Recently my husband and I have noticed our children whining and grumbling. When we ask them to stop what they’re doing to help with a chore, they complain and try to negotiate. When we tell them we’re done with TV for the night and to get ready for bed, they whine.
We had an impromptu family meeting to chat about this issue. We reminded them that grumbling and complaining is an indicator that something’s going on in their hearts. It might be selfishness, discontent, or laziness. While chores aren’t necessarily fun, they’re part of being in a family. We can look at things with a heart of grumbling or of gratitude. The choice is up to us.
As a parent, I very often need this reminder myself. I often feel stretched from the demands of parenting. I can become overwhelmed when I think of all that I have to do. I sometimes catch myself grumbling and complaining.
But instead of viewing the demands of life, work, and raising a family as obligations that weigh us down, what if we chose to see them with new eyes?
What if instead of saying, “I have to ______________,” we chose to say, “I get to _________________,” ?
It’s a simple shift, but it can help us turn our grumbling into gratitude.
One Monday morning not too long ago, my son went to eat cereal for breakfast and let me know there wasn’t any milk. My shoulders slumped and I rolled my eyes. Running to the store for milk had not been in my timeline for the morning. I grabbed my purse and ran out the door.
On the drive, I realized how blessed I am that I get to pop over to a store that’s less than five minutes from my house to get milk for breakfast. It was a small inconvenience that wasn’t worthy of ruining my day or my kids’ days. I was grateful for the pause that helped me change my perspective.
Just as I reminded my children: we can look at things with a heart of grumbling or of gratitude. The choice is up to us.