No One Wants a Crabby Mom.

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A close up of white flowers in the grass.

That’s the point of this blog. Those are the words that you – and I – see every time the page loads. No one wants a crabby mom. But, unfortunately, that’s what my kids get sometimes.

When instructing my children to follow directions, I tell them that there are three parts of OBEY: all the way, right away, and most importantly, (are you ready?) with a good attitude!

How we do something is often just as important as actually doing it. No one said motherhood would be easy. And most moms I know do what they’re “supposed to do.” But, doing it with a good attitude is sometimes tricky.

This past Saturday I found myself snappish, short tempered, quick to anger, basically — crabby! I haven’t felt quite like that in awhile. But, the reality of it showed in the surprise in my kids’ eyes when I freaked out over a shrunken, wool sweater that no one had ever worn, yet had been thrown in the washing machine anyway. I generally come undone over washing something that’s clean already. Ruining the item adds insult to injury.

Yet my mind goes to an old cliche: don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s wisdom there, people.

Often, I think I get crabby because things aren’t going my way. But, is it over monumental things gone awry? Am I turned inside out and sideways over major things? Rarely. Usually I’m “freaking out” over something that is not really important. I’m sweating small stuff that doesn’t really matter. But, my response can have such a greater, negative impact than the offense.

Here are my “notes to self” –

1. Calm down, take a deep breath, leave the room, count to ten, whatever it takes.
2. Ask yourself if this is really worth the emotion it’s generating.
3. If it is, politely talk about it with the offender. If not, shake it off.
4. If you’ve already “freaked out,” been unkind, blamed for more than was necessary, ask forgiveness and admit where you’re wrong.
5. Repeat as often as necessary.

Being a cheerful mom is worth so much more, feels so much better, brings more comfort and joy to my family than one sweater that no one wanted to wear anyway.

What area do you “freak” in? How do you gain perspective?

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  1. First time here.

    Great reminder – I KNOW you were talking directly to me! (Did my kids pay you to say this?!)

  2. I've been trying to work on "that area" of my personality. I have two kids 4 and 3, and at times i swear they make me crazy on purpose. I blow my top but the kicker is now my kids blow their top. So after many prayers and self perspective and carrying the quilt of making my kids "crazy, loud middle aged mom", I'm getting better. I ask forgiveness from my kids and tell them to make me accountable for blowing my top. Firday's seem to be the worst day. Thank you for this article and reminder, most times I feel like the only monster mom in the whole wide world.

  3. This has been happening to me too. Before I know it, I'm crabby. I like your list of "notes to self"… I think I need to post them for myself.

    I'm enjoying your blog.

  4. I'm right there with Brenda I let all those little things build up and then it just takes one and BOOM!!!!

    Thanks for the great advice, I only have one little guy but I know that I snap to easily at him. I can't wait till he understands those 3 parts to obey he has such trouble with that.

  5. Boy, this post hits home! I tend to expect more from others than I do of myself in certain areas. Thanks also to Mrs. Querido for her reminder that I am my daughter's teacher. She does not know it all, and I shouldn't get upset with her for the things that she's still learning. Thanks for the words of wisdom, ladies!

  6. Great post! This is something I need to be reminded of often! So, thanks for the reminder!

  7. I guess, there isn't a certain area that I freak out in…

    It depends on how much sleep I've gotten the night before, if the "oops" by the kids cost money, or if it made a BIG mess..that I have to clean up!

    I try to remember this words of wisdom from my mother:
    "Will it matter in the eternal perspective of things?"
    If it isn't a moral, spiritual or ethical issue, usually it's not worth freaking out over. Plus, I try to remember that they are just kids and that they are still learning and I AM THEIR TEACHER because they don't know everything they are supposed to know yet 🙂

  8. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I find myself stuffing all the little things down and then after awhile I step on a lego (for the 40th time) and lose it. I need to do better of letting all those little things go.

  9. Thanks so much for this post… I really really need remember that "take a breath and think about it" part.

  10. LOL on the felting, Denise!!

    I have to admit that I am so self-indulgent in this area; I allow myself to vent at will, but no one else is allowed to! I know it's wrong/immature and I am getting better at "being a big girl", but it's a struggle. And I only have 3 kids!

    Honestly, my best defense is to turn my back, inhale sharply, and roll my eyes as far back as I can without anyone seeing me! Silly, huh? All I can say is it works for me 🙂

    Thank you for the reminder; I'm printing your tips for my fridge!