• easpenner

Chain Reaction

Updated: Jul 28

Oh, sweet mamas. We’ve all been there. Sweat pouring down our brow. Praying our back doesn’t suddenly give out. Lassoing one with our legs, while simultaneously trying to pry another’s mouth open for at least 30 seconds of “quality” tooth-brushing. Dropping empty threats, left and right. To at last get everyone into bed. Again. And again. And once more. Eventually, when it truly is finally done-and-said, we find ourselves feeling miserable. About our reaction. Our interaction. That really shouldn’t have been that brazen. And confrontational. But it was.

And it definitely isn’t the first time.

Isn’t it funny? How one mishap can lead to the next. To the next. And to another. And before we know it, we are in the middle of a six-mishap pile-up. Right in the living room of our own home…


A bright-eyed little beauty decides to shout out every mama’s favorite word, “NO!”, and in chasing after her, trying to wrangle her into some kind of timeout, we stub our toe. Trying with every ounce of energy to hold in those “choice” words we never wish to escape our mouths, we hop around on one foot, and right into the dog’s water bowl. Flooding the kitchen. All while “said” toddler is watching with laughter twinkling in her eyes. And nowhere near her timeout spot.

Yup.

Been there.

Done that.

A dozen times over.


So, what goes wrong? How does it get to a point of such a pile-up? Could it be our initial reaction? If we had just taken a deep breath and whispered a prayer of guidance to God, could our entire 10 minutes have played out much differently? Maybe not. But, maybe so.

In my mind, I really like to think…maybe so.

“He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.” (Psalms 107: 29-30)

You see, little ones are amazing judges of our moods. They play off of how we interact with them. When that interaction goes sour, so does their attitude. When we work to stay calm, and prompt them to do the same, they follow suit.

Oh, pretty mamas, I am not in any way, shape or form saying it is easy. I k.n.o.w. in my heart that there is absolutely no way that I will be able to have a calm and peaceful interaction each-and-every time with my daughters. But, I also know that many times, I can do better…

~We hit a point each evening when all three girls start to wind down quickly. When we’ve past that point….whewy, there is not much in the way of getting back to a better position. So, as their mama, I have tried very hard to get them in their rooms and ready for bed BEFORE that time arrives. We prevent the struggle. We go to bed peacefully. There aren’t any tears.

~If I know we have a busy or early morning…the number-one occurrence that causes me stress is running late with any or all of our girls. To the bus-stop, an early-morning doctor appointment or an unexpected run to the grocery store. It doesn’t matter. So, to combat that anxiety, I have a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. everything ready the night before. Not just for them, but for my husband and myself as well. Because if I don’t? Let’s just say, it’s not pretty. Being prepared makes for a much more smooth-sailing experience of heading out the door, which gives them a calm and deserved start to their day.

These are just two examples of our most “interactive” and confrontational situations. Those moments that escalate the most quickly. That heat up from gentle coasting to severe emotional pile-up in a matter of seconds.

It takes practice, beautiful souls. And patience. Faith. And deep breaths. Preparation. And perseverance. When you just want to throw the towel in and let your anger flow. In front of the most impressionable beings on Earth.

Most importantly? Confidence. In yourself. And humbleness. To ask for help. When we need it most. It only takes a moment. Within our hearts. And souls. To whisper such simple words:

“Dear Lord, I ask for your Help. Guidance. Tranquility. And Patience. As I trust in You, and You fill me with your joy and peace. That I may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” (Romans 15:13)

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