Your Attitude is a Choice
I do hope you’ll realize that your attitude is your choice, not someone else’s fault. It was more than difficult and humbling for me to admit to myself that I was choosing to be pitiful and that it was my own doing. Not my husband’s fault, not my children’s fault, not motherhood’s fault, and certainly not God’s fault—my fault. Hard for me to admit about myself, but it’s true. I hope and pray you’ll save yourself from this trap by recognizing it’s coming before it even happens.
Of course, being able to admit you’ve fallen into the Martyr Mom Trap is hard but necessary if you want to replace Eeyore with more of a “T-I-double-guh-err?” type of attitude; you know, Pooh’s friend Tigger… “Bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!”
How Do We Improve Our Attitude?
But how in the world do we keep ourselves from grumbling, complaining, and being frustrated amid the demanding role of motherhood? When it comes to living an everyday mom life in the right way, our motto should be “attitude is everything.” And when it comes to advice on attitude, the book of Proverbs is a great place to go:
A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
The discerning heart seeks knowledge
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Another way to change your heart attitude is by slipping away for a moment of quiet and a chance to regroup. I realize that at times slipping away isn’t an option, so you might have to get creative.
When my children were younger, I had a signal that meant “Mom’s had enough; she’s on edge; you should give her some space.” I would sit in a certain chair in the kitchen and mime that I was closing myself off in a closet. Until I opened the imaginary doors and stood up, they pretty much left me alone. I could see and hear everything, of course, but I pretended not to. My children used to just act as if I wasn’t there. I would choose those precious moments to breathe deeply, lift up a prayer, and shake off the attitude that was destined to cause things to go south quickly.
A Major Turning Point
Learning this “Don’t be a martyr” way of thinking was a major turning point in my life, a personal declarative where I had to decide whether I was living my life for me or for God. A very telling scripture in the Bible speaks to this sort of attitude, and I think it’s especially important for moms: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).
Making the decision to change my attitude and live my life for God caused me to commit to the discipline of learning more about Him and how He expects me to live. I could see firsthand that living for Him and doing things His way made my life, the lives of my family, and the lives of those around me better. No more learning about God, a little here, a little there, but “all in,” so to speak.
If you’ve always longed to discover yourself, let me assure you, the real answers are found in the discovery of God and His will for your life. God is pursuing a closer relationship with you right now; that’s why you’re reading these words. I hope you’ll take time each day to pray. Simply talk to God; tell Him your thoughts and feelings.
If you recognize that you’re in the Martyr Mom trap, please don’t give up. It took me a while—a lot of discipline and a lot of heart change—but by hearing God’s voice above my own, I learned who I was meant to be.
Taken with permission from the book, Be The Mom, by Tracey Eyster.