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Motherhood Uncensored

Our last Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 5 to 8 – Take a break from your kids
was a hard one for me to execute. Not because of lack of want but because of my limited opportunity. The big guy is only here to help on weekends. But yesterday, the big guy took the girls to a movie for a couple of hours. I had to work ( I work online) but it was a  break from the kids. There were no little girls screaming in the background as I was trying to do my job online, which was amazing. It’s been so long since I’ve had the scenario that I almost forgot that it existed and what a difference it actually makes. It was only a couple hours and I was tethered to my computer the entire time ( but lets face it, I would have been tethered to my Mac whether I had to for work or some other reason blogging.) The girls came home and I had missed them, was glad to see them and it had given me enough time to decompress and remove myself from the chaos and recharge. It was amazing and I am going to try and do this at least once a week. I need it. I deserve it. How did it work for you? What do you do for a mental break from your children?
Today’s  Be a Better Parent Challenge – Day 9 – Find your triggers. 
The ability to figure out what sends you off the deep end and into the abyss of parenting madness is the first step in keeping those outbursts to a minimum. For example, I know a few of my trigger right off the bat; lack of sleep= grouchy, impatient Mommy
anxiety and loads on my mind= makes me snippy and less tolerant
fear  & trepidation= me being angry
Hungry Mommy = Crazy Mommy
I know there are more and I will be taking note today. Take note of your triggers. If we can figure out the triggers, we can change our reaction and react with appropriate actions not off the handle craziness. Happy Mothering.

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OK, yesterday’s Be a better parent challenge was No More “Good Job”. It was a great challenge and one that I will be more mindful of in the future. I have been working in education and with children for a long time now and I know this challenge is true. In fact, I used to be really good at coming up with new ingenious ways of saying “Good Job” but apparently with my own kids, I’ve become lazy. Yesterday instead of saying “Good Job”, I was a little more specific. For example:

“Awesome listening skills”, “I love the way you arranged your doll house. It looks amazing!” “Way to go, that bed looks like a professional did it!” “I love the way you helped your sister find her shoes!”

Just a few spins I put on it. I think it went pretty well. How did you do?

Today’s  Be a Better Parent Challenge ; Get Down on their Level . This is another fabulous idea. What is meant by get down on their level is pretty much what it sounds like.When you are speaking with your child, bend down, take a knee. You’ll establish eye contact and know they heard what you said. Kristen says that she asks for a “Yes, Mommy.” as an acknowledgment that they actually heard and understood what was said. I , personally, have been requesting a ,”Yes, Ma’am” only because I want these girls to learn respect for their elders at a young age, plus they know I am serious.  She also makes the point that  talking to someone’s head is not the smartest thing to do. I agree. It’s pretty much like talking to someone’s back. Who knows if the person you are talking to hears anything you say? Plus, how can you hold a child accountable for their actions if you are not even sure if they heard your instructions? So, today, I start bending down and taking a knee. No more talking to the tops of beautiful little heads. Eye contact , Mommies. It also shows respect for the person we are talking to. I mean if another adult didn’t make contact when talking to us we’d have a conniption fit. Let’s give it a try. I can’t wait. My girls will love it.

I think these challenges make perfect sense to us Mommies, we are just always so busy we never have the time to actually think about utilizing them. I think I might print the challenge out and share it with all my Mommy friends.Let me know how your challenge is going! Happy Mothering!

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Yesterday was day 1 of the Be a Better Parent challenge at Motherhood Uncensored. The first challenge was being present. I tried. I really did try. By the end of the day,I still found myself tuning them out…especially when all of the whining at bed time started going on. I did do pretty good the rest of the day; not perfect, but I tried. I am a work in progress and today as I am doing challenge #2, I will also be incorporating being present. How did you do? I’d love to hear.
Today’s challenge, as you may have surmised from the title of today’s post; Punish without anger! I think this is a hard one for all Moms because normally by the time we actually punish our children, they have been doing something repeatedly and we have hit our threshold. I am not really an advocate for spanking because I got it as a child and I really hated it. It didn’t really teach me anything but to be afraid of the actual spanking . It didn’t teach me a valuable life lesson, other than I don’t like to be hit.So, spanking is a non issue fro me. I don’t advocate for spanking. It never seems to get the result you want. My punishments for the girls usually end up being threats..mostly idle. Yeah, I know, not helpful! I take things away…play dates, t.v’s, toys, events, etc. But when I hit my threshold, the deliverance of the punishment goes something like this… “(ROAR) I can’t believe you just did that.  (BARK) Apologize! (SNAP) Go to your room! (GROWL) No TV for a week! (RAWR!!)” Definitely, not ideal. I am sure that my verbal lashing is as awful as any spanking. ( Hangs head in shame) I hate the guilt of it and hate that I can not control my reactions. I am working on that. I was suggested the Magic 1-2-3 book ( actually I’ve had it collecting dust since Bella was born. I just never thought it would work). Today is the day I read that book and try something new. The roaring and frightening the children is not what I want to convey to them. I don’t want the lesson to be that Mommy is a lunatic. I just want them to understand that bad behavior is not rewarded and that actions have consequences. If any of you have any great ideas for punishing without anger, please share. I would love to hear them.
Today, I take the challenge and while being physically and emotionally present to what they are saying and doing, I will also be reacting with understanding and maturity….or ,at the very least, trying to do so. Baby steps! Baby Steps. I will let you all know how the Magic 1-2-3 works out! Happy Mothering!

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I was visiting one of my favorite blogs Motherhood Uncensored and Kristen is doing a wonderful thing. She is starting a 30 day challenge to becoming a better parent. You know me. I can’t resist a challenge and one that makes me a better Mommy.I am so in. So, I have decided to follow along every day and post Kristen’s challenge of the day. Awesome right? I know you want to give it a go.

Today’s challenge; Be present for my kids
You know,actually listen to what they are saying. Many times, we get so engaged in trying to get the task at hand done that when our kids come up to us and start reciting their very long and somewhat drawn out stories or ask us the same question 2000 times, we have learned to tune them out. Much like our husband’s do to us.  I like to think of it as a survival mechanism but really, how would you feel if you were talking and your listener was shaking their head saying “uh huh” but heard absolutely nothing you had said? I don’t know about you, but I, for one, would feel hurt, unloved,and unappreciated. Three things that I NEVER want to be responsible for making my kids feel. There are enough assholes in the world that they will encounter, I don’t want to be one of them. The challenge for today…be present. Listen to what they say, consider their thoughts, and maybe the motives behind the actions. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to take their age into consideration. I often forget that my kids are only 3 and 5, and really at that age, their behaviors are totally appropriate. It is I who is holding them to an impossible standard. Shame on me. Today, I take a really deep breath, I calm down and I listen to what the little mouths are saying….even if it is a realllly , reallllly long ass story. Good luck ladies. I hope you will join me. I think this will make us all better Mommies.

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