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Hope for When Mom Needs an Attitude Adjustment

Hanging by the back door of my childhood home was the embroidered sign reading, “If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!” If a phrase could embody a mom that needs an attitude adjustment, this would be it!

Now as a mom myself, that saying makes me chuckle under my breath, knowing all too well how true it can be. However, there are some days, mom needs an attitude adjustment, too!

If I’m honest, I see this all too often in my own home. And I find it’s a delicate balance. As an “all or nothing” person, there’s either times of laughter and love or moments of tension and stress.

I’m assuming, maybe for my own sanity, that other moms experience the same highs and lows. After praying through my own heart, I’ve determined a single factor that makes or breaks the atmosphere of my home.


When we experience smooth sailing, it’s because I am patient and kind, even in the midst of tantrums and tears.

However, when things are out of control, it’s because mama bear roared a little too loud or showed frustration.

Surprisingly I noticed the same thing in my marriage.  When things are going well, it’s often because I am gracious and understanding.

Then suddenly, I had a revelation about women’s attitudes in the family unit.

Women set the tone of the household.


As the backbone of the family, moms often determine the mood and the extent of happiness in the environment with their attitude.

Ladies, that thought scares me a little. If I am honest, I will admit that the tone I set for my home is not always peaceful, joyful, and kind.

Sometimes the tone I set is harsh, critical, and hurried. There are some days (ok, seasons!) where I need an attitude adjustment from the Lord.

While I know that moms are not perfect and bad days will come, I want my family to say I radiate the love of Jesus on a regular basis.

But do I?

Together let’s honestly evaluate the atmosphere of our home by asking a few tough questions.  I’ll even show you my answers so you feel better about yourself.  🙂

Essential questions to help you evaluate your mom heart

Your intentions: What type of tone do you really wish to set among your family and home?

My response: I want to set a happy, peaceful tone; that reflects the character of Jesus in most things I do.


Word choice: Does your choice of words build up or tear down?  Do your intentions match your word choice?

My response: I try to reflect the patience of the Lord with my family through my word choice, but sometimes  often am easily frustrated and annoyed.


Tone of voice: Does the tone of your voice show love and patience; or frustration and annoyance?

My response:  I’ve been corrected by Hubs countless times for my harsh, critical, or nagging tone of voice, even though I may not mean it.  Often true feelings are shown through tone, not words.


Actions:  Do your actions reflect how important your family is to you or do you busy yourself with other tasks, forgetting to make them a priority?

My response: Ouch!  This hurts! I can be the busy mom, more focused on tasks and responsibilities than carving out time for the members of my family. However, I am praying for balance and learning to be a better about time management.

Friend, if you felt convicted by this examination, you’re not alone.

When praying through the current state of your heart, don’t forget that you can press pause on the chaos and pivot at any moment!

Hope for when mama needs an attitude adjustment

Words and actions do not have to reflect feelings

When we’re frustrated and annoyed, we have a CHOICE to act on those feelings, or pray that God will help us use self-control.

He has given you the ability in His name to turn away from anger, frustration, a short temper, exhaustion, and towards His peace.

When you choose to be strong in His name rather than show irritation, it will become a habit over time and you’ll experience God’s peace in a fresh way.

Studying the Fruits of the Spirit has helped me break free from messy emotions and examine our own family and household.

Through implementing simple ways to live the Fruit of the Spirit, I’ve learned (with God’s help!), that it IS possible to break free from messy emotions!

God didn’t leave us stuck in the muck and mire of our sin!  Instead, through Jesus, He provided hope, redemption, and loads of grace to help us thrive in our relationships.

But it’s up to us to take tangible and practical steps towards freedom. I discovered that without a resource to make this journey simple, I would simply remain stuck in this vicious cycle.

Instead, in order to experience lasting change, one needs a strategy for exploring, understanding, and praying the Scriptures.

The Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study Kit will help you (just as it did me!):

  • Conquer messy emotions with a specific prayer strategy & biblical truths. 
  • Harness God’s strength to shine His love to those you love most. 
  • Implement biblical strategies for lasting change.

Learn to live the Fruit of the Spirit in your own life

We need to be well fed spiritually, emotionally, and physically

Ladies, when we neglect ourselves, and run on empty, we can only go so far before we break down.

Water your soul with consistent time of prayer, Bible study, exercise, friendship, and health, to remain strong for your family.

I’m discovering that a Christ-satisfied mom breeds a satisfied family.

As a busy woman, I completely understand the struggle to make time for yourself when life is hectic.

However, the benefit of a mom who’s found her satisfaction in Christ and is healthy in these areas, far outweighs the inconvenience of time away from the family.

When you feel depleted, recharge your batteries and make adjustments

Did you know your family feels when you are stressed to the max and stretched too thin?

Those times when you are depleted, you change the tone of your home without knowing it.

You may show frustration more, lash out at your family because you’re exhausted, and bring a negative tone to your home.

But give yourself heaps of grace, reminding your imperfect self that you were not called to perfection, and a happy tone of home, is impossible all the time.

When that happens, it’s time to recharge and make a few adjustments.

Saturating your soul with God’s Word and finding hope in Him will strengthen you when the hard times come.  If you find yourself on a slippery slope of emotions, trust that He gives you freedom from messy emotions!

Seek Him first and trust that He will supply you will strength and endurance for the journey ahead!

How was the evaluation of the tone of your home?  What areas are your praying for change?



  1. This is a wonderful post. Now that my children are gone (out of my house), and living in the same town, and I’m a proud grandmother to 7, yep, 7 wonderful, pure loving grandchildren. I didn’t always realize while mine were growing up that I could predict their day on how mine was! Now being a grandmother, I’m able to sit back and watch more, and realize how so many things are different. Now I’m always bringing calm into their day! I can see a situation happening, and I’m able to change (control) it, just by out I act. When you hear one of them say “I’d rather go to Grammie’s house”, I know and feel I’m their (but they are really mine), save and happy haven.

    1. How neat that you have such an important role in their lives. What a blessing!

  2. Such a great reminder! I want a happy, peaceful, loving home…and it’s a great reminder that it starts with me and my attitude. Thanks. 🙂

  3. i think everybody – single or married – needs to look at the way that their attitudes and words set the home

  4. I really appreciate your encouragement for moms to take care of themselves too. When I am refreshed it’s much easier to set a positive tone!!

    1. Absolutely! Last night was the first time I got 8 hours of sleep in a long time and it was amazing!

  5. Such a wonderful post and powerful reminder! Thank you 😀

  6. Oh boy, this morning I was in a rushed and annoyed and my daughter asked me “Why are you embarrassed by me?” I almost cried. I hadn’t meant to convey that at all, but she was picking up on my frustration and took it personally. I apologized and have been thinking about intentionally setting the mood each morning and making sure it is peaceful and happy!

    1. I am with you Sherri! The past few days haven’t been the best in my home, and I feel a sour attitude on my part has been a big reason why. I’m thankful for grace!

  7. I absolutely love this article. Sometimes I can get burned out and it’s easy to take it out on your family. This article has helped me realize that I really do set the tone and from this day forward I will be more mindful . Thank you so much.

    1. I am the same way! More than a little exhausted, and I agree, sometimes my family pays. 🙁

  8. Great words of encouragement for Mamas!

    I always like to say that Moms set the temperature of the home.

    1. Oh yes! Temperature and tone, either way, it’s a reminder to us all how much we influence others!

  9. I totally agree. As mothers we do set the tone in the household. I too see my hubby’s change in demeanor when I am ugly. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Me, too! It’s amazing how quickly I can suck the positive air out of the house!

  10. It is so true that your actions and reactions set the tone of the entire house, for everyone. Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse…

    1. I hear ya, Jenny! It’s a little scary to let the magnitude of this sink in!

  11. Wow – lots of wisdom in this post! And lots of dead on advice! Thanks so much – women do set the tone of the home!

  12. Great post. I do believe that my attitude sets the tone of our home and I SO want it to be one that would please the Lord and my husband! These 2 verses came to mind for me!

    Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

    Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

    1. Fabulous verses and ones we all should commit to memory. Great idea!

  13. We do set the tone! When ever my attitude needs a check I like to stop, pray and ask for forgiveness and a change of heart from God. And then, this step is so important, I apologize to my family and ask for their forgiveness of me.

  14. What a great post. It certainly made me sit up and take notice. We really do set the tone in our home! Time for me to take a breather and be more intentional. Thank you!

    1. I am praying and working on being more intentional, too. It takes refinement over and over again for me to understand.

  15. It took me a few years of parenting to realize that I set the tone for my family. It seemed a little backwards to me at the time because I tend to blend in to the woodwork a little more. I’m there to take care of everyone but I’m an assumed presence, nothing special (although I do know I’m appreciated). But I realized my family truly does look to me to set the tone and pace. If my home is chaotic, I feel chaotic and stressed, and it flows to my husband and children. If I’m stressing about something or frantically cleaning or worried about something, even if I don’t speak it, the vibe is clear and contagious. Great post!

    1. AMEN! We’ve been living in lots of chaos lately with strep that won’t seem to go away, and can tell my kids feed off my exhaustion and irritability. I am a true work in progress!

  16. I’m listening to the first one right now. It is amazing. This post is exactly what I need right now!

  17. Thanks for the article. I hadn’t really thought of any of this – food for thought…

  18. Wow, what an eye-opener! Everything you said is SO true! We have a great responsibility before us (as mothers and wives)! We have the power to influence – and have a choice. To influence for worse, or for better. Yikes! =/ Sometimes I am incredibly weak in the flesh… You are right. We need to continually feed ourselves spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I know that when I am in The Word a lot, I am a much more pleasant person to be around. Great post (as always)!

    1. Sister, I am the same way! My flesh is SO weak, and I find myself snapping more often than I wish!

  19. Hmmm. Lots to consider here. This examination could apply to anyone in all of their relationships with other people: coworkers, friends, church members, neighbors, and of course family. Women have more power than we often realize. This exam proves it. If we tap into God’s power, we could make a lot of people’s lives better.

    1. Yes, it could! It’s so true that when we radiate Christ, everyone around us wins. If I could only put this into practice more often!

  20. This is what I needed to hear this morning. My 1YO had a horrible night sleeping last night and I’m running on fumes. Nonetheless, I will watch my tone! Thank you!

    1. I completely understand! When I run on fumes, I am so empty I have nothing else to give anyone, especially a cheerful tone!

  21. Our tone of voice is so important. Kind words take on an entirely different meaning if the tone is sarcastic, irritated, or dismissive. What a well thought post with specific things to think about–love that. Linking with you today at Grace and Truth.

    1. It’s so true! I often need to guard my tone, even more so than my word choice. Thanks for stopping by from Grace and Truth!

  22. WOW! What an amazing post! Your words were such an encouragement to me as I know they will be to every mother who reads them. Thank you for taking the time to write for Jesus!

    1. It’s convicting to myself, too. 🙂 I’ve been guarding my tone a lot more since writing this and I think being more aware is a first step in the right direction!

  23. This is definitely so true and though it is something I have tried to work on (my tone of voice, body language, etc) I often wear my heart on my sleeve and end up making difficult situations worse by reacting emotionally and too quickly. So convicted right now. Thank you for the words of wisdom. Found you over at the Monday Funday linky party!

    1. I am with you! I wear my heart on my sleeve and I have a rough time projecting a positive tone if I’m just not feeling it. I’m in prayer about this!

  24. I understand, Aimee! I’ve had a grouchy week, too and have caught a less than acceptable tone on many occasions!

  25. I don’t know a mom who doesn’t struggle with the juggling act of getting it all done for her family while still making time to spend with her family so that they know they are important to her. I know you’re not alone on this one for sure.

    Thanks for the excellent tips here, Sarah Ann. I have found the same things to be true in my own home. The value of being fed spiritually cannot be underestimated, in my opinion. I find that my attitude is much more pleasant when I have rested in Him.

    May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing, my friend!

    1. You are so sweet, Heather! I agree 100% that when our spiritual tank isn’t full, we have a hard time being the mom we know we’re called to be!

  26. I agree that we set the tones of our homes. There are moments the house is completely chaotic and I just want to ball up in the bed; however, these are the moments I pray for guidance and calm.

    1. Brandi, I personally had some of those moments in my home today! Whew! Parenting is not for the faint of heart!

  27. This idea is something that the Holy Spirit has really been reminding me of. There are times that I choose to not heed that prompting and may continue in my temper tantrum, but I always know that my tone will lead their tone. Sure enough…the attitudes come out in all the kids a short time later. Sigh. Someday I will listen all the time…

    1. Oh Jennifer! We are kindred spirits! I am the same way, and lately have been indulging in my own temper tantrum or two. It’s so hard to remember that God does give me the power of self-control, yet I need to act on it! Best wishes to you!

  28. Thanks Sarah for the post. I’ve definitely been “grumpy” mommy lately as Jon has pointed out recently (brave man). I’ve put so many other tasks as a priority, that I forgot that the most important needs are right in front of me with him and the kids. It’s so hard, especially for a task-oriented person who works from home to not get easily overwhelmed with all there is to do. Thanks for the points you made in the post. Definitely taking them to heart today.

    1. Ha! That is a brave man! Whew! I can only imagine how hard it must be to work from home with all you have going on! So often we need to regroup and regain focus. I love to tell myself, “If all of this (the work that needs to be done) were taken away, would it even matter?” Usually the answer is no, and I am back to reinvest in those that matters most.

  29. Hi, I enjoyed your article and struggle with this often and want to set a better tone for my kids! But you did not mention how to handle the situation when you husband sees your exasperation and then says “YOU set the tone!”…maybe he should have his own tone and use it to help me get out of my bad mood and not anger me more by piling his mood on top of mine and then blaming me…your thoughts?

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      Oh, that’s so hard! What works for us is to talk in moments when we’re not angry. We set a time to talk and each of us knows what the topic will be. Be prepared to share how he can support you and not just point out flaws (which is so hard!)

  30. Thank you for this honest article. I needed to read that I am not alone in striving to be a godly mommy but falling short at times(more often than not lately). Your words are encouraging an give me hope!
    Thank you

    1. Sarah Ann says:

      You are definitely not alone in that! Many blessings to you on your journey through parenthood!

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