May 13, 2009

The Emotional Bank of Mommy

I have a friend who continually amazes me. When we get together conversation inevitably ends up at parenting. While I am stuck at " I cannot believe so and so did that!! What were they thinking?!?" She has moved onto God's parenting/training skills. "I am so glad God is patient with me when I make the same mistake over and over and over again. I wonder what He thinks when that happens?" And I sit back and think. I step back from the problem, the frustration and realize that God loves me and He loves my children. And, for some reason, has blessed me with my sweet chickies. Who are sometimes sweet and sometimes not. However, even on the bad days, they are still our responsibility to train. Until God completely answers my prayers to help me not ever get frustrated or angry though, here are some coping strategies I have found useful when life gets out of control and my emotions are quick to follow:

  • Get out of the house: it does not matter where. No, that's not true. Choose a location wisely: a place you know your children love. Go for a walk. Go to the playground, the library, the zoo, or Grandma's house (and maybe slip out for a cup of coffee :) Choose a place where the children will be happy and busy enough that they will be well behaved.
  • Go for a little walk. Just getting some fresh air does wonders for me. And for all of us. And Emily finding little treasures just helps me remember the sweet moments and not just the frustrating ones. (We are in a treasure stage where every little walk brings home piles of "treasures.")
  • Its okay to turn on the tv or a movie for a little bit to give yourself time to regroup. Just make sure you use the time well. Pray, call a friend, lie down and close your eyes, do some sit-ups, whatever you need to do in order to calm down. A little warning, my kiddos behave better after some shows than others. Blue's Clues or Bob the Builder seem to help them have positive attitudes and they will happily spend the rest of the morning fixing things. Not a good fall back every time the kiddos fall apart, but acceptable to occasionally keep mommy from falling apart. :)

Mostly: have fun! Gabe's new job has some longer hours, and one of our plans for this season has just been to make the most of the time we do have as a family. And it has been a lot of fun. This weekend Gabe has to travel. Rather than wear us all out with a great big to do list for Mommy, my to do list this weekend includes making a fort, reading books, watching a movie, making cookies, and maybe even painting. We are just going to have fun. I will probably do some laundry and maybe even try to clean the floor. But my only priority is to have fun with the kids.

I am finding joy in my family. And that goes a looooong when I spend all morning wiping poopy bottoms and reminding people to get poop in the potty rather than their pants. If we have a crazy day where I spend all day correcting someone. Or at least it feels like it, it will be ok. Its like a parenting bank. If we make a lot of positive deposits, the bank of Mommy can handle some negatives withdrawls without crashing. If we are in a constant state of withdrawing, Mommy crashes and Daddy is left with the peices when he gets home. Um, and while spending postive time as a family is soo important, don't forget the postive time with our Father. :) That is like a blank check-there is no end to the grace from Him.

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