When I graduated from high school, my parents got me a gift. It came in a little box, it glowed in the dark, it was….a digital watch. As my dad watched me open it he said, “now you won’t be late anymore!” Thanks Dad. 🙂
Yes, I did tend to lose track of time. Did the watch help? A bit. Now, instead of ignoring time and being late, I was tending to the time and still being late!
It’s a problem, I know. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years. But I do still lose track of time, particularly in the mornings.
And a mother that loses track of time
+ three little boys who have no concept of time
+ a school that has a regular bell schedule
= bad mornings.
What do those bad mornings look like?
They normally go something like this:
7:15 I get up (or rather, crawl out of bed like a bear waking from hibernation)
7:30 After getting dressed, everyone sits at the table and starts eating.
7:31 Dodger gets up to pee
7:33 Rex has a poopy diaper
7:36 I realize that no one had any drinks. Whoops. Off to the fridge. While in the fridge, remember to pour Cubbie his milk for lunch and get distracted putting his lunch in his backpack.
7:40 Someone calls out “mommy you forgot our milk!” Back to the fridge.
7:44 Cubbie demonstrates his new dance moves. I remind him to finish his breakfast.
7:51 Dodger gets up to poo
8:01 Dodger is done in the bathroom. Time to wipe his bum.
8:03 I realize we have to leave in 12 minutes and I remind everyone to brush teeth.
8:14 While brushing my teeth and checking my email I realize what time it is and I fly downstairs.
8:16 When Dodger inevitably dawdles and Rex inevitably hides in the kitchen and Cubbie inevitably gets distracted, I lose it. “Everyone get your boots and coats on NOW! Can’t you move faster?! Why can’t you obey the FIRST time I asked you too??!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!”
Can you relate? I can think of about 5 anger triggers that set me off in the morning:
Disobedience, ignoring instruction, exhaustion, distraction, and running late. But you know what? Only two of those triggers have anything to do with my children.
Most of the time when I get angry, it’s not about my children. It’s about ME. When I have no margin, when I am distracted, when I am tired and running late because of my own unpreparedness, I have a short fuse with my precious children.
It’s the sin inside me, spilling out and hurting those closest to me. Sometimes I imagine that I am holding a cup of toxic chemicals in my hands, and I try to carry it carefully, oh so carefully. But when someone I live with brushes up against me, it nudges the cup of toxicity and it spills over, injuring the one who bumped me. Of course, I tend to blame him. However, the cup of toxic chemicals is mine, not his. The only way to stop this whole process is to let God siphon off the toxic chemicals bit by bit, and replace it with his goodness, joy, and peace.
In their new book, “Triggers”, Wendy Speake and Amber Lia name a whole host of these anger triggers. They talk about the external triggers, the ones that cause our children to bump up against us. And they also talk about the internal triggers, the ones that contribute to our individual cups of toxic chemicals.
This book originated on a Facebook page called “No More Angry MOB” (Mothers of Boys), and this group (which is now archived) has over 11,000 moms in it. As Wendy and Amber posted about anger triggers, I was finally able to identify the root causes of my own outbursts. I also realized that I did not have to live with anger. My God, he’s a powerful one, and he can give me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.
This book is not a “how to fix your child in 10 days” kind of book. This is a book that will help you examine the triggers of your anger, and help you to bring both the triggers and the anger to the God who knows all the shadowy parts of your heart.
He may or may not change the external triggers in your life, but he will (if you let him) change YOU. I encourage you to check it out!
There are also now other books in the series, such as Parenting Scripts, and Marriage Triggers.