Motherhood

My Agenda

I’m a yeller.  Not Old Yeller, but a yeller. I can scream real loud. My voice carries fairly well even when I’m just talking. You know the whole “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” that is mentioned in 1 Peter 3? Never fit that bill. Tried to. Wanted to. Prayed that I would. Just can’t. That is unless I have laryngitis. While being heard can have its advantages, this trait, unfortunately, can also break spirits. And there’s nothing that breaks my heart more than when I look into the beautiful, blue eyes of my little boys after I have literally taken their heads off with my yelling. I loathe this about myself. I can’t count the mornings I’ve woken up vowing not to yell at my boys. Within a short time, that promise has already been broken. So, instead of trying to make new rules for myself in the way I speak to them as their mother, I decided to get to the root of why I lose verbal control so much. I think I found an answer after much soul searching. My agenda. Before I was a mother, I dreamed about being one. I imagined how full of bliss and joy it would be. I longed for the days of teaching them and reading to them. Giving hugs and sharing kisses would be a regular occurrence in our home. Well, those days are here and I have often wished them away. When I thought about motherhood years ago, I didn’t take into consideration the things that I would need to get accomplished. Things like laundry and meals and housework and grocery shopping and doctor visits. But, these are very real things in my life on a daily basis that need to get completed. And when I’m trying to complete them and my boys need me, I lose it. Not to mention when I’m trying to watch my favorite TV show every Monday night. (No names.) I mean, is it crazy to sit down for an hour in the evening in order to watch some mindless show so that I don’t have to think? Can’t I have any time to myself? Why can’t they just leave me alone?!!! I’m quite certain it’s because they are children and they need me. Hello? I’m the parent. I doubt they are trying to ruin my alone time or make me mad. I shouldn’t expect them to fend for themselves on things they certainly cannot. They need me. And quite frankly, the want to be with me. My pastor often says, “Sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love more.” Now, I think Jack Bauer is awesome and all, but I love my boys more. After all, isn’t that why DVR’s were created? I think so. I have been making choices over the last several months to lose my agenda for the sakes of my boys. And I’ve found that when I do and when I expect to be there for them, I am not yelling, nor am I easily frustrated. I now find myself actually enjoying being with them more. There are times during the day that I need to get things done, but even still, I remind myself that they will still need me. They are still my priority.  I’m not yelling nearly as much. And we’re all happier for it. Have those closest to you become a burden? If so, it just might be time to lose your agenda. **Originally published on November 11, 2007.

22 thoughts on “My Agenda”

  1. That was a great post, and heartfelt, too. My wife and I are grandparents, and there have been times we both wanted to pinch the grandchildren’s heads off. Who am I kidding? We’ve wanted to pinch the kid’s heads off, too. We can relate.

    There is joy in the camp when we do our part and press in for their sakes. Keep up the good work, Cindy.

  2. i so value your candor and your honesty. thank you for sharing yourself with us, even the things you despise.

    and i can’t help but think that there’s a reason the verse reads “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” and not “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet mouth”.

    i think you can still have that (attain that?) even if you have a loud, boisterous personality. maybe? just a thought.

  3. I’m a yeller, too. Of course Reese Witherspoon once said, “If you’re not yelling at your children, you’re not spending enough time with them.” That has always made me feel better. But, it doesn’t justify it. I know.

    Good early morning conviction. I will try, TRY to lose my agenda.

  4. Well, I see that the post is a year old so hopefully things have progressed somewhat….but it reminded me of myself a number of years ago…..I was a yeller, big time…..I came from a long line…my father was a yeller before me…I just thought that that’s how it’s done…but I felt uncomfortable about it….then the Lord had an interesting way of handling it…..I yelled so much that the muscles in my diaphragm started to hurt…everytime……a painful reminder that I didn’t have to yell…I didn’t have to take their heads off to make my point….so I did stop, for the most part…pain is a great persuader! The funny thing is that now that the last four are teens all you have to do is speak firmly and they accuse you of yellin’ at them! You can’t win!

  5. once again, another timely and encouraging post… thank you for sharing. i needed this today… as a new mom, i am quickly discovering that the years of “dreaming of blissful, happy days” and the conflicting “agenda” i didn’t know i had is bringing out the worst in me… thank you for helping me identify it early… so very helpful.

  6. Right now, I am in tears. This has just pierced my heart and stepped on my toes just a tad. 😉

    I have some rearranging to do.

    [sigh] Once again, THANK YOU.

  7. Ouch. That stings a little.

    Many times I have allowed circumstances to take priority over my family. Unfortunately I have been guilty of viewing my kids as distractions at times.

    Thanks for this reminder to value the callings that God has given me, the highest being that of a Father and Husband.

  8. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to priorities. I don’t know how to label 1, 2, 3…..everything is a 1. I pile and pile and pile some more until I just can’t take it anymore.

    Today, in fact…is one of those days. I’m glad I read this, to know I’m not alone.

  9. Since this was first published almost a year ago to date.

    How have you changed? Was it hard? easy?
    What was a common roadblock??

    Tell me the victory in it!!!

  10. Oh Heidi, I have changed tremendously. Most of it is just remembering how truly little time I have with my sons. They will be gone before I know it!

    So, I cherish the mom calls at night when they want me to rub their backs instead of dreading another climb up the stairs. I laugh when things are funny even if they are bending the rules because I want them to remember laughing with their mother. I put aside my desire to do things when they are eager to be with me. Blogging and emailing can wait. They can’t.

    I’ve changed and it is by God’s power that I have done so. His gentle reminders nudge me in the right direction. I’ve never once regretted getting my priorities in check.

  11. youre super mom. yes you are.

    ok, so there have been countless nights i have laid in bed, crying, begging God to erase my childrens memories of me that day. ick.

    then i think. no. what i need to do is get my butt out of bed and go ask for their forgiveness. dang. and the times i have actually done that (not near enough as i should have) – it has shown my kiddos so much. that i am human. i make mistakes. it teaches them humility and the power of forgiveness. well. thats happened once at least.

    😉

  12. this so speaks to my soul… i’m a yeller (i cringe at admitting it) and my agenda is also what causes me to break spirits. thanks for letting me know i’m not a lone as well as offer some wonderful perspective!

  13. OUCH!! I am a yeller and I always seem to have an agenda. Some one told me once to put spending time with my kids on my to -do list! I guess I still need to work on that… thanks for the timely reminder!!

  14. God used this post tonight as I totally broke Tanners spirit after a tantrum and long day I just lost it. My agenda was to get to the many things I have TiVo’d and get to my part of the evening, bedtime, or bliss as I refer to it. As the words and the voice of being so frustrated that I was quietly yelling, it hit the air I knew I had done it. I had broken Tanners heart. OF course I felt like total crap and the things that were recored were just that, um re-cord-ed (duh) and he was left with a memory of my agenda taking priority over him. I heard God speak through this and felt his arms forgiveness over me. Thank you so much for all you do in words and in deeds. I heart you!

  15. since i don’t have children i can’t relate quite the same way. the closest thing i have is a spoiled little dog, but he DOES demand quite a bit of time and attention – you would think he was actually a baby.

    but anyway, loved the post. love the quote about sacrifice 🙂

    oh, and jack bauer IS awesome! 😉

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