A mother’s confessional (This might get a little ugly.)

Sometimes you think the waters are calm and still and then you blink and the storm clouds have rolled in and you find yourself trapped by your own anchor, hanging heavy and forgotten in the deep.

A Mother's Confessional: When anger takes over.

Have you ever been so close to hitting your child that you had to call someone for help?

I have.


And I’m fighting shame by being open about it.

Because the truth is, I feel like a failure of a mother when I even think about how close I’ve been to inflicting physical harm on one of my kids on purpose.

I used to wonder about “child abusers” who beat their children – how could they? What could possess them to harm someone so small and innocent and vulnerable? (I had no personal concept of rage.) How is it even possible? How could they do that and then turn around and be remorseful in the same moment?

But I know the answer to those questions now:

Anger. Frustration. Despair. Hopelessness. Inadequacy. Rejection. Any number of those things fueled and impassioned by sleep deprivation or work stress or relational breakdown or family history or addiction or imbalanced hormones or countless other factors stacked against them.

I can only identify with a small fraction of those things and yet I’ve felt rage toward my own flesh and blood – the ones I love so fiercely that I claim I’d give my life for theirs.

Yes, toward them I’ve felt rage.

I’m so much less judgmental than I used to be.


When I was 19 and heart-broken from a failed relationship, I remember thinking that if I could just get angry and physical and let it all out somehow then maybe I would feel better. I thought perhaps I could break something, throw something, destroy something, like I saw in the movies. That would provide release of all the big emotions I harbored. Surely.

I ventured into the tiny kitchen area of my studio apartment and opened up the cupboard, wondering what I could break that would make me feel better. Reaching for a mug, I paused before putting it back. (I like that one.) I reached for another and then put it back. (I actually like that one, too.) My eyes continued to scan the two shelves of the little cupboard for something that I wouldn’t regret breaking and—the truth is—I realized I didn’t actually want to break anything.

Closing the cupboard I gave up on the throwing-something-angry-outburst-fit-of-justified-rage idea and sat on my front steps and cried instead.

After a while I felt better.


Years later my emotion boils and I have to muster every ounce of self control I have to keep myself from not turning the whole damn mug cupboard inside out. With a sledge hammer.

How could a person who never yelled, never slammed doors, never even felt violent suddenly be having thoughts of hitting my own child? Or kicking him? (Yes, I’ve seriously had kicking thoughts – juvenile right? I know. *hangs head in shame*)

How could a person who has never in my entire life hit anyone or even had explosive fights or angry outbursts or yelling matches now want to shout, “JUST SHUT THE HELL UP” (or worse) to a tiny, harmless child from my own womb?

And maybe I’ve never actually slammed either of them up against a wall or verbalized profanity or called them the names that have sometimes darted through my head… But isn’t the fact that I’ve imagined those things terrifying enough? And perhaps they’ve not heard the wrath or contempt with their ears or seen it with their eyes but surely they have felt it with their spirits.

(Oh, the knot in my stomach as I confess.)

It horrifies me to think that this sort of violence lives in my heart. I mean, shouldn’t I be a grown-up now? Surely I needn’t be dealing with tendencies toward these sorts of absolute tantrums, right?

(Because that’s what they are: tantrums, a thousand times worse than I’ve ever seen coming from a child.)

Friends, I am so frail and so needy and so not who I want to be on some days.

And even though I can take a step back and see a bigger picture and realize that my own limitations are being toyed with and amplified by an almost lethal concoction of sleep deprivation and hormones and parenting growing pains and personal weaknesses and an ungodly amount of stress coming from multiple directions, it doesn’t prevent me from feeling hopelessly inadequate when I fail.

It’s those days when I label myself a colossal let down and a threat to the welfare of the ones I love most and a big, giant loser.

It’s those days that I feel like a hypocrite and a fraud.

It’s those days when I need not only the grace of God but the grace of myself as I wince at my own reflection in the mirror.

It’s those days that are hard for me to understand how I could possibly be God’s best girl for the job of mothering those perfect little children… Those perfect little children that I would never, ever want to see harmed from my own hand or mouth or eye, much less anyone else’s.

And what worries me the most is that I know when we are pressed it’s the inside that comes seeping out through our pores and words and actions. And really? This bile is inside me? Inside of me – the Christian mother who claims a new nature and a holy identity and a connection to the Source Of All Goodness?

But it is. It’s there.

And knowing that hurts.

I’m struggling with that knowledge – struggling with what’s being unearthed from the recesses of my heart.

And so I’m looking for that quiet pasture. Those still waters that the Psalmist wrote about a long time ago. Can I find them when I’m in the dark valley? Where the shadow of death feels so real?

I’m counting to ten and then back again and to a thousand and a million and sometimes the anger is still there.

My wishing and counting and breathing and hoping and willing falters in the face of its ugly, ugly head.

But under it all there isn’t really anger, it’s fear – fear that I’m not good enough. Fear that I’m incapable of being be the mother I want to be. Fear that I’ll blow my own values or destroy all of the foundations I’ve already labored to set in place. Fear that I’m going to screw up my kids for good through a single epic failure. Fear that because I know better than all of that, it somehow makes my grappling and wrestling with the lies even more pathetic.

So I offer my confession today:

I confess that I struggle as a mother – not every day, but often enough for some shame to have built up.

I confess that without Jesus I might be beating my kids like those I once freely judged and scorned (even if only under my breath).

I confess that I’m bankrupt without love, and that—in those moments of bankruptcy—I sometimes fly off the handle and then flounder to get grounded again.

I confess that the aggressive part of my (unhealthy) passive aggressive default has taken more than three decades to finally bubble to the surface… and—wow—is it hot inside that once-dormant volcano.

I confess that I’m allowing the light to shine and reveal the dark places, and that my kids are worth it and I’m worth it too.

I confess that even despite all of my weaknesses and failures I still believe that I’ve come a long way and I’m growing and I’m on the best path.

I confess that my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity are just feelings not concrete or tangible outcomes and that they don’t have to scare me if I don’t lend them any staying power or let them fuel my actions.

I confess that these terrible moments are extremely few and far between and they absolutely don’t define who I am as a mother or even the tone of my home or heart.

I confess that hormones are powerful and grief sometimes crashes and sleep deprivation really can make a grown woman lose her mind. (Oh, goodness yesitcan.)

I confess that I need help and support, cheerleaders and coaches.

I confess that I need friendship and community and solidarity way down here in the muddy trenches of motherhood during these tumultuous, exhausting, exhilarating, beautiful, unforgettable years with littles.

I confess that I’m doing far more right than I am wrong and that my amazing kids are living, breathing proof of my ability to mother well.

I confess that I am an imperfect mother, but—despite the whole ugly lot of it—I am absolutely the perfect mother for my kids. I am mom enough.

We may not be perfect mothers, but we are the perfect mothers for our children.

I confess that my sunken anchor is not stuck, and that–with practice–those clouds can be pushed back just as quickly as they rolled in.

Dear friends, you’ve heard my confession. I hit “publish” with trembling fingers and a very real fear of being judged… but I wonder, might you need to make confession too?


About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • becca
    3 August 2013 at 7:06 pm

    this is so good, adriel. thank you for your openness. i can definitely relate and i’m sure so many other parents can too. gentle discipline with my kids is the hardest thing i’ve ever done (and we are only three years in!) and i know it’s purpose is to change me as much as it is to guide my children. As much as I have ‘instincts’ to protect and care for my children and keep them close, I also have ‘instincts’ to hurt them or push them away and preserve myself. It’s quite shocking sometimes. I think having someone to call in those moments is an excellent idea. My sister is a therapist and tells me to have a “safety plan” for when my buttons are being pushed (sometimes that has been to stand up and do ten jumping jacks, or leave the room for a few minutes or say a certain phrase). And when we do yell or treat our children too roughly, there is so much power in apology and receiving our toddlers’ forgiveness, showing them that sometimes even moms and dads can be wrong.

    Thanks for shining light in a dark place! you are a great mom and a remarkable person!! xx

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Oh girl, you’re singing my song. Some days don’t you just wish your kids would obey you like a robot? I know in the long run I don’t want them to have blind obedience or comply to my (or anyone’s) every whim. I don’t actually want to control or manipulate them. But the teaching and discipling process is so difficult, I sometimes want to throw all of my ideals out the window and just force obedience/compliance/whatever so that I get my way and things can feel “easier”. It’s like the tug of knowing that fast food/junk food is so destructive for our bodies long-term and yet can taste so good and be so easy and convenient for the NOW. Rewriting the menu is hard.

      • Tamika
        8 August 2013 at 1:20 pm

        Quoting your words “I know in the long run I don’t want them to have blind obedience or comply to my (or anyone’s) every whim. I don’t actually want to control or manipulate them. But the teaching and discipling process is so difficult, I sometimes want to throw all of my ideals out the window and just force obedience/compliance/whatever so that I get my way and things can feel “easier”.”

        YES! Oh heavens yes. Those are words out of my mind to yours!

        Sadly, I HAVE fallen prey to spouting some mean things to my children in the heat of the moment. Its how I was raised. Its a circle I am attempting to break. By learning to apologize to them – and to admit that Mum was wrong. Its so hard to do – but they learn more than one lesson from it, I hope…..

        And I’m getting better – I’m getting better at learning that when I feel HOT I need to pull them in for a hug. As I was once told – You can’t HIT your child when you are HUGGING your child. It really works for me to deflate my temper = and remind me that they are a living, breathing, warm bodied CHILD of my heart.

  • Ashlie
    3 August 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Guilty here as well. My husband and I were just discussing this two nights ago. My daughter isn’t even a year and a half yet and I’m nearly 8 months pregnant. She is entering that stage of testiness and purposely pushing my buttons daily. I have realized that the more pregnant I get the more uncomfortable and irritable I can be. Thus, leaving a lot of room for impatience with her. Makes me feel ugly and unworthy, but luckily I’m still her favorite person even with my angry thoughts. I think you’re awesome for spilling your guts btw. 😉
    Ashlie recently posted..Another awesome…My Profile

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 2:36 pm

      pregnancy + toddlers = recipe for a roller coaster. grace to you, ashlie!! xx

  • Valerie
    3 August 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing this and being real. I’m the mom of a tween and these types of feelings bubble up all too frequently as that stage of life starts (for both of us.) When your child becomes as tall or taller than you and starts to assert their independence and their changing hormones, the control we thought we once had dwindles away… you find yourself thinking that the only way to regain the control is through physical means. The reality is we were never in control and as they grow, we need to allow God to work in their hearts and ours to groom them for self-control and following the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it ironic that the very thing we want for them, is actually what the enemy attacks in us? Acknowledging/confessing, praying over it and surrendering it are surefire ways to kick that devil to the curb though, one day at a time. I am thankful for the sisterhood of moms in my life that encourage and coach me at this stage in my life and my children.

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 2:40 pm

      yes, it IS ironic. we never would want our kids to be robots (controlled by us) and yet when they feel out of control all i want in the moment is to become their dictator!!! i’m not sure how i’d parent without the HS’s help. x
      Adriel recently posted..How to teach your child to stop eating his boogers My Profile

  • Anna G
    4 August 2013 at 4:30 am


    Thank you for being so transparent and honest. It is so freeing when one mama speaks truth so millions realize that we are not alone. Praise Jesus that His Spirit lives within us so that we are being transformed daily and freed from our sinful ugly selves and are free to live above our emotions and thoughts! Parenting is such a wonderful and exhausting and frustrating and amazing thing- unlike anything I have or will ever experience. I relate dear sister. You are loved, sweet Adriel.

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 2:42 pm

      thanks anna. bless you. xx

  • Rochelle
    4 August 2013 at 7:44 am

    Oh Adriel, you are in my head again! I feel like I could have written this, and I am so glad YOU did. Thank you for your honesty – the ugly truth – and reminding me that I’m not a crazy on an island with no one else who could possibly relate. Everything you wrote is so raw and true and vulnerable. I am fighting this very rage-guilt-shame cycle and trying to focus on Jesus and His love and daily grace for me. I think you are right – fear is at the center. My need to be everything, do everything just the right way. Control. My expectations for my kids aren’t appropriate for their ages and stages. I never thought I was an angry person, never thought I had a temper, never knew I could be so damn angry and want to scream at them to shut the hell up, as you stated. I have so been there and I don’t want to stay there. It is exhausting. God has something so much better for us as moms. He loves us through all this yuckiness. I am convinced He is working something new, something more like Him, in you and me and all the other moms who are fighting this. Thank you again for your brutal honesty. Praying for you now as well as myself…

  • Nessa
    4 August 2013 at 12:43 pm

    You amaze me. How you lay it all out there to lift us all up in your words and loving heart. Thank you. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in my moments of insanity. The moments where I wish my words would make her cry so I could know that she knew I meant them… and then when she laughs at time-out and my blood boils… that I am not alone in the momentary flash of thought to make her cry any way I can. Thank you for letting me know when I run for the bathroom to take a break I am not alone. Thank you for making this motherhood island feel more like a village.
    Nessa recently posted..little man, my tiny babyMy Profile

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 3:00 pm

      insanity. now there’s a way to frame it. it really does feel like that at times, ey? we need each other during this time where our kids AND us are facing growth spurt after growth spurt. growing is exciting, yes, but painful too.
      Adriel recently posted..Ladies, I’m reclaiming naptime. Will you join me? My Profile

  • Meghan Tschanz
    4 August 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I was a nanny for two children whose parents didn’t believe in discipline. Sometimes I just wanted to run away I would get so angry and exacerbated. Thanks for your honesty! Love it!

  • lost
    4 August 2013 at 2:17 pm

    thank you

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 3:05 pm

      dear “lost”,
      i’m specifically praying grace for you today, and also for you to find courage and hope and help in the process of dealing with your own struggles and mothering journey. hugs, mama.
      love adriel xx

  • Ang Giesbrecht
    4 August 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Wow. I so needed to hear this. I’ve totally been dealing with these very real feelings of inadequacy and anger lately. Having my 4th child has brought things to a whole new level of intensity. I am just so tired and feel like I’m being pulled in a hundred directions and the irritability and anger seems to bubble over more often than ever before. I 100% relate to what your talking about. I want to join the confession in saying that I NEED JESUS to give me his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. I cannot do this without HIM. Thank you Adriel for your beautiful vulnerability and the way you write with so much passion and truth.

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 3:08 pm

      It’s good to know we’re not alone. We have each other… and we have HIM. Never were we meant to parent alone. Thanks for reaching out and sharing your own struggle. Praying for you today, friend. x
      Adriel recently posted..Grace like Scarlett My Profile

  • Briana
    4 August 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing. It’s comforting to know your struggles are understood, that your worries and concerns and inadequacies aren’t so far out there… that others have them too. Not because you wish them on anyone else, but because it validates that you aren’t a bad person/mother/child of God/fill-in-the-blank, but that you are human and imperfect and that’s okay.
    Thank goodness for women like you, who are brave enough to stand up and share exactly what it is you’re experiencing. You aren’t alone. I’m willing to bet most mothers who truly care, who live their lives trying to do and be something more than they are, experience this. It’s the beauty and challenge of motherhood. It stretches and molds you into the kind of person God wants you to be. I happen to think it’s helping us to be more like Him.
    I often catch myself dwelling on my mistakes as a mother, how my poor decisions or moments of weakness will affect my daughter. Will she have anger problems? Will she always look at the negative instead of focusing on the positive? Will she feel inadequate or less than she should? Have my weaknesses already caused lasting damage? Sometimes I feel the same hopelessness and desperation you expressed, and yes, sometimes I find that I have to lock myself in a quiet place away from my child, and wait for the waves of rage and anger to leave me. And if they don’t, sometimes I have to turn on music, take a run, call a friend, and say a prayer. I do my best to wait and weather the stormy thoughts, until the sky clears and the bigger picture comes back into view.
    I think it’s a good sign when a mother feels overwhelmed with a sense of her own limitations, or finds herself consumed by thoughts that she isn’t good enough. It means she cares that much. I worry for the children of those mothers who never evaluate or take much thought for their parenting skills.
    Being a good mother is hard stuff. It isn’t for the faint of heart. 🙂 I love so many things about what you shared, and I’m certain they’ll stick with me when I grapple with my own shortcomings in this crazy thing we call motherhood.
    Take care!

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 3:16 pm

      thanks for sharing briana. it’s a tricky tension between identifying and owning our weaknesses and mistakes so we can grow and change… and obsessing and dwelling and beating ourselves up over them. like you said, motherhood is not for the faint of heart! i’m so glad we can find help. x
      Adriel recently posted..Dear pregnant woman on the playground (With love from a baby-loss mom)My Profile

  • Rin
    4 August 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Wow. You are so brave. And I’m glad of it.
    Thank you.

  • Victoria
    4 August 2013 at 9:58 pm

    As someone whose mother didn’t make that phone call, I found this post of yours to be so hard to read. I find myself wishing that these words of yours, were words from my mother’s mouth.

    I find myself so thankful that you have admitted these feelings, and want you to know that, in acknowledgement of them, you really have been an example of God’s grace in action, that in Him you are a new creation. In acknowledging those moments for what they are, the lies of the enemy, you still press on to grow in faith and dependence on Him who gives you peace. That is the mom that I would love to have.

    Most importantly, I want you to know the following: given my circumstances growing up, I have never wanted children of my own, because of an unshakeable fear that under the stresses of nurturing my own offspring, I would do the things my mother did to me.
    Admissions like yours, give me hope. Hope that in Him, I wouldn’t do those things. Hope that I’m not too scarred or damaged to be able to be the best mom I can be, if it is in His will for me to be a mom.

    Adriel, thank you for your honesty.

    • Adriel
      7 August 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Oh Victoria, did you intend to make me bawl my eyes out? (jokes, but I’m tearing up, for sure.)

      Thank you for taking the time to comment with your experience. To be honest I hadn’t even considered what it might be like for someone with your painful experiences to read this. I’m so glad that it impacted you in a helpful way, and not a hurtful way.

      God’s grace is so much stronger than sin – our own or that which has been directed toward us. I’m SO encouraged to hear of your hope – what a beautiful result from a post that was written from a place of my own ugly weakness. See how God’s specialty is bringing beauty from ashes? Your life is no exception, sister. You are SO worthy of his grace, of hope, of potential, of CHANGE. You are so worthy of ALL the beauty and healing and redemption he sees in you and sees for your future.

      Bless you, sweet girl. xx
      Adriel recently posted..Is it okay to only tell half the story? | Thoughts on Instagram and other visual social media. My Profile

  • Jess Wolstenholm
    7 August 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Oh friend, I am amazed at your strength and your commitment to minister to other moms in sharing this post. So many of us are right beside you. For me it isn’t physical. It’s my words. I fear they often leave small blows of discouragement on my girl when I am so frustrated that I say things that hurt. It’s not direct insults or hurtful words because after all, I love her so much. But when she doesn’t meet my expectations (read: she acts like a 5 year old, gasp!) I get so frustrated and disappointed and I show it. “Are you kidding me? What were you thinking?” Sounds to her like, “You little loser, why can’t you measure up?” And it’s not even just the words. It’s my facial expressions, my heavy sighs that say, “you are not enough.”

    God forgive me for piling emotional bricks on her sweet heart.

    Adriel, it’s just.so.maddening to have little ones who don’t understand, don’t listen, flitter in their own little world when we need them to do what we need them to do. It can lead even the most even tempered person to insanity.

    Thank you for sharing to remind us all we are not alone and we are not bad mothers for dealing with this struggle.

    You are an amazing mother, even more so for using your voice in this way.

    Love you friend!
    Jess Wolstenholm recently posted..5 Quick and Easy Family Travel TipsMy Profile

    • Adriel
      2 October 2013 at 8:43 am

      Thanks Jess. I think as scary as it was putting my ugly out there on display, it was even more so empowering to then have so many other moms validated what I expected to be the case – I’m SO not alone.

      And yes, I am constantly thinking and rethinking how I use my words too. So aware, and yet still so much need to grow in my awareness. Daily asking the Lord to reveal my heart and lead my parenting.
      Adriel recently posted..Hope for our future looks like this (Introducing 31 Days of Women Empowering Women) My Profile

  • Lisa@bitesforbabies
    8 August 2013 at 7:25 pm

    You’ve summed up in a (moving) post what every mom has felt or feels on a regular bais…but is too ashamed to admit!! I’ve thought and said these exact words to myself many times! We all need to be open and honest about parenting…it is the best and at times the worst experience of our lives…it can bring out the best in you and in a split second the worst! This post reiterates the fact that we need to ate it day by day, ask for help when we need it, and accept that no parent is perfect
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  • Tara E
    9 August 2013 at 10:08 am

    wow… after a hard week with my two kids, this really resonated with me. thanks for sharing this and being real! i have a frustrating, challenging, wonderful 3 1/2 year old who drives me nuts some (many!) days. the other day i did lose my temper and i just had to walk away. it doesn’t help being somewhat sleep deprived from having a newborn who doesn’t sleep great… i am so thankful i have my husband to help parent… i cannot imagine how hard it would be to do alone.

    i often feel like parenting is the ultimate refining fire… it brings to the surface, my best and worst qualities. it shows me what i need to change. and i am thankful that God has called me to be a mom.

    • Adriel
      2 October 2013 at 8:47 am

      Amen. Refining FIRE is right, my girl. Right there with you in the challenge, and right there with you in thanking GOD I am not in it alone. So grateful for my amazing husband and I hope I never take for granted what a gift a partner in parenting really is.
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  • I'm diggin' it |
    10 August 2013 at 1:35 am

    […] been getting all serious around these parts, talking about anger and baby loss (and crashing the blog because I guess there are a few women out there who can […]

  • Tom
    30 August 2013 at 2:10 am

    Adriel, Your honesty. In this subject touches so much of what a parent feels, thinks and struggles with in raising their children. We wish for our children to become models of all good things and get soo disappointed (and frustrated and angry and FURIOUS!) When they don’t measure up. Those times wwhen we shout on the inside “I NEED A BREAK!” and for the 30th time breath very deeply and try to hold the emotion in. I’ve survived the younger years and now have a beautiful, caring daughter in college, two caring but, at times, hormonally tumultuous teens who challenge me to continue to be a good Dad (I’ve long since given up on being great – too many weaknesses). Yes the times can get tough especially for all of us single parents – but with my oldest I see God’s grace has allowed to start emerging in life without (I hope) any permanent scars from my failures.
    I have found blesssing from God in these three gifts of God. I must be reminded at times that God knew what he was doing when he decided who my children would be and who their parents would be. I know you too will be so blessed by your children.

    • Adriel
      2 October 2013 at 8:50 am

      Tom, thanks for sharing. I admit that parenting during the teen years completely intimidates me. I’m so glad that we aren’t thrown into parenting teenagers, but that (unless we foster or adopt older children) we get many years of growing into the role. 🙂 God must have known what he was doing for sure!!
      Adriel recently posted..Stories to tell: Life and loss, joy and mourning in Papua New GuineaMy Profile

  • Aprille @beautifulinhistime.com
    28 September 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Wow. Thank you for this.

    I honestly don’t think anything has ever made me angrier and uglier than being a mom. I’ve so been there. I’ve yelled things in meanness. I’ve slapped little hands sharply and one time I even slapped his face after he slapped mine. (he was almost three at the time.) It was one of the hardest and ugliest moments of my mothering so far – realizing I had done the unthinkable, and it came so naturally.

    Every day I fight anger and resentment because he makes my life so out of my control.

    And yet as fiercely as I am angry I am fiercely loving and loyal to him and love him more than just about anything or anyone in the world.

    I don’t have any great words of advice – the only thing I have found to help me is mommy timeouts. I lock him in his room or lock myself in mine and even if he cries, I let myself breath and listen to music and get my thoughts back on God and his grace – his great for both of us. Lots of praying and we take big fat “dragon breaths” (breathing like a dragon – in through your nose, out through your mouth with a big huff). We take dragon breaths multiple times a day, sometimes multiple times and hour and it helps us both maintain our cool.
    Aprille @beautifulinhistime.com recently posted..Ezra’s Little Blue Truck 3rd Birthday PartyMy Profile

    • Adriel
      2 October 2013 at 8:53 am

      I’ve never heard that type of breathing called “dragon breaths” before. That is hilarious and my boys would LOVE that! We do “deep breaths” but “dragon breaths” would take it to a whole new level. I would think the humor in that might also help diffuse??

      Thanks for sharing. And whoa, we are so not alone in the struggle. x
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  • Dear moms who think I have it all together
    20 October 2013 at 10:43 pm

    […] as a mom – the fun parts, the silly parts, the beautiful parts, the frustrating parts, the embarrassing or even shameful parts, the heartbreaking parts, the triumphant parts – all of it. And I will continue to hope that this […]

  • Julia
    6 December 2013 at 9:53 pm

    When I feel myself heating up I try to remember to hug my kids hard!
    We play a game where I give them a big squeezy hug (not damaging!) and I say, usually through clenched teeth, ‘I love you so much, I’ll squeeze you till you pop!).
    They think it’s a great game so it deflates the situation and I get an outlet and a distraction.
    I’m a ‘fly off the handle’ kind of person so really need some tools in place. I’ve also changed my diet completely by cutting out sugar because I’ve found I’m very erratic when on it. I can’t recommend highly enough experimenting with cutting it out then trying it again and seeing the results. I know it’s not going to be like that for everyone but the difference in my relationship with my children is night and day when i compare myself eating sugar or not. On sugar I am an angry parent, eerily similar to my own Dad, and not on sugar I am far far closer to the parent I want to be.
    Thanks for sharing your ugly moments, I’m sure we all have them but all worry we’re the only ones. Being aware of our short comings and taking steps to be a better person is one of the best lessons we can model for our children. So in essence our short comings are blessings.

    • Adriel
      18 December 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Wow, Julia, that’s so interesting about the correlation between sugar and your temper. Definitely something to consider – thanks for sharing.

      Yes, I do something similar with my kids. I hug them tight and say “I’ll eat you up, I love you so” (line from Where the Wild Things Are). It does help deflate things a little and helps me to remember how much I really DO love them.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave some helpful feedback. xx
      Adriel recently posted..Are You a Leader or a Manager? | How Leadership Changes Our ParentingMy Profile

  • F
    31 October 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I needed this encouragement today. I’m 8 weeks pregnant, and what started off as something exciting is now slowly turning into something fearsome. The past couple of days I’ve found my self hounded with feeling inadequate. I’ve had serious doubts of being a good mother. There is so much anger, fear and anxiety, I almost feel like a failure. I’m struggling to work out differences in my marriage. And the entire thing has taken a toll on me. I’ve been struggling to trust God. Struggling to keep myself motivated. Struggling to be excited.

    Anyway, all to say, thank you for writing this.

    • Adriel
      11 November 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Grace to you today, sis. Please remember that pregnancy releases some crazy hormones and it’s normal to go through doubts as you begin your journey of motherhood. I wish I could say that goes away after your baby is born but it doesn’t – it just changes. My encouragement to you is to find one or two good mom friends that you can trust to share your struggles with, as well as working on communication in your marriage. Good support has helped me with the stresses of motherhood so much! Big hugs. And huge congrats! 🙂

  • Katharine
    21 November 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I found your site while looking for advent ideas and decided to read some of your other posts – I’m so glad I found this one! I really needed to hear that someone – and in particular another Christian – struggles with the same thing. Before kids I used to look at that list in the Bible about the fruit of the Spirit and think that my fruit was growing quite nicely – I thought I really was a patient and kind person. And then I became a parent! And there is all this ugliness and impatience, and I yell (and worse) and want to throw things (and worse) and I feel so ashamed. I struggle not to label myself as a bad mum, particularly on those days when it has all gone wrong by 8am! I struggle with the fear that I am not in control. So I am praying for kindness, love and patience. I pray that God is working in my heart and on my character. I am praying every day for more of God’s mercy and love. Thank you for your honesty. God bless.


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