In the years when we had little bitty babies, life was all about survival. Day after day was just about making it through. I sometimes have days like that now, but it’s not nearly like it was back then. It’s really challenging to think about blessing others when you’re constantly concerned about meeting everyone’s needs.
Over time, I found myself becoming easily irritated. I was grouchy most days. Some of that was sleep deprivation, some of that was health issues, but mostly, it was my attitude. I was complaining in my heart. A lot. I had a bad attitude toward my home and my housework.
What I Had to Learn and Accept About Myself
I had to accept that I was being a grouchy person. This took quite a while, honestly. I was constantly anxious and worried about my kids, my house, our health, our safety. I was distracted by an endless list of unnecessary things. I realized I had fear in my heart that was distracting me from reality. God has given me a job. He has entrusted me with these people and He has given me this work to do. And I was not doing the work I was given with a cheerful, grateful heart, no, I was more focused on myself. This was hard to accept and I justified my attitude for a long time because of my circumstances but it really wasn’t true. I needed a serious attitude adjustment toward my family, my home, and myself.
What I Had to Do About it.
After accepting the state of my heart, I had to get honest with God. I didn’t pray some amazing, earth-shattering prayer. I simply prayed that God would forgive me and that He would help me to see my family through His eyes. I prayed that He’d help me see them as He sees them…and you know what? He did. It took time, but He was faithful and He answered my prayer.
After that first step of recognizing that I needed to change and also seeking help from the Lord, I had to take practical steps toward making a daily effort to change my perspective.
How I’m Trying to Change My Attitude
I can’t say there’s one specific thing I’m doing that’s magically changing my daily attitude and perspective. Honestly, it’s taking quite a while. But I do think there are a few things I’m trying to implement that help me keep my perspective on the good things and try to bless the members of my family too.
- I prayed that God would help me see my family as He sees them. I mention this again because this has been the number one thing that has made the biggest difference. I am able to focus on who my children and husband are as people and children of God. Instead of feeling burdened, I’m trying to focus on the fact that my family is a gift from God.
- I am trying to look for things that I can do to show that I care for my family. How can I make them feel special, needed, important, and cared for? One of the things that comes to mind that might be normal to some ladies is that I want to start ironing my husband’s work clothing. I wash and dry them now, but I want to start pressing his work clothes to be a blessing to him and to help him feel his best at work. I know this is something that other women are doing regularly for their husbands, but I just haven’t made the time and haven’t really had the tools/space/time to do so in recent years but this is something that I am working toward to be a regular part of my laundry routine.
- I am paying attention to the way I speak. I can be short and irritable sometimes and I am making a conscious effort to notice when I sound irritated with my family members. I tend to have a short fuse but over time, I have started thinking before I speak. Again, this is not a habit yet, but I have really noticed a difference in the last year. When I am paying attention to how I speak to my family, when I notice where I slip up and what causes my bad attitude, I am able to make changes in future interactions with my family.
- I’ve accepted my responsibility as a wife, mother and person. For several years, I had trouble with what my position is in life. Yes, I am mother, I am wife. But is that all? I had to evaluate the other hats I wear. Financial responsibilities and contributor, cleaning responsibilities, creator of meals, traditions, and routines, teacher, disciplinarian, secretary, interior decorator, and all the many, many more hats a mother can wear. I had to start owning it. One time, I was out with friends and I was asked by a new friend what I do. My response was, “Oh, I’m just a mom.” My very good friend responded without missing a beat, “You are much more than ‘just a mom’, you homeschool your kids, you make your husband and home a priority, you teach others about financial freedom, you’re a photographer and you’re a wonderful friend!” This interaction kind of shook me to my core. Why don’t I see myself the way she sees me? Why don’t I accept the job and responsibilities I’ve been given? Why don’t I show passion for the things I do and the people I love?
- Lastly, I had to make a conscious decision to change. This is not easy and it’s a daily practice. Honestly, there are many days that I fail. I have to take it moment by moment. I choose how I handle tough situations. I choose how I speak to people. I choose how I react. I choose my perspective. I choose my attitude. I can choose to see positive things instead of frustrating things.
Are you in the same place?
Lastly, I want to encourage you. This job you have…it’s tough. But I regret that I spent so many years focusing on the negative, scary, tough, and worrisome things. I am working on this and God is certainly changing me, but it’s a daily struggle.
I have to make the effort to change myself. I can’t change anyone else. I can’t force anyone to do anything. I can’t worry my way to peace. The change starts with me.
My goal is to serve my family with a joyful heart and be a blessing to them in different ways. I’m sure it will change over time, how I can be a blessing, that is, but for now, I’m taking small strides toward a joyful, more positive attitude. After all, the atmosphere of our homes starts with us. It’s a big responsibility but think what a difference we can make too.