Saturday, April 23, 2011

When Moms Attack . . . or Thoughts on Temperance

"I'm sorry I yelled, buddy."
"It's okay, mommy, it's okay."

On Thursday, Leo's speech therapist (post for another day) quietly asked if I have ever yelled at my children. I laughed pretty hard, and wondered at my ability to be a gentle, loving mother. This afternoon, on the flip side, was a Mr. Hyde moment for me.

I enjoy experiencing the range between exultant joy and the depths of sorrow, but temperance is a skill I desperately need to acquire as a mother. These boys have no need to be faced with my emotions, tempestuous as they are.

No picture necessary. You know how it goes; the sneer, the yell, the quick motion as I snatch a child away from a frustrating problem. There is no "cause" save my lack of perspective towards my boys--who, let's remember, are 4, 2, and a baby.

So let's look to our leaders for a bit of advice . . .

"Kind looks, kind actions, kind words, and a lovely, holy deportment towards them will bind our children to us with bands that cannot easily be broken; while abuse and unkindness will drive them from us, and break asunder every holy tie that should bind them to us and to the everlasting covenant in which we are all embraced." Pres. Brigham Young

And in learning to master our tempers and ourselves, the Lord has given us all His commandments; self control is learned in practice, and He gives us plenty of that!

“To be able to take from [one’s] purse one-tenth of all that [one] has earned and turn it over to leaders to redispense is a test of faith. To fast is self-mastery. … To be unselfish totally, always thinking of others before one’s self, is a great step toward self-mastery. To forgive one who is mean and offensive is the act of one near to perfection” Pres. Spencer W. Kimball

Any thoughts as I struggle towards a temperate disposition?


  1. As I read President Kimball's quote, I'm thinking maybe the key really is self mastery. Perhaps if we could get better about easier things: turned off electronics, eating healthy, sticking to our routines, then emotional control will come. I can't even walk by a bag of candy without partaking, how can I expect myself to control my angry nature?

  2. I'm just glad that there are other moms who "loose it". Why can't I just make it through one day without letting my anger get the better of me? I have found though that I need to remember that my girls aren't involved with my personal problems. I think you're right Kris, it comes down to self-mastery! Also, focusing on what you DID do right during the day helps me feel a little better about being a mother.

  3. Run away. Run away into a place for a moment of serenity and come right back with a new (and sometimes fake) but better than the alternative) face and move forward.

    No really? And be outside as much as humanly possible. It keeps all of our chi in more sane levels of happiness.