Change Starts with Mommy

Did you know that if you want to see a change in your family, that change starts with mommy? For years I prayed and hoped that things would change, but it wasn’t happening quickly…or even at all.

Frustration overwhelmed me. I was living a cycle of insanity. It was like Groundhog Day. The impatience, rudeness, back-talk, and disrespect was wearing on me.

But God… finally got my attention and showed me that the need to change wasn’t with them, but with me. And that change wasn’t happening quickly …or even at all.

The Crazy Cycle

I found myself baffled, wondering what the heck was going on. It was like Groundhog Day. The impatience, rudeness, back-talk, and disrespect was wearing on me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for my children and love them immensely. They are personable, kind, and compassionate. We enjoy spending time together and have a close bond.

But the little yucky things piled up day after day leaving me feeling disrespected and ignored. They didn’t take me very seriously and repeating myself became the norm. I’d lose my temper and found myself apologizing a lot. I felt so bad that for sure I thought this was the last time, but years past and the same movie played over and over.

Eventually, it got to the point where my young teen and I became angry at each other and yelled regretful things. It was getting toxic.

Who’s Really the Crazy One?

Was it me? All this time I thought it was my husband and kids who were crazy. Without a doubt, they have their faults.  But perhaps I was the crazy one because I could change it all but didn’t. I just waited for them to realize how difficult they were. 

If I was truly honest with myself, I could see that raising my voice, being snappy, angry, unkind, and impatient was showing dishonor to my family-no matter their behavior. I was desperate for a change and a deep awareness of my behavior took place. Was it true that change starts with mommy?

  • Would I want my husband or anyone to treat me the way I treated them? No!
  • Could I work on myself? Yes! 

If change starts with mommy, then so be it! I then began the laborious mission of “taking off the “ugly and putting on the beautiful”. It was a mammoth undertaking that should’ve began years ago, but I was unaware of the effect of the anger that simmered below the surface of my heart.

A healthy mindset to deal with all the stress that came with marriage, pregnancy, deployments, layoffs, toddlers, moving and debt was not part of my upbringing. I was oblivious to the person that I was becoming.

All things considered and because my children were being rude, impatient, gossipy, and sarcastic; I needed to look long and hard at myself and my marriage.

  • How do my spouse and I treat each other?
  • What is my default when responding to my kids?

Once I realized the example I was to my little guys, I knew I needed to focus on changing me. Not them.


Aware of the Need for Change

Yet, we can’t just “pull up our bootstraps” and try with all our might to be patient and soft-spoken. After years of creating bad habits, it will take hard work to reverse them. Moreover, it’s not going to happen overnight nor in our own strength. 

Here’s something you might not like to hear and please don’t understand, but prayer alone is not enough. It is a crucial key to success, but we also need action. Change is a coin with two sides. Prayer on one side and action on the other.

Choosing minute after minute to be “changed from glory to glory” is our lot in life. This pilgrimage consists of;

  • working out our salvation
  • be being filled with the Spirit
  • renewing our minds
  • taking every thought captive
  • putting off the old self
  • putting on the new self- which is like Christ
  • not giving the devil a foothold
  • tearing down strongholds
  • praying without ceasing
  • being sanctified (which is an ongoing, daily process) so we can be useful to God

Sounds exhausting, right? Yet all things are possible through Christ and “devotion to Christ is pure and simple” but it’s sin that complicates things.

Once you are aware of the sin and triggers and learn how to deal with them, when change starts with mommy, it will affect your children in a wonderful way. Don’t wait as long as I did. Anger was my thing and nothing I did worked. I’d often ask myself, “Why is it so hard to be good?!” I felt like such a loser.  

Changing Mommy

Raising children does something in us that we could never prepare for. They “bring out the worst in us”, but the truth is that the worst was already there to begin with. They set off our triggers, and expose our messes. But, we can use these challenges to purge the ugly from within and make us more holy.

Another small thing that helped was a book, “How We Love”. It helped me understand why I was so angry and how our childhoods affect us in ways we don’t realize. Immediately after I finished the book, I read “How We Love Our Kids” and put into practice the question that changed the way we deal with conflict with our children. I’ll share more below.

All in all, we must be willing to accept the faults our children uncover and dispose of them. Taking action by evaluating our buttons and behavior will change us and our children. If you believe that change starts with mommy, then here are a few practical actions you can take today.

  • This is by far the most powerful, life-changing tool in our tool belts. Pray without ceasing. Always be silently conversing with God while you work, clean, cook, etc. Lift your kiddos up in prayer. When a physical battle arises, stop in your frustration or anger, acknowledge it’s a spiritual battle, lean not on your own understanding, and ask the Spirit to go to work.
  • Let God fight the unseen war that only He can ultimately win. Even if it’s just a bad attitude your eight-year-old has because he doesn’t want to complete a lesson of math. Pray. Even when your teen rebuts your decision with a snide remark. Stop and pray out loud with him. With all of them. Whoever’s present. Just say, “We need to pray.” You need wisdom and they need a conviction or maybe it’s the other way around. 
  • Start over from the last time you blew it and prepare yourself to intentionally practice calm responses that portray your strength and not your weakness. Getting angry gives away your strength and shows your weakness. Don’t be weak! Be strong!
  • Rookies are “members in their first season”. Doesn’t that sound like us? It helps me to remember that I’m in my first season of wherever I’m at; babies, toddlers, elementary school, tweens, teens, high school, homeschooling, etc.
  • Do you forget that these children are sinners in their first season as well? “There are none that are good.” They need discipline, training, boundaries, and grace. You, my friend, were made for this. Why do we expect them to have it together when we hardly do ourselves? We are rookie mothers and they are rookie children.
change starts with mommy


Dear friend, I am no authority on this issue. I am just a vessel sharing with you the struggles I’ve gone through and what’s actually worked for us. I want what’s best for you.

The bottom line is, you’re reading this because you struggle with misbehavior-yours and your children, and there needs to be a change. Our character affects them immensely, especially when they’re looking and we’re not.

Change starts with mommy. Are you ready to accept this responsibility and let God use these precious souls to create a better you?

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