Cutting Down on Frustrations

Timing is Key Do you ever wonder why you often get irritated when one of your children needs something? Or right at the wrong moment, the baby starts crying? Then your 6-year old needs a refill of milk, and suddenly your agenda is being messed with? Thoughts of getting laundry done, reorganizing that drawer, or checking your email are sitting in the front of your mind as the next need is demanded. And yes, believe it or not, housework can fall victim to our own agendas. Obviously, cleaning and housework must be done, however, the timing has to be right.

For example, it may not be wise to embark on a new organization project during homeschooling hours, especially if your children are not yet independent learners. You may find yourself frustrated at the consistent “interruptions” as your child continuously comes to you for help with her lessons.

I am constantly battling this and the Holy Spirit spoke to me on it. He said, “If you would just let go of your own agenda and focus on serving your children, you won’t be frustrated nearly as much” (or something similar to that).

You see, I think that we moms get so wore out from the demands of our children because our focus is on something other than them. Hear me out on this. No, it’s not easy to admit and it may be so subtle and underlying, you don’t even realize you’re doing it or why you’re frustrated. But listen (or read)…the energy we dissipitate fighting between serving our children and serving ourselves wears us down with frustration from a tug-of-war effect.

When I say “serving ourselves”, I’m talking about doing what seems important first, in our own eyes. Going back to the housework (which may be a trend for many of us), we may perceive that the closet is screaming for attention and it is most bothersome to us.. To ignore (or in our minds, delay) our children of our direct attention would be self-serving. We may have planned to clean the closet on this day, but something else (a child) demands our attention more. Make sense?

That doesn’t mean our kids are allowed to scream at us for attention and we give it to them. I am talking about the general needs of our children. The need for help on a project, the need to spend time with mommy playing blocks, the need to take the time to go outside and get some fresh air, and so on.

Now I’m going to hit us all with a really hard one to the gut, because seriously, we need to hear it and recognize it. How often do we plop down for a break at the computer? It starts off, in our mind, to be just for a few minutes. Next thing you know, you find an interesting article and you simply must read it. Then you just have to put the link on your blog so you won’t forget about it. But wait, there’s more! They have a new meme and some really neat buttons to choose from!

Let’s add that as well. Ohh…the meme’s on my blog really ought to be organized better so they can be easily read “at a glance”. To photobucket I go to upload buttons and…….I think you get the idea. This very thing happened to me. I got sucked in because I didn’t have the audacity to tell myself “no”. I kept putting off the need my [then] 6-year old had for me to simply tape together something she had ripped. I am not encouraging that we jump as soon as our children want something, but we must be attentive to them.

Sometimes we think that we are entitled to more and more “me time” because of how hard our job is, how demanding it is, how tiring it is…etc. I’m not saying we should never get a break…of course we should. We actually need that refreshing to come back and continue serving with joy. However, there is a time for blogging and a time for focusing on our children and a time for housework. Timing is the key. Sometimes we need to plan ahead. If you know the computer is going to tempt you during the day when your children need your focused attention, keep it off. We need to give 100% focus to our children when it’s their turn, because that is when we will best serve them and lose the frustration of competing with our own agenda

I’m not saying our children need our focused attention 100% of the time/day. I am saying much of the time is focused on our children. When it’s not, it could be focused on areas like housework and meals – during the day. This is our “prime time” of work. Sprinkle a couple of breaks in the mix, but don’t over-do it. Some of our “breaks” can include things like snuggling on the couch reading a book together.

So when we devote our attention to our children, frustrations will automatically cut down as we set our agenda aside until the right time.