14 December, 2009

Stressed out Australians

At times in the last week, our house has been full of tension, more so than usual. Why?
  • It's hot (mid to high 30s C which is around 100 degrees F). This means not only the kids get frayed, but their parents do too.
  • School holidays. The boys have again needed to learn to live with each other all day, every day. Us too!
  • They are excited about Christmas coming. This is a usual problem. School finishing three weeks before Christmas is new for them.
  • Change is in the air - we're leaving soon to visit family in rural Queensland.
We're definitely not the only ones effected. When I've been out recently I've noticed a lot of tension and weariness, especially in parents. Actually I've been quite shocked at some of the things I've heard mums say to kids - in public. I can't imagine how abusive they are in private. Last week while grocery shopping I walked past a double pram - the sort where the kids sit behind one another - and it began to tip backwards with its young passenger and load of groceries. I caught it, held it and looked back up the aisle for the mum. She didn't even acknowledge me. She came back and abused her older child for getting out of the front of the pram. I walked away feeling ashamed at witnessing such a lack of gratitude and such hostility towards the child she is supposed to care for. It did make me think about some of the things that happen in our own house. While we love our children dearly, occasionally things come out of our mouths that just should never be uttered. I think we get scared at the lack of control over our kids and let our mouths loose with whatever we think will make the kids listen to us. I know we're not the only ones. It only happens sometimes in our house, I wonder about the precious souls of the kids to whom it happens constantly. Who are constantly put down, abused and ridiculed. There is a lot of stress in this season. Materialism and commercialism have a lot to answer for. They make us think that spending lots of money for expensive presents equals love and if we don't then we will be judged as unloving. Expectations of wonderful family Christmases almost always fall a little flat. Some don't have family. Many have family who don't get along most of the time and are suddenly thrown together for some "happy family" charade at Christmas. As parents we do our best to provide a fun Christmas for our children, but many times Christmas is full of fighting and over excited, over sugared kids. I AM trying to be a joyful presence wherever I go. After all we know that it is not actually about all the things we think it is about - presents, food, good family relationships or even pretending we're having a good time, when we're really just stressed out and exhausted. So why shouldn't Christians do our best to be happy and spread joy? We're celebrating our Saviour's birthday.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I walked past a mother today who was screaming at her boy aged about 7. I felt so sorry for him ... that used to be me ... except that I wasn't a boy LOL!!! Whenever I see kids like that I feel like saying, one day this will all be behind you, life DOES get better especially if you rely on Jesus!