You are not a victim, you’re a mom

I sat beside her at the public swimming pool, her little ones in the shallow wearing water wings, mine canon-balling off the high dive. We were wading into the metaphorical deep-end ourselves, talking about the hard stuff, that chlorine scented afternoon.

She was exasperated, worn out. Her frustrations bordered anger, and she felt great shame over her emotions – still they flooded.

Picking up a damp towel nearby, she wiped her face then said, “I think that I’m most upset that my children ruin my plans each day. And not just my plans for the day, but my plans of being a good mom. They ruin it no matter what I do. They ruin all of the meals I serve by hating what I’ve made and crying at the table. They ruin our trips to the park and our playdates with friends by throwing fits when it’s time to go. I plan so much fun, and they ruin it all by demanding more or different. And I guess, if I’m honest, they ruin my dreams of what my family would be like. I had such good dreams. I’ve dreamt of being a mom for so long, now here I am and there aren’t any peaceful, happy tuck-ins, no Bible reading at the breakfast table – not without more fits! Everyday I’m disappointed, frustrated, and angry. I feel abused! Some days I just want to throw in the towel.” And she did throw down the tattered towel in her hands, with a pathetic little moan.

I smiled, leaned in, and hugged her. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but as she shared I believed she spoke the unspoken emotions of many moms in many homes today.

We feel like victims.

 

You are not a victim, you're a mom!

 

In the quite morning hours, when God’s mercies are new, I know that I am not a victim, I’m simply a mom.

The same is true for my young friend, and the same is true for you.

Still, we find ourselves forgetting by mid-afternoon, hiding in the pantry with a handful of chocolate chips.

So, here’s a question for you: Do you take everything personally? Maybe you don’t mean too, but do you REACT as though you’re the victim… all the time? And do you retreat behind your phone, in your pantry, in your anger, in this victim mentality each day?

Your husband comes home from work late… and you’re the victim. Your children don’t like what you cooked for dinner… and you’re the victim. The kids can’t find their shoes, their socks, their backpacks… and you’re the victim. Your gifts weren’t well received this Christmas… and you’re the victim. You planed a cookie making afternoon with friends, and it’s just a mess and the kids would rather tear up the toy room… and you’re the victim.

It seems ridiculous when typed out like a confessional. But does this resonate at all?

Ladies, here in the stillness of this simple blog post, let me remind us both that we aren’t victims… we’re moms. Thwarted expectations are part and parcel when taking care of a family full of real live little people. It’s hard, yes, but the majority of us are not abused.

Your children don’t wake up in the middle of the night and gather round the baby’s crib to plot ways to dash your dreams and destroy your day. They aren’t contriving fevers, or purposing fits -though it does sometimes feel that way. They are simply being children, and they need you to simply keep on being mom.

Still, you’re overwhelmed because you’re feeling all the feelings. I know. So let me encourage you as I did this sweet mama with three kiddos under four, “Roll with the punches and go with the flow today, in the midst of the messy mundane. And on the big days too, when you’ve planned a trip to Disneyland and everyone’s crying, keep putting one faithful foot in front of the other. Whatever your lot, choose to believe today what is noble and true, what is lovely and worthy of praise… and I’ll be doing the same from my home with my children, as I whisper these words to myself, “You are not a victim, you’re a mom.”

The goal each day is faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. And victims have a miserable time loving gently and lavishly.

We’re not victims, we’re moms.

Blessings upon us, every one,

Wen

ws-sidebar-triggers2

 

If you struggle with anger in your home from the sheer effort of it all, if you find yourself yelling at your little ones, feeling like a victim, then weighed down by shame, I encourage to order a copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses today. There is also the Triggers Study Guide, purposed to take you deeper in God’s transforming Word! Ladies, this book has been a game changer for moms like you and me.

I’ll continue speaking to this issue of Mommy-Anger in the weeks ahead. If you would like to receive this series directly to your inbox, I invite you to click here!

 

 

 

Here’s more of our on-going series, You Are Not a Victim, You’re a Mom:

For part 2 in our series, My Child’s Discontentment Makes Me Discontent, click here.

For part 3, Pray First, Ask Questions Later, go here.

For part 4, Parenting with Compassion – Not Passion, link over here.

For part 5, TRIGGERS, head here.

For part 6, Mommy time out, click here.

For part 7, Authoritarian Parenting, go here.

For part 8, Fast and Pray, Sweet Mom, head here.

Part 9, Whatever is true, is here.

Part 10, When Mom Needs a Good Cry, Cry Out, click here.


 

 

TRIGGERS: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions For Gentle Biblical Responses, was co-authored by Wendy Speake and Amber Lia and published by BRU Press.

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. A wonderfully written piece on moms and being a victim. I actually was laughing because I remember feeling just like this young mother when my children were little. In fact, all of my children are adults and occasionally I still feel like this! Thank you for writing this piece.

    Reply
    • I had others say the same thing… while mothering young ones can definitely send us into this victim mentality, it can as easily be in our marriages, our relationship with friends, co-workers, or simply “the whole world is against me”… I don’t want to live from that place.

      Reply
    • I am that woman tonight. 30 mins before I sat down to read this I was thinking the exact same thing and telling myself I can’t live like this any longer! We have two sets of twins one year apart, ages 5 and 6 and we started homeschooling 2.5 months ago. I am so exhausted and been battling depression every since. I needed this!

      Reply
  2. “The goal each day is faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. And victims have a miserable time loving gently and lavishly.” How true. And you don’t have to be a young mother to fall into the trap of feeling like a victim. My kids are grown, but I have a 93 yr. old mother with needs, a son with MD, grandchildren to babysit, etc. I’m sure we all have our lists and we feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, but if we approach them with an attitude of love our whole perspective changes. We can be thankful that God has chosen us for whatever our particular place in life is and we can fulfill our duties giving Him glory at the same time. Thanks, Wendy, for reminding us of this! 🙂 Blessings to you!

    Reply
  3. Wendy ugh a beautiful post. Tender and full of wisdom and insight. I can relate to this mom feeling like I get the short end of the deal. Oh how I’m thankful he is changing my heart and thoughts towards my children.

    Reply
  4. I can totally relate…. this attitude is terrible, and I suffer from it a lot. It drives my husband crazy!! Thank you, Wendy, for the attitude adjustment!

    Reply
  5. Such truth in this post for so many. I know it resonates with how I feel and react often. I am definitely happier and so is my daughter when I go with the flow and seek to understand the world from her perspective. Thanks for your truth and encouragement.

    Reply
  6. Love this! I felt this a little as a young mom at times. Slowly, God changed my perspective, helping me to embrace the chaos. With 6 kids 10 and under, I am blessed with beautiful chaos. Great post!

    Reply
    • “6 kids 10 and under” EMBRACE THE CHAOS indeed! Blessings up one and all.

      Reply
  7. I have four children and trust me at many times I did feel it was a thankless job. Having had three boys first and raising them pretty much on my own I did feel like a victim. My boys were a handful, they all cracked open their heads needing lots of stitches. They ganged up on me, broke many thing and left me feeling defeated. I remarried then had one more baby, thankfully this time a girl . That little girl changed our world. It brought a little calm to the madness. I think every parent feels like a victim but it’s what we signed up for when we decided to have children. Kids are great but it’s not until they the get a little older that you sit back and realize that no matter what they are worth it. All the sleepless nights, all the tears, all the yelling and arguing, it was all worth it because all your efforts made that human replica of you. All the thank you will follow with more tears but these will be of joy. The wait is long, for me even longer but it’s ok I am looking forward to it all.

    Reply
    • Thanks for testifying to the light at the end of the tunnel, the joy that’s coming in the morning! (And may we all learn to grab hold of some joy along the way as well!)

      Reply
  8. This hit a nerve. I am an adult but really wish my mother would read this post and apply it to our relationship.

    Reply
  9. The Holy Spirit has reminded me twice in the last two days that I am not a victim, I am a mom. Remembering this phrase has changed my entire perspective and improved my mood. Thank you for this post!

    Reply
    • Thank you for coming back to let me know. yes. Me too… I keep coming back and choosing to believe it time and again as well.

      Reply
  10. I read this and appreciated it. Then, Friday morning at 5:45 I spent a couple minutes responding in all the wrong ways. And then I remembered, “I’m not a victim.” 🙂

    Later I shared in a mom group about the article, but I read it when I was tired and forgot it was YOU! (Shockingly it still affected me in all the right ways.) I had to google a few different phrases to find it again.

    So…I’ve read Triggers and recommend it to many. (I was on my second time through when I loaned it to a friend in need.) I tend to be controlling. Any suggestions for other resources or books for someone like me? Thanks so much!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My child's discontentment makes me discontent - Wendy Speake - […] Welcome to part two of our series,“You Are Not a Victim, You’re a Mom.” […]
  2. Pray first - ask questions later - Wendy Speake - […] Welcome to part three of the series, “You Are Not a Victim, You’re a Mom.” […]
  3. Parenting with compassion - not passion - Wendy Speake - […] to part four of our series, “You are not a victim, you’re a mom.”  Today’s post is short but (bitter)…
  4. Triggers - Wendy Speake - […] Welcome to part five of our series, “You are not a victim, you’re a mom!“ […]
  5. You Are Not a Victim, You’re a Mom By Wendy Speake – Blessed in the Mess - […] For more about this victim mentality, continue the series “You are not a victim, you’re mom” here. […]
  6. Sometimes you just need a "Mommy time out" - Wendy Speake - […] Welcome to part six in our series, “You are not a victim, you’re a mom.” […]
  7. You're Not a Martyr, You're a Mom—and Your Children Aren't Supposed to Make You Happy - For Every Mom - […] is part four of our series, “You are not a victim, you’re a mom.” Please hop on over and read the…
  8. parenting with authority vs. authoritarian parenting - Wendy Speake - […] Welcome to Part seven of our series, “You Are Not a Victim, You’re a Mom.” […]
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