Just Breathe

“Breathe”

I was talking with a mom friend yesterday morning. We were discussing how it seemed like our kids couldn’t even say hi to each other without ending up in an argument and how they drove us to lose it. And then how the guilt would set in over not having enough patience with them. And how we always planned to do better the next day, until the cycle started all over again. I try, I really do. To not let them hit the last nerve. To stay even keel and talk in the same voice, at the same volume, consistently. I try but, boy, do I fail. Every day. In spectacular fashion. I was thinking about this off and on yesterday, like when my kids were sitting right beside each other in the van (there are 3 rows of seats available to them and they choose RIGHT BESIDE EACH OTHER) and fighting the whole way home. I thought about it when I told them 5x to get their shoes on and NOBODY listened. I thought about it when my handicap son had to pee really badly 2 seconds after we left the house and I’d asked him 5 minutes before if he did. I thought about it when my 2 year old dumped the PJ Mask toys I’d just made her clean up (those toys were still on the floor last night when I put them all to bed). I thought about it when that same 2 year old colored on a wall (her newest, favorite pastime. I think she enjoys scrubbing them.) Then last night, one of my talented friends gave me a gift. It is a poem my brother wrote for me last year during a 2 week hospital stay for Trevor, that she put on a sign. The poem is titled “Breathe”. As I read that poem again, the last phrase hit me as the solution to what I was thinking about all day. It says, “Good or bad, light or dark, what more can I say, it doesn’t hurt to use that breath to pray.” We all have those moments. Those times where the kids “push us” to snap. Times where all your nerves are raw and frayed and you lose your cool. That doesn’t make you a bad parent. It makes you human. As a coach, I tell my team often “it’s ok to make mistakes. Everyone does. It’s moving on and trying your best to improve that matters.” The same applies to parenting. There is no perfect parent. It’s a huge responsibility. It’s scary when you think about how much you are responsible for. That weight can be overwhelming. In those moments, just breathe. Breathe AND pray. Pray for yourself to have the patience you need. Pray for your kids to learn to be sweet and obedient. Pray that you will all continue to learn how to control your reactions to all those emotions flowing through you. If you lost it, take a breath, cut yourself some slack, and pray. Pray that the next time you’re in those moments you will remember to stop and breathe BEFORE you lose it. You are not alone in this. God is with you. He is our greatest “parenting resource”.

Taking a moment to breathe after putting the kids in bed before cleaning up all the PJ Mask toys all over the floor in the background. You know you’re a mom when you’re photo bombed by your messy house.

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