giver by Lara Williams from Too Overflowing - This one is a Bible study. It's a real, fill-in-the-blank, 5 days of homework, Bible study. I've done other studies by Lara Williams, and I've always liked them. This one focuses on being a life giver, someone who pours life into relationships, instead of a life taker, someone who clings to and tries to control relationships in order to gain the joy she needs. I haven't started the study yet, but I have it on my phone, too, so that I can start it when I finish the other 3 above.
These four books are treasures. They are helping me to chip away at the crabby mom that has become my habit and find the joyful mom inside, the mom that my kids deserve, the mom that I was when I decided to quit teaching and stay at home with my kids.