How to stop yelling and encourage your kids instead.
This day starts much like the others.
After a whole four broken hours of sleep, I am violently awoken by an overeager three year old complaining of surely being starved to death. Shortly after, a 10 and 6 year old make their way up to my bedroom.
With my eyes forced into the open position and my brain still fuzzily unfocused, I finally hear the baby fill his tiny lungs as he loudly announces his presence and welcomes the day.
I stumble groggily into the kitchen to hit Brew on the pre-made coffee. Mama’s caffeine IV now securely in place. The source and credit of my fully functioning brain.
Annnnddd….we’re late. Again.
How is this possible? We only just woke up! I think to myself.
Let the yelling commence.
Shoes are flying, jackets are tossed, bags are thrown together – hopefully with no necessity unaccounted for – and we are herded into the car.
Proceed with Mom’s 1000th lecture of the day. Complete with a few harried tears and frustrated sighs.
Boys are dropped off with a quick kiss, and that’s it. No time for a reassuring word.
We press on with our day.
This is what I like to call a “bad morning” in my house.
No one is happy here. No one is grateful for the day. Heck, no one has TIME to be grateful. Words are shared at a higher pitch than completely necessary. And I am often left with nothing but guilt to carry me through the day.
I don’t know about you, but sadly this is often my morning reality.
Not only do my victims include my sweet boys, but my husband too. Whoever is within the reach of my frazzled, cattail of stressed, anxious, twisted words is the lucky recipient of the moment.
There is no thought put into my actions. Just reactions.
Left behind is a wake of hurt people – the ones that I love most in this world.
Tensions are twisted just a little tighter. The fine fortress of trust is cracked just a little more.
Mom Sets the Tone
I probably don’t need to remind myself that mom almost always sets the tone of the entire home. I don’t know why. It just is.
It’s this reminder that eventually jolts me back to reality. Something has to change. I can no longer go on as the voice of discouragement in my own home.
I need to uplift the boys in my life, not tear them down.
So I tell myself a million tomorrows.
Tomorrow I will stop yelling.
Tomorrow I’ll just be happy.
Tomorrow I will tell my boys how much I love them.
Tomorrow I won’t let the petty things get to me.
But tomorrow would come, and change would not.
In my sleep-deprived, overwhelmed state, I forget the promises I made of tomorrow.
And the circus starts all over again.
Enter the Encouragement Bracelet
What I need is a constant visual reminder of making a permanent change.
So I decided to make myself a bracelet. Something that, every time I glance down, reminds me of the promise of change.
It’s a symbol of encouragement for my family. A reminder to uplift, love, reassure, and offer hope.
I’m not much of a jewelry girl. I wear earrings, my cross necklace, and nothing else. I don’t own any bracelets that could serve as this reminder to myself.
So I decided to make my own with what I had.
You guys, it’s just a simple yarn bracelet.
I simply took three strands of yarn and braided them together, and tied them on my wrist. And there they’ve been for the past year.
Every time I see that bracelet I stop and take a step back. I remind myself of who I want to be for my boys, for my husband.
I remind myself of who I know I truly am.
Not the anxious mess of a girl. Not that overwhelmed, shouting mom over there.
I don’t know her. Yet here she stands in front of me carrying out actions I never meant to take.
Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…”
Paul gets me, guys. He gets us, as mothers.
I’d lost myself in the day to day flurry of worry and stress.
While I can’t always see her, I know that girl lives there.
And this bracelet – it’s a simple reminder of what is good.
Life is good. My boys are good. My husband is good. This moment is good.
Let’s live in that.
May I uplift with my words. May I encourage with my words. And may I bless with my words. May I breath life and truth and LOVE with my words.
This bracelet is helping me do just that.
What about you?
Do you struggle with the daily stress of life?
Do you feel constantly overwhelmed with just making it through the day?
Do you take it out on the very people you love the most?
Are you worried about the delicate relationships your actions are influencing?
You’re not alone, my friend.
And maybe you need a bracelet, too.