I have to admit I am quite the complaining mom.
I whine to my husband about not having enough sleep because I have to bring my son to the toilet or nurse my daughter in the middle of the night.
I whine in front of my children when the house gets messy with all their toys, on those alternate days when I have to do the laundry and when their requests of me seem endless.
It's embarrassing, but sometimes I am really not a good role model to my little ones.
Fortunately for me, my husband always gives me his patient listening ear and loving hugs when I need them.
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My five-year-old has also learned to encourage me. When I say, "Argh, it's time to hang out the laundry again." He would come and give me a hug and say, "Good luck, mummy!"
So really, I ought to learn to hold my tongue more. Or at least replace all my negative energy with positive ones. I believe a lot of negative energy dissipates from me when I complain.
I think there's a fine line between needing to vent out your frustrations to ease off your tensions in order to gain more emotional comfort and a habitual whining and complaining about many aspects of your life as if everybody around you has caused you misery.
Self-assessment and self-awareness, in this case, are really essential. Imagine if your spouse told you, "Can you please stop complaining?" I'm sure you would be even more pissed and an argument might ensue.
I believe the crux is in learning to respond and not react -- allowing time to process our thoughts and feelings before shooting our mouths off.
I also think this is dependent on the state of your heart -- are you feeling bitter and attributing blame to others? It's definitely not an easy problem to overcome. I'm still trying to halt my complaining heart.
We all know it's tough juggling different aspects of motherhood but that doesn't mean the world owes us anything.
If you are going through a similar situation where you are frustrated easily or complaining about the things in your life, I pray that you, too, will have strength and discernment in overcoming this negative energy. Press on!
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. - Philippians 2:14-15
Here are three simple ways to help us overcome our complaining hearts.
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1. Give thanks in all situations
I have cultivated a daily bedtime routine with my children where we spend some time to give thanks for our day.
I think it is important for us to sow in our children seeds of thankfulness.
There may be days where things just seem to go horribly wrong. But after our raging emotions have cooled off, and we begin to look closely, I'm sure we can still find something to be thankful for, no matter how small it is.
It could be giving thanks for a safe journey back home, a delicious meal, or watching a new episode of a favorite cartoon series.
When we pay more attention to even the small things in our lives, we could very well realize that our lives are indeed blessed and fortunate.
A lot of the problems that we deal with every day are actually #firstworldproblems.
We want our children to learn what is means to be grateful rather than feeling entitled.
When we teach our children to give thanks in all situations, we are also teaching them not to take things for granted.
As my children grow, they are not only accountable to me, I have to be accountable to them too.
If they catch me whining or complaining, they just might remind me not to!
It can be both embarrassing yet heartening at the same time, to know that my kids have truly learned what I have taught them.
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2. Schedule 'Me Time'
I realize I have more complaints whenever I feel tired and overwhelmed.
I think many mommies, including myself, find it hard to schedule time for ourselves.
We crave for the exclusive 'me time' when we can sit and read a book, drink our favorite cup of coffee, or just be mindlessly scrolling through our Facebook feed without getting disturbed by our children.
We could be missing our manicure sessions, craving for a massage or having a meal out with our best friend.
Whatever your preferred choice of 'me time' may be, it is important to schedule it down.
Intentionally blocking out time for ourselves in our calendar is probably the only way we can ensure we get the 'me time' we so desperately need.
We give so much of ourselves to our family every day, that it is only reasonable that we allocate special time for ourselves too.
After all, it is very important for us to be well-rested and recharged so that we can continue to manage our household without feeling burned out.
Motherhood is a marathon not a sprint.
In order to survive this long journey and not end up becoming a bitter old woman, we have to take well-deserved breaks every now and then!
3. Pray constantly
Ever too often, I feel so helpless as a mom, especially when I was a new mom.
Thankfully, I believe in a God who is much greater than all my problems and much stronger than me!
Praying and leaning on my faith is a major pillar in my life.
I would like to think of myself as a super mom, but the truth is, I am not.
The only way I can grow as a mom and keep gaining strength and wisdom on my motherhood journey is through holding on to my faith.
May you also find strength on your personal faith journey!
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