We have a new family pastime. Swimming.
If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you know my husband and I bought our first family pass to the city pool a couple weeks ago. It was kind of a late-breaking move, I mean, we’ve never been big swimmers so it didn’t even occur to us to fork over good money for unlimited access to a pool we’d never visit. And by the time school let out we’d already missed the early bird discount (and I never miss an early bird discount, people) so that goes to show how far the pool was off our radar.
But now I wonder how we lived without it.
Three weeks ago our six-year-old was afraid to put her face in the water. She clung to me and insisted I hold her hands while we meandered through the shallow end. Now I sit on the ledge while she swims to the center of the pool and flips triple somersaults.
She’s not an expert swimmer yet, not by any means. But she’s realizing she could be someday. She wants to be. In just three weeks that little stinker has made great improvements, all because we put her in an environment where she could test her skills, build her confidence, and celebrate little victories day upon day.
That’s how progress happens.
No matter how old you are.
Right now I’m in the middle of The Cranky Mom Fix charter program. Twenty-seven beautiful women have joined me on the journey toward taming the momster, uncranking the crank, hushing the hag, you name it. We’re doing it. They are doing it. Their success stories are humbling me and raising my cheerleader hands straight up toward God.
And yet sometimes they feel like they’re failing.
They forget to apply a no-yelling strategy.
They neglect to speak gently.
They snap at their family out of habit—and habits are hard to break.
And I tell them, of course they are.
You are not alone. You are not failing.
Because this stage we’re in? It’s like learning to swim. You’re figuring out how to tread water, how to hold your breath. And tomorrow you’ll do a backstroke—maybe traveling just one yard afloat before your feet hit the floor, but that’s okay. That’s great. That’s one yard further than you knew how to swim yesterday. Change takes time. It takes commitment. It takes hard work, mistakes, and faith.
My daughter? Yes, she’s a much better swimmer today than she was three weeks ago. But she’s not attempting the diving board yet. She won’t give up her goggles. And no way will she venture to where she cannot touch the ground.
She’s got plenty of room for improvement.
But that doesn’t mean she’s failing.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
You, sweet mom, who feels like you just can’t get it right. Don’t you see? There is only one way to stop barking and yelling and snapping and nagging. There is only one way to deliver a kinder response, a gentler tone, or a new perspective on the child who begs or whines or stands stubborn ground.
Day after day. Little by little. Practice is a long-term deal. New habits aren’t formed overnight. And for heaven’s sake, before you can practice you need to know what you’re aiming for in the first place—which means learning God’s guidelines and embracing His grace. That’s what we do in The Cranky Mom Fix. It’s what I write about week after week on this blog. It’s what my book spells out chapter by chapter. All designed to encourage you, and to equip you with wisdom from the Word.
Heck, even I mess up.
Why do you think I’m so crazy for Jesus?
Today, let’s all cut ourselves some slack. We’re getting better together, moms. And I’m so glad you’re here.