I’ll admit, I can be super negative. I think part stems from self esteem issues from high school. Other parts are from losing a parent at a young age. And anytime I wake up, have my morning devotion and workout and the first thing I hear are the boys fighting, I quickly flip my switch.

It’s so hard for me to keep it all together. Not only that, but to have a spirit of calmness, peace, and positivity. My “gut” reactions are to scream, cry, or just walk away. My life isn’t particularly difficult right now, but I always seem to be on the verge of a breakdown. I also realized this was not an area I regularly invited the Lord into. Not because I was keeping him out, but in those moments, I chose to react and show my cards vs going to him. 

But I’ve become the “mean mommy” and as I asked forgiveness the other day for being mean to my youngest son, my oldest piped up and said, “And you were mean to me too.” Gut punch right there, but also an opportunity to ask God to help me and to not accept that “this is the way it will always be.”

Here’s what I’m doing to help turn my attitude around:

-Playing worship music while I wash dishes and clean – this just puts me in a calm state and it’s harder to yell with Jesus music on!

-Surround yourself with scripture – Place sticky notes inside your cabinets, on mirrors, or on the fridge. Keep his Word close to you and in your mind at all times. This can easily help redirect my thoughts in a negative moment.

-Taking a time out to breathe and pray – I walked away from the boys’ demands the other day and walked to the back room, put my hands on face, breathed a deep breath and prayed. I wanted to scream so much, but there were little ears listening to how I handled this. Breathe and pray. And repeat.

-No social media on Sundays – This may not seem connected but it really is for me. Social media allows me to check out of a lot of things, including when my children want my attention and my general attitude toward them and my life circumstances. Instead of facing what bothers me, I can easily run to Instagram to “feel good.” So I consciously check out on Sundays.

-Think before I speak – This is so hard for me. I’m sarcastic and condescending. Not my favorite parts of me, but it is the truth about my initial responses to things. When Liam asks a hard question or Micah lies about something, I’m trying to be more careful and conscious of how I respond and the tone of my words. Words are a window into our hearts and I want to be sure I’m building others up.

-Be honest – Tell your family how you’re trying to change your attitude. Ask them for help. Ask forgiveness in front of them. One of the greatest parenting tools I have is to be open and honest about my mistakes and short-comings to my kids because then they will see the power of Christ working. 

I hope these gave you some ideas for laying the groundwork for a more positive spirit. I do want to note that for some of us, tips and tricks are not the solution. We need help from a counselor, therapist or medicine. If you have extreme feelings of anger, sadness, or depression that goes beyond moment to moment, seek help from a professional.