Embracing the Chaos

The post office, grocery store, and convenience store…these are just a few of the places we’ve been lately where I have literally wanted to SCREAM. For some reason, my sons have a hard time controlling themselves when we’re out and about. We’re talking about running circles in the post office, pushing on the levers of the fountain drinks in the convenience store, and throwing a gigantic fit whenever someone has to get in the cart at the grocery store.

They are wild things. Seriously.

I just don’t get it. I try to set the expectation before we enter, but it just seems like that all flies out the window the moment we enter the threshold. And there are two of them…which means they egg each other on. Taking one child to run errands is a dream. Add the other child in there and it literally becomes a nightmare.

My children are usually well-behaved. And they have the SWEETEST, most tender little hearts. They are just BOYS with a capital B! I really do not believe they are acting in defiance, I just think they cannot control their impulses very well (especially when the brothers egg each other on).

And part of the problem is that I have way too high of expectations. I should just expect chaos (because that’s what it always is) and then be pleasantly surprised when they are well-behaved. Instead, I think I almost expect perfection from my children, especially if we have talked about it ahead of time.

I realized that this is the opposite of how God has treated us–He knows we are incapable of living up to His expectations (and the entire Old Testament is there to prove it). Instead, He chose to give us this amazing thing called “grace” through the sacrifice of His Son.

Rather than expecting perfection from my kids, I need to emulate the Ultimate Parents and learn to embrace the chaos…and give a little grace in the process. :)



  1. You just described my boys (ages 2 and 3). Easy as pie when just one is with me, crazed lunatics when it’s both of them.

    I constantly remind myself to try to see the world through their eyes, while simultaneously ignoring the judgy old ladies giving us mean looks. Ha!

  2. I hear you… And my oldes is just 2,,,, and a particularly “well behaved” 2 year old if you were to believe the comments we get when we take him out. I know that while we are reaping the rewards on the effort my wife put into commuinication from day 1, we have also got lucky… very lucky…. yet we both still have days when we could tear our own hear out to say nothing about restraining ourselves from doing things to Him or his sister.

    I grew up with ADHD… for me that phase of being unable to controll myself has stretched into adulthood… and I can testify… Yes. it is absouloutely a total inability to do what you know is right and want to do.

  3. I totally understand. My boys can be such a handful, but if there are toys in the store we make a deal. If mommy can do her shopping in somewhat peace then they can go look at the toys, not always buying something.

  4. Thank you for posting this. It is always good know that others are going through the same trials as a parent and no one is perfect. It is also a wonderful reminder of how much God loves us and how we can love our children even through the difficult moments! I am also guilty of expecting perfection from my children and feeling like a failure when it doesn’t happen. But I am not a perfect child either!

  5. Thank you for posting this! I am right there with you and needed the reminder to give Grace! My almost 3 year old (January) has decided to become a terrible two in the past two weeks! I love reading your posts!

  6. You just described my three-year-old girl (who plays like a boy) and her two-year-old brother! Thank you for this post. It reminded me that I am not alone and that I am expecting too much from such young children. :)

  7. I have the same issues with my 4 and 2 year old girls. I once read a devotional that says I should handle situations like this with love and it encouraged me to take them out with me more often and to use those moments as teaching moments. It’s been a year since I read that and I still don’t have good experiences running errands with my girls except last week. I prayed over the entire trip and embraced it with gratitude that I was given these two girls and I was amazed. I was pretty sure that I had someone elses kids that looked like mine. Dramatic changes. I love reading your blog and you are doing amazing wonders in your childrens lives, as well as mine. Thank you!

  8. I have to constantly remind myself NOT to expect perfection and to ignore what others judgmental thought may be. The truth is that any child no matter how large or small their halo :) can have the worst melt down at the most inopportune times but I try to just remind myself that this little age where we are their world will not last forever and I will soak up every moment I can get of it…. tantrums and all (including pulling my hair out at times :) ) Love how you relate that to God offering us grace…. SO TRUE!

  9. This helps me SO much! I have twin boys who are 5 1/2, as well as a 3 year-old boy. When we go places, before we leave the car we tell them what we expect of them, lay out consequences, etc…..and then we get into flippin’ Wal-Mart and it all goes out the window! They just feed off of each other! And then I feel like a failure and start comparing my kids to others, and that’s just not fair. They ARE getting better, and for that I’m grateful. I just need to remember to practice grace with them and myself. Thanks for sharing and being real!

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