The question to ask yourself when you are falling apart


This afternoon Judah hurt Levi’s feelings and then laughed about it.

I snapped. I lectured and ranted. Instead of dealing with it and then letting it go, I imploded. Seriously, we are talking about a 4- and 5-year-old, and their crazy mother.

It ended with me apologizing and talking about how I make bad choices, too. Thank the Lord kids are gracious and forgiving. It also ended with me realizing I needed to look closer at my life at the moment and see what had changed.

I’ve noticed that I am more on edge than normal. I feel like I am often in an almost constant state of frustration. I am irritated by the mess in the kitchen, the kids fighting, the whining — really everything.

Everyone has an off-day, but this wasn’t one off-day. This was an off-week or two, with no change on the horizon.

I needed to find out what had changed.

You see, about a year ago I was feeling the same build-up of frustration and decided I obviously needed some kind of counseling to fix my issues. I was too tired to figure it out on my own.

I ended up talking on the phone with my good friend, Debbie, who also happens to be a therapist. I am pretty sure I was just looking for her to say, “Yes please get yourself some help,” but somewhere in that conversation she asked me what had changed. “Are you still taking a break at nap time, or letting Carlos do bedtime? What things have changed from where you were doing well, until now?”

For whatever reason, that one question helped me figure out what was really going on. It has also stuck with me. Now, when I notice that I am more often frustrated and angry, I have something tangible to focus on.

What has changed in the last couple of weeks for me? A serious drop in alone time. Also, my kids have started wrestling. It is one big, loud, mix of wrestling, pushing, and chasing each other. It is making me crazy! There are probably a few other things in there as well, but those are the big ones.

Those are tangible things I can work with. I like tangible. I am a planner, so obviously I am going to write out a well-organized plan. Whether I will follow it or not is yet to be seen, but at least I have one.

And while it certainly can’t fix your problems, next time you are stuck in a cycle of frustration, try asking yourself what has changed.

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6 comments on “The question to ask yourself when you are falling apart”

  1. Thank you! I have been feeling the same! Right Chris Brinton?!? And I have started making a list of ALL my commitments, and I want to figure out how much time they’re taking and what if off balance! You’re blog is such an encouragement!

  2. Also knowing this in advance can help prepare for the future issues. For instance, I know that every November we are going to go through adjusting to the weather and everyone being confined indoors in a small house. Knowing how it affects me ahead of time really helps me to prepare mentally as well as logistically.

    1. So true Cheryl! I am terrible at remembering to keep track of seasonal issues like that, but it is definitely helpful when I do. Maybe I need to start putting it on my calendar!

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