The Secret to Being a Happy Mom

The happy mom secret came to me from the unlikeliest of sorts– a dad.

Read this post to find the secret to being a happy mom. I bet you

It happened one night while I was standing in the hallway outside Little Boy’s room.

He’d been instructed to go to bed… and he didn’t.

First he went to his room and played. Then he came out of his room and played. Then he resisted further instruction to go back to bed and threw a fit instead. Even after discipline, the kid absolutely refused to go get in that bloomin’ bed.

I was exhausted, my plans for a calm evening were disrupted and I was downright angry at my child for being so disobedient.

{By the way, this was when we were young parents and I wore rose colored glasses about parenting and what to expect from my children. I apparently did not expect them to be full fledged sinners.}

Have you learned the Happy Mom Secret? See what a difference this one thing will make in your home!

As I stood in the hallway outside my son’s door, I told my husband how frustrated and heartbroken I was. He looked me straight in the eyes and the man saw I needed a shepherd for my run-away heart. He stepped up to the task and told me,

 “You need to forgive him.”

His words shocked me. I had never, ever before heard of forgiving my child.

I mean, really? My child was a child, one that I loved dearly. Forgiveness is something you do for people who wrong you, who hurt you terribly. It’s for when you are betrayed or overlooked or suffer an injustice. Right?

What I didn’t realize is that yes, it’s for those things… but it’s also for moms who parent little sinners.

It’s for every mom who wants to be a happy mom.

It’s for moms whose kid just wiped snot all over the back of the sofa.

It’s for moms whose kid disobeyed, dishonored, and did the disgusting.

For moms being interrupted in the middle of very important phone calls.

For moms who work hard to prepare a meal and the kid does nothing but complain about dinner… again.

For the mom today whose rare free morning is eaten up by a kid who forgot his lunch on the school bus.

Grrrr. 

Finding joy in parenting can be a challenge. Read the secret to being a happy mom- I bet it

The happy mom has learned to quietly and repeatedly forgive her beloved child.

She’s learned quiet forgiveness when a child spills sticky messy soda pop on the (rarely) clean floor right before the guests arrive.

It’s the secret she remembers when children demand, bicker, and threaten to drive her bone dry. When they embarrass and humiliate. When they throw fits and compete with Paul for the title “chief of sinners.”

It is the best kept secret of the happy mom.

I call it fast, furious, on-the-spot forgiveness and every happy mom practices it. With fierce regularity.

Because here’s the thing: Our children can demand, irritate, inconvenience, embarrass, interrupt, offend, sin against and hurt us… and if we do not practice this secret, our frustrations quickly turn into resentment…and resentment becomes bitterness… and before we know it, we are not happy moms. We’re  angry, resentful, mean, cynical, sarcastic, stressed out, bitter moms.

This week,  God reminded me of this secret because I desperately needed it. Maybe you do too.

It’s not that we don’t love our kids, we do.

It’s that we haven’t habitually practiced the secret of the happy mom: fast, furious, on the spot forgiveness.

This one thing will help you get your happy back... guaranteed!

 

Fast:

Fast means we don’t wait for our kids to earn our forgiveness, to feel remorse, or to show they are sorry for what they’ve done. We extend forgiveness without them ever knowing they needed it. We let go of our “need” to let everybody know a thing or two first.

Fast forgiveness= happy mom. 

Furious:

Furious in this sense means passionate intent.  You pursue it, even when forgiveness isn’t easy. No matter what it costs, you are intent on forgiving.

So what will it cost you? It’ll cost sharp, cutting words. It’ll cost making them pay in some small way via your attitude, or a huff, or an eye roll, or a complaint. Yes, it will cost you giving up those things. But furious forgiveness means a commitment to denying ourselves these self-serving actions because,

Furious forgiveness = happy mom.

On the Spot:

The happy mom has to be on her toes, ready to forgive without delay. No sulking. No pity party. No grumbling and complaining to a spouse or friend. Forgiveness. Boom.

On the spot forgiveness = happy mom.

In his book, Total Forgiveness, R. T. Kendall says, “The greater the sin you must forgive, the greater the measure of the Spirit that will come to you.”

What do you sell the Spirit out for in your life? An angry word at a kid who annoyed you? Is quenching the Spirit of God really worth that?

This week I found myself struggling with pent up frustration towards my kids. The Lord kindly reminded me that nothing, absolutely nothing, is worth the full measure of His Spirit in my life. I am ashamed at how quick I am to relinquish the fullness of His Spirit. The good news is that by surrendering to His invitation to let go of anger, bitterness and resentment, we allow Him to fill us afresh and demonstrate His goodness to our kids.

Want to be a happy mom? I invite you to practice her secret. Join me in pursuing this one thing this week?

Let’s live in unity with Jesus Christ. Be empowered by His Spirit. Forgive quickly and see what difference it makes in our homes.

Live loved…

AJ

P.S. Want more encouragement for being a godly wife and mother? Want resources for deepening your intimacy with Christ? SIGN UP FOR UPDATES and you’ll never miss a post!

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24 Comments

  1. Ah, thank you. I am ready to give up the those angry words and frustration. God bless you for sharing such timely Word of encouragement!

  2. OK, once again it would appear that you and the Lord have been eavesdropping at my house… or listening to my inner dialogue at the very least! I so needed to hear this today. I had already been giving myself a stern talking to this morning about the need to apologize to my daughter for the horrible way I treated her yesterday. She wanted me to sit and play with her. A simple request! At first I put her off. Why? I was sitting on the sofa watching some stupid cooking show on TV. So she sat next to me to watch it with me. But then she started “bugging me” about WHEN I was going to play with her. So I snapped at her. Then I felt guilty about that, so begrudgingly turned off the show and went outside to play with her. But I didn’t play. I sat in a chair and basically glared at her and pouted and only half-heartedly listened to her happy chattering. In short, I behaved worse than a two year old. So often I hold a grudge with my babies – what on earth is up with that?? I start feeling like I’m entitled to ME time. Start whining to myself about each and every request. Good grief. Thank you so much for this post. I so needed it today, my friend!! Love you, Arabah! Praying for blessings on you this morning.

  3. Thank you so very much for this. I have been feeling so frustrated and discouraged for this very problem…I haven’t been forgiving my son! I am 58 and have a very strong-willed adopted deaf Chinese son, whom we adopted at age 3 and is now 12. I realize that my patience has waned some as the years have gone by and due to physical pain that I deal with daily, I get very upset with him over things that I shouldn’t. I’ve realized for a few weeks now that something was wrong (with me) but I couldn’t put my finger on the exact problem so that I could “fix” it. You definitely hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your blog and have been blessed often by it. God bless you and your family.

  4. Thank you soooooooo much for this post, i am in tears! like i have been held in a vice and someone has let the grip go and i feel free! i am also emotional because i know i am not alone in my struggles with my kids. My daughter is 4 and is very selfish, and i too have noticed I AM selfish! but the difference being, i SHOULD KNOW better. She is 4 and knows very little, i on the other hand have gods words at my finger tips and guess what,,,,i look in the christian mirror and then turn and forget who i am and act childish. trying to steal back “My time” am not stealing the time back from th world, i am stealing “my time” from my daughter, and i am sooooooo ashamed! I love to feel compeletly broken after reading something that wakes me and shakes me up cos i know i am ready for repentance then. Thank you soooooo much !!!

  5. So much inspiration! I’m new here & have learned so much. First about walking in Christ So simple Just a diff way of seeing & it clicked Now this forgiving thing with the kids Wish I’d had this inspiration when my sons were little I’m sure I can use this with my 15 year old daughter though I also have grandchildren & the youngest, my grandson, is quite a handful Four years old & there are times I can’t handle him then at times he’s the sweetest child I’m about to spend a week with him I will keep this Fast Forgiveness in mind & on my phone to read over Thank you so very much

  6. Loved, loved loved this post. I have six children and there are MANY opportunities for me to extend forgiveness. It is so true that if we don’t forgive we can quickly become resentful, missing the beauty of a new day and new mercies. Thanks for this reminder!

  7. Arabah, you’ve shared a truth that’s applicable for moms at ALL stages. Sometimes it’s even harder to forgive our teens because we feel “they ought to know better.” But it’s true that nothing creates a martyr complex and a resentful attitude as quickly as withholding forgiveness.

    I never really saw that connection so clearly as now: when we choose to say that mean, huffy, irritated word, we’re actually saying NO to the fullness of the Spirit. And I sure don’t want to do that!

  8. You really hit the nail on the head with this one. To be honest, there have been some moments when I just don’t understand my reactions to my energetic three-year-old. It’s because I’m missing this important step: forgiveness. Thank you so much for this message! :)

  9. I loved this and needed this. I will remember the fast, furious, on the spot forgiveness. That is really useful. Yep, as parents we get to extend grace freely and frequently. Thanks for your words. Glad I visited your post.

  10. Excellent post. I, too, was in that fairytale belief that my kids would be – should be – must be – perfect and sinless. I had to learn the lesson of forgiving them, too. This is a great reminder!

  11. True words for moms of teens. They are desperately seeking their independence … Struggling to discover the balance of responsibility and freedom. When they don’t so so well, yet demand independence. Ugh. So hard. Great reminder.

  12. This is like a stream in the desert… as are so many other words I’m finding on your site! Have never seen your blog before but found it after searching for a prayer calendar with Scripture references. Looking forward to reading more!

  13. I needed this. Thank you for posting and making it so clear. I felt like I had a “ah ha!” moment at the same time I lived a “duh!” moment. This advice is so simple, so true, and such a Jesus like response. Thanks for the hope that this brings to me as a mom of four.

  14. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy ‘ Psalm 103:8
    This is our standard! As parents we are a picture of God to our children. What a responsibility! And what an opportunity to bestow a true image of God to our children. Thank you for this article. …I don’t seem to have trouble forgiving my son but have been harboring unforgiveness and resentment towards my husband. I needed this reminder.
    Thanks to the commentor who mentioned that we can quickly become a matyr harboring a resentful attitude. That was a wake up call. Time for me to make things right with my husband!

  15. Hello :)
    I read this post awhile ago, and have found myself sharing the idea with others regarding our relationships in general, and particularly in marriage! Although our husbands are more accountable to us and God as adults, all those little annoyances, unintentional hurts, and just plain maleness sometimes need our forgiveness as well, right?
    Also, I needed the reminder this morning regarding my adult daughter – yes, being a mom never gets easier :}
    Thank you for preaching the gospel to us.

  16. Wow this was the first blog I read and it’s amazing you spoke on something that had been on my heart for a while but no one else talks about: the need to forgive your kids. My daughter is 4 and is a sweetheart but just the dailyness of life with her can make me so reluctant to play with her or be patient with her as she grows up. Lately I wish she could dress herlsef and take herself to the bathroom already, but I know I should still be happy to do these things with her. But I’m not. I spend enough time with God but still hardly ever feel as “filled” to do all the things with her that I say I will do With her when I pick her up from school . It’s very easy to just continue having ME time or ME &I JESUS time when I should be playing with her. Thank you for this word. I’m so blessed that you hit it right on the head and discuss the practical ways we need to apply Gods word to our daily lives! I can’t wait to be reading your posts more :) be blessed!

  17. Wow….God is so good always….just tonight I have locked myself in my room after feeding our 6 kids and wanted to give up….everything they do is getting to me and I keep building up and building up this resentment….and then I read this….Gid knew exactly what I needed when I needed it….I love him….thank you!

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