It happens almost daily.

Frustrated mothers who I can tell have just been crying reach out to me and thank me for all that I do.

And then they quickly let me know how frustrated they are by their child’s behavior — and if they could change that one thing everything would be so much better/peaceful/nicer at home.

What can I do when my child won’t listen?
What can I do when they talk back?
What can I do when they fight with their sibling?
What can I do when they refuse to get dressed?
How can I get them to start doing their chores?

The list is endless because the challenges of raising children are endless. It’s hard. It’s relentless. It’s heartbreaking, at times, too. And, the challenges change with every age, phase and situation.

And, of course, it is frustrating. It can erupt your emotions. It can make you mad.

And, if you aren’t really careful, their behavior and choices can completely take your joy.

But, the problem?

It’s not the kids. Not really.

It’s us. The parents.

You have to show up with love for yourself, too. You have to understand that when you aren’t in the right frame of mind, when you aren’t feeling peaceful inside, it’s hard to see what your child needs from you to learn and move on.

Instead, you get stuck in that moment of frustration. Things go blurry. You want it better RIGHT NOW. And when that doesn’t happen, you get angry – or angrier. You hold a grudge. Start blaming. Shut out the world. And pray for a better day tomorrow.

Lovely little five-year girl with clothespin outdoor

I believe there are five reasons why mothers often get stuck in this pattern of behavior — aside from the fact that they learned it from their mothers.

1. We expect absolute perfection.

2. We have too many expectations.

3. We are trying to do too much in a day (hello yes to making 30 muffins for that back-to-school teacher breakfast!)

4. We like to control the outcomes of our days.

5. We don’t take enough time for ourselves.

In an ideal world, we would have two hours of self-care bliss in the midst of the chaos. That golden hour of quiet time to recharge.

In an ideal world all those parenting tips we read will just magically start working — and keep working.

In an ideal world, the kids would play nicely and kindly for 12 hours straight, from morning to night.

But, this isn’t an ideal world. This is real life. And it’s messy. And chaotic. And full of less-than-ideal moments to suffer through.

You can find peace in the chaos.

What do you think stands in the way between a calm, peaceful day and reality in your life?

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