So after school today one of my son’s friends told him that I was the coolest mom ever. Why? Because I didn’t get mad when Austin somewhat inconvenienced me.
Now I can tell you that there have been many times that I didn’t handle that kind of situation well, but today I handled it right. After it happened, it got me thinking about a phrase my dad used to use with us when my sisters and I were little: Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
That’s what I do sometimes as a mom. When I make mountains out of molehills I cause chaos, wound my family members, and even make my home an emotionally unsafe place to be.
When Dr. Kevin Leman spoke at Hearts at Home, he addressed this very issue. He said, “When a kid spills a glass of milk, they don’t need a lecture. They need a rag to clean it up.” What a practical picture of keeping a molehill a molehill. It’s a little bump in life, but it doesn’t need to get me emotionally charged up.
I was thinking about today’s situation. Why was I able to keep it in molehill status? I can think of several reasons why:
1) My schedule was light today. When I pack too much in my schedule, I have little emotional room for inconveniences.
2) I simply “let it go.” It wasn’t a big deal and I didn’t make it into a big deal.
3) I smiled as I was interacting with Austin. Seriously, that may seem like a small thing, but it was huge. It kept me grounded and helped me respond to the situation with a right heart, rather than react to it inappropriately.
I addressed this issue in my book My Heart’s at Home in a chapter titled “Home as a Safehouse.” It’s a concept I’ve learned a lot about, but I’m still on a learning curve. And I blow it sometimes. Thankfully I got it right today, but from the reaction of my son’s friend, I would guess I’m not the only mom who makes that mistake.
Do you make mountains out of molehills in your home? Would you like to join me in keeping molehills in perspective? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone in this. Do you have any practical suggestions on how you keep from turning molehills into mountains?