Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hep peas

("Hep peas" is Nathan's way of asking for help.)

I've been really impatient and easily frustrated lately, and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. I know we've just moved to a new house, and there is added stress, which also makes me more tired. But I also know I'm not being the wife and mom I want to be when my "trigger" is so short.

Yesterday at church, someone said that the best way to teach your children about faith is to set an example for them by living it yourself. This challenged me even more to want to model the fruits of the Spirit to those closest to me!

One of the verses I try to bring to mind when I'm feeling less patient with Nathan is Ephesians 4:2 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." In addition to learning this verse, I want to find ways that I can be refreshed so I am more patient and eager to serve, and I also want to help create a more positive atmosphere in our home.
I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this subject: What do you do when you're feeling impatient or irritable? How do you refresh yourself, and how do you help contribute to a positive atmosphere in your home? (Thanks for being willing to share--I look forward to your insights and inspiration!)


Leanne said...

I try to remember what I am thankful about regarding having children versus what is hard about having children. I vent honestly to my hubbie and ask for his redirection. I also try to get a few hours to myself each week if at all possible. That helps. The other thing I try and do is look for someone to encourage each week...this helps me focus on what I might be taking for granted (my health, my finances, etc) and focus on the needs of someone else! Both my hubby and I find we are much happier people when we are helping others as a family...either by making someone a meal, giving a ride, helping a neighbor. I think its also a good way to lead by example!!Thanks for sharing this post....I hope my comments were encouraging.

Amy said...

If you can relax when they nap, that will really help you a lot. I also sometimes just pop in a little movie and cool down upstairs when I feel irritated. I take a deep breath and maybe thumb through a magazine or have a soda or a cup of coffee. That sometime helps get me back in a good place.

Just know that it is NORMAL and don't be hard on yourself!!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

When I feel like I am about to the breaking point is when I bring out the table activities. Playdoh, crayons, measuring cups, bowls & spoons etc. While Megan and friends sit at the table and do this "special" activity. (I make sure to make a big deal about it being special.) While this goes one I usually stand at the kitchen counter and read a couple of chapter of a book, look through a magazine and just pull myself back together. Just remember you are not alone!

Anonymous said...

This is an overwhelming season in your life. And you have many more ideas than time to implement them. My husband and I are both "type A" personalities--we like to cross things off of our to-do lists. When our kids were younger, we would take turns having chore days. For example, on Saturday, he would take care and play with the kids for the whole day while I worked diligently getting things accomplished. At the end of the day, I was tired but felt good at all that I got done. because I didn't have all of those things looming over my head, by Sunday, I was much more patient, etc. with my family.

Anonymous said...

This is an overwhelming season in your life. And you have many more ideas than time to implement them. My husband and I are both "type A" personalities--we like to cross things off of our to-do lists. When our kids were younger, we would take turns having chore days. For example, on Saturday, he would take care and play with the kids for the whole day while I worked diligently getting things accomplished. At the end of the day, I was tired but felt good at all that I got done. because I didn't have all of those things looming over my head, by Sunday, I was much more patient, etc. with my family.

Linds said...

I understand where you are coming from. Somedays are so difficult. I wish I had some good advice for you but I'm afraid I'm in the same season of life you are. I love that you shared that verse though, God showed me that verse a few weeks back and I've memorized it as well.

One thing my husband is really good about is letting me get out once a week or couple weeks in the evenings. I usually just go to a local coffee shop and relax, sometimes I read or blog or just goof around. I don't always want to go but he encourages me to and I come back feeling refreshed, even if it's only for an hour.

Kimmers said...

I am sorry that I have not commented but I have been praying for you. I do not have any children, however I know that everyone feels this way.
Just know that you are loved and that the Lord will be your guide when you feel that you are feeling impatient.

Jenn said...

Going for a walk, sometimes just taking a little break folding laundry or doing something in a different part of the house and then going back to whatever is making you upset in a little while and then it doesn't seem so bad. Everyone has their moments even the people you think always have their act together just remember Nobody's perfect !

Jamie said...

Have you read the kids book "I Love you Through and Through?" Sometimes when I am having a tough moment with Luke I like to try to stop and read him that book. He loves that book and it reminds me that I love him when he is angry or sad too! Kind of a silly thing but it really does help me! It's a great book.

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

I thought I was going to learn about a kind of peas I had never heard of! :) I too struggle with this. I think prayer is a wonderful way to stop and redirect my thoughts. I know that when I neglect prayer during my day, my fuse grows shorter and shorter. That is not what I want to teach my children! Also, reminding myself that many of the things I get frustrated about are truly blessings. Sometimes I just need to remind myself to give thanks for EVERYTHING! Thanks for this post!

thehomespunheart said...

Hey Carrie,

I have sooooo been here too, often!

I have noticed that when I feel this way, I am usually trying to get too much done and my children are wondering where they fit in with my to-do list. If I take some time for them or David - I will often notice things start to change. They will be content to play more on their own or go do something else so that I can get back to my tasks.

Another thing is taking time to not work on my to-do list. Do something fun, go for a walk, read a book, watch a movie, make a phone call, do a craft. JUST FOR FUN! It doesn't have to be every day - but it should probably be something fairly regular so you don't have to get to the breaking point!

Most of all, it usually means I have to adjust MY expectations. Oh, I have such a long way to go on this.

When I adjust my expectations though, I can feel room opening up to play, to talk, to watch a movie with E & R or whatever.

Thinking of you,

Susan said...

Looks like Monica has really the best to give on the subject. I am just learning like you. Getting out walking/running helps me a great deal. I usually have to do this early in the morning or after JR sleeps. This is my refreshment.

For my home, I use music a lot as a mood setter. Worship music and Nat King Cole;) But some days, you just gotta pull your hair out!!

Amanda said...

Carrie, I definitely feel this pressure too with the new baby around now. I think the first thing I think about is how much our my kids are watching my reactions and attitudes towards them. It helps me to stay calm or to check myself when I'm not being patient, because I know that Jack is going to repeat what I teach him by my actions. We learn best from what we see in others.
And definitely stepping back to spend time with him will make all the difference in your day and his. :)

Liisa said...

I just had two really crazy overly busy weeks and I noticed that I was quickly losing patience with the little monkeys here. I was easily getting frustrated and upset. It was a stressful and busy time all around. Then my Mum called me to see if everything was alright because I hadn't emailed our daily Bible study chapter in several days. That was an eye opener for me. In all the chaos I had lost sight of the One who could help me through it. I realized that even before those few days I let the study go completely I had only been half heartedly rushing through it and treating it like one more thing on my to do list. I stopped right there even though I had four little ones racing around and so many jobs just piled up and really spent time reading and studying His Word and catching up those 3 chapters I had missed and praying. I can't tell you how much of a relief that was - I could almost feel the stress lifting and my mood improved so much. My patience returned and suddenly the children were so much better behaved and things ran so much more smoothly.

I am not at all meaning that you have let your spiritual life slip I just wanted to share my experience with these same kind of feelings this past week.

I am glad to hear you are all moved in and getting settled!


Niki RuralWritings said...

Carrie, after reading through the many excellent comments and suggestions, I really don't have anything to add except to say that this season will pass and try to find some time alone, or better yet, with your husband. Perhaps a night away can possibly be arranged?? Even an afternoon to quietly talk and re-connect.
I also want you to know that I am praying for you.

A, B & C said...

I know just what you're feeling. The move wasn't too hard on me, but once my pregnancy hormones kicked in full force, I was a real bear.
You've gotten some really good advice. I really like Amy's idea of relaxing when your kids take naps. It's something I automatically do now, since being pregnant. In fact, I often nap with her and I find I'm recharged afterwards.
When I'm planning my day, I often put things that she can't "help" with first on the list, and do those when she goes to bed at night. That way, I can do the things that she can "help" with, like taking one book off the shelf and looking at it, for every 10 I put up there, during the day.
The other thing I do that is really helpful is to give myself a lot of time to do everything... get to appointments or get-togethers, getting ready, eating meals. If I'm not rushed, it's easier to just let her go at her own pace and not be frustrated.
I hope this helps-thinking of you!
Abbey :-)

Wendy said...


I am a mother of four girls. I have many days like that. I honestly have to say, I am normally to blame.

The things that trigger my frustration are:

• Not spending time with God reading His word on a consistent basis.

• Not spending enough time in prayer.

• Thinking all my to do list needs to be done perfectly.

• Trying to keep my house like a museum. This is pride.

• Forgetting that these sweet days will soon be over. My oldest is twelve, those years have flown by so fast.

Overall, just being selfish has caused many problems with my attitude.

God is able to change us if we only will humble ourselves and ask.

Mary said...

Hi, Carrie. I stumbled across your blog some time ago looking about stewardship ideas with home and family. I've been a regular reader since, feeling a bit like I'm "snooping", but I just can't help myself and figure you wouldn't be blogging if you didn't want me to read it :) Anyway...I wanted to recommend a book - for when you have time. Ha! It's titled "If Mama Ain't Happy Ain't Nobody Happy" by Lindsey O'Connor. My small group studied it together and felt that it gave us a lot of helpful insights on keeping the peace in our Christian homes.

Mom said...

Dear Carrie -- This is something I really struggled with during your growing up years -- as I'm sure you remember! One thing that helped me was time alone to putter, read, or do whatever I wanted. For me, that was late at night -- though I know that would not necessarily work for you. I also think we can be "real" with our families -- if we are frustrated or tired, it's OK if they know it (as long as it is not out of control). You have gotten some really good suggestions -- you're in my thoughts and prayers! Love you, Mom

Rebecca said...

Dear Carrie,
You've gotten some really good words here...I would really echo what Monica said.

I found that I struggled with this issue a lot when we first moved to TX because of wanting to get my house settled vs managing a toddler. I had to let my expectations of home building go - and allow that to become my second priority. I think L could feel the tension and turmoil I was feeling and responded...only to build the frustration on both sides. Once I lowered my expectations and set time aside for myself (something I wanted to do rather than unpack and organize yet another box) settling in became much easier for all involved.

Just remember that you have lots of time to get things settled, and the boxes can wait. However, time with your little one is precious and will be gone in a blink of an eye.

Finally, I've noticed a huge difference in the days that I spend time with God vs the days I don't. L's attitude will be calm and manageable - or, if he's not I have the grace to deal with it. When I was pregnant with L your sister wrote me a sweet note encouraging me with those same words - and they have tested true!

Love you friend and your doing a great job!