The One Thing that Happens in EVERY Family….and How to Change it

Have you ever noticed how when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, it seems like all kind of bad things happen? First, you wake up late, then you spill your coffee all over your brand new white shirt. When you get cleaned up and walk downstairs you see your kids fighting over the last of the cereal, then you have to rush everyone to get out the door on time and you’re greeted with attitudes! What is going on here, you wonder to yourself!!

Have you ever noticed how when you wake up early, you do your hair and put a touch of makeup on, you smile in the mirror as you pick out a cute outfit to wear (even if its yoga pants and a cute shirt again, as long as you feel cute), you feel so good you start humming your favorite song as you finish getting ready. Your coffee tastes great this morning, the perfect ratio of sugar, milk and coffee. Yum. You walk downstairs to your kids who are helping each other get ready to go. “Here are your shoes.” “Thanks, yours are over there.” You get everyone in the car and head out for the day, hitting no red lights at all. Life is flowing beautifully. As it should.

We’ve all had both of these days, and what is the difference? What determines the type of day your family is going to have? YOU. You are the difference. Nine times out of ten, the mother determines the tone/attitude of the family. You know that old saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” There’s a reason that is a saying and it’s because its true!

When I am distracted or flustered, my kids act out to get my attention.

When I am yelling or irritated, the kids tend to get more argumentative and defensive.  They push back.

When I am rushing them around, they tend to lag.

On the flipside, when I am sad, they try to comfort me.

When I am happy, they are joyful too.

When I am goofy and playful, they are silly and funny.

When I am lighthearted, they are carefree.

We naturally match the mood of those around us. When mama is joyful and enjoying her day, her kids and husband tend to do the same. It’s so simple and so amazing how much power we have as mothers. The key is to be contagiously joyful and let everyone catch your mood.

When I wake up  in a bad mood, I can almost guarantee my kids will pick up on it and misbehave extra that day. We carry that grumpiness into our whole day. Here’s the good thing about this…we have the power. We have the power to turn those days around and change the way our family’s whole day turns out.

The one thing that happens in every family; everyday, and multiple times a day, is that a tone is set. No matter who you are and what day it is, there will be a tone that is set. And it’s determined by you

So how do we do it?

How do we set a positive tone in our family? How do we turn the day around once a negative tone is set?

Here are some easy steps:

  1. Have your alarm wake you up with your favorite song. Don’t wake up to an annoying beeping first thing in the morning. I wake up to my favorite worship song every morning. Instead of “beep beep beep” I hear, “You, you awake my love, You renew my strength, You restore my heart, you invite me in, You begin my song, You awake my love…” (Song: Awake my love, by I Am They). Waking up to a beautiful tune is a great start to anyones day.
  2. Try to wake up before your kids. Try to wake up before them and have a quiet moment to yourself. Use that time to: workout, do a devotion, take a shower that isn’t interrupted by anyone, make your tea or coffee….whatever it is that helps you feel refreshed and refueled. Make this your sacred time. I can tell you this will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
  3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Drink a lot of water. Feed your body, feed your soul. And your family’s too. We make a big shake every morning so everyone gets a good start with greens and fruit. Ask for the recipe in the comments if you’re interested.
  4. If your kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed, give them a big hug, look them in the eyes, and tell them how much you love them. Give them a minute to wake up. Allow them to be grumpy and don’t worry because your joy will rub off on them. Sometimes I suggest we have a dance party if I notice the kids aren’t perky. Can you tell we are a family that loves music? LAST WEEK, I had to do this one- We left for bible study and my son was giving me so much attitude, I seriously thought my 4 year old had turned into a pubescent teen overnight, that’s what he was acting like! He didn’t want to eat breakfast, then he put up a fit about getting in the car. Once I got him in the car, he told me he doesn’t like me and that I am mean. What?! My first reaction was to put him in his place with a smack across the face! But I didn’t. I said calmly, “You aren’t allowed to speak to mommy that way. You need to be respectful.” Since I was driving, I couldn’t do too much. As soon as we got out of the car, I asked him to come to me and I lovingly hugged him and said, “I love you so much Braxson.” I let him soak in my hug and as soon as the hug was over, his whole attitude shifted. It was amazing, he smiled at me and went on to be his normal, sweet self. Allowing him to have a bad day and letting him know I can love him through it must have made him change his attitude.
  5. If you did wake up late or you are having a rough day…pause for a five minute break and do this exercise… Allow yourself to feel that you’re stressed. Don’t try to fake happy and positive if you aren’t (that’s just exhausting right?) Feel the stress for 30 seconds to a minute. Then take ten huge breaths. As you breathe, imagine you’re inhaling energy and love and exhaling stress and negativity. Do that for each breath you take. Ask God to change your heart and work in your favor today. Then take your last deep breath and by now you should feel much better. You know you can snap out of it if you choose to. Make that choice.
  6. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, try to prioritize. Some things really can wait until tomorrow. Give yourself a reasonable expectation of what you need to do that day and enjoy the tasks at hand rather than always rushing from one thing to another. Saying no to some things can be very freeing.

Try these things, and I promise it will make your day a good one. When you start letting small things upset you and take your joy…FIGHT BACK. Steal that joy right back from the joy-killer and go on with your merry self! You got this.

**Dads: you can do this too! Your wife and kids will feel your energy just as much. I don’t want to leave you guys out! Replace the word “mama” with “dad” in this article if your a dad!

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