Minivan Confessions Episode 1: Choosing Kindness

When I was a freshman in college, Facebook made it's debut, and The University of Michigan was one of the first campuses to be included in the facebook user network (remember finding out that just anyone and everyone was going to be allowed on FB and it was a big conundrum?). I've always been an avid user for years, probably more than I should if I'm being perfectly honest, but at any rate, it is my favorite social media platform because it's where I feel most at home.

I am still treading the waters of and learning the ins and outs of the blogging world, but really, the point of it all is that I have words to share, and no matter where I share them, my greatest hope is that they might help someone. Those words might be written or they might be spoken, the latter of which led me to create my new video series, Minivan Confessions. Today, I bring to you, Episode 1, which originally debuted on my Facebook page (surprise, surprise!) on April 14th.

My vision for Minivan Confessions is to discuss and provide encouragement related to common topics that come up in the journey of motherhood. The name is derived from the location of my "video shoot"--the front seat of my cluttered minivan, where I can hide away and have a few minutes of peace and quiet. I would love for this to reach many women and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles. I spent a lot of time as a mom thinking I was the only one who had certain challenges, and that everyone undoubtedly has their crap together, but not Hot Mess Me. BUT, throughout the years, I've learned that I am wrong, and that we all have those hot mess moments, but we are still doing a good job. A hard job though, and one that is more easily navigated when we are bound together in an encouraging community. So, I hope people will join me on Facebook, or here on the blog, or on my soon-to-be-created YouTube channel, and find the community and encouragement that you're looking for.

Here for your viewing pleasure is Episode 1: Choosing Kindness Over Anger

As a basic summary, I talk about how as moms, we most often don't want to yell at our kids, and would like to remain calm, but it's hard to stay that way in the moments of frustration that pop up so frequently. Three tips are discussed to help us choose kindness over are anger.

1. Make a visible reminder

For me, this meant writing a Bible verse on a piece of paper and sticking it on my fridge, where I would often be reminded of the type of mom I wanted to be when it comes to speaking with my children. My go-to verse is:

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. -Proverbs 31: 26 NLT

Having something that can serve as a positive mantra is helpful because it tends to stick in my brain and come to the forefront when I have the choice to yell or react calmly. Disclaimer: I am human and don't always succeed at this. You too? That's okay. Do not beat yourself up over a bad moment. Give yourself grace.

2. Have an accountability partner

An accountability partner is someone you can count on to basically call you out if you flip your lid. Maybe it can be your spouse, but really, the person who is always there whenever you get your kid. So one idea is to get your child(ren) on board and let them know, "If mommy is getting angry or flying off the handle and you think I've crossed the line, it's okay to tell me." My kids do this with me, and they reference the end of James 1:19: My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. So when mommy goes nutso, the little darlings will remind me, "Mommy, slow to be angry..." and MOST of the time, that's all it takes for me to come back down to Earth and remember to breathe, and that getting angry is incredibly counterproductive. 

3. Give yourself grace

Please remember that parenting is hard, and there's no way to do it perfectly. Even the PTA mom or your 4th cousin or whoever that you think is just mom of the year, goes to bed questioning herself as a mom. It's tough stuff. We are doing the best we can, and the amazing thing is, IT IS ENOUGH. If your kids know that you love them, it is enough. One bad moment doesn't make you a bad mom. Please, give yourself grace and forgive yourselves. And do not underestimate the power of the words, "I'm sorry." If you have lost your temper, it's a powerful gesture to go to your children and apologize for what you said or did.

I speak more about these three tips in greater detail in the video, so please give it a look and let me know what you think. Be sure to visit and like my Facebook page, as that's where the videos will be posted with the most regularity and timeliness!