Ahhh, tonight was a big night. I got both our front hall closet AND our linen closet organized. Do you know how long I've been wanting to do that? Um, since like day 2 of our move-in when everything quickly kept getting stuffed in there. As Benjamin Franklin used to say, "There's a place for everything and everything in its place." Love that quote AND linen closets.
Now moving along to address this mind of mine that I can't get to stop thinking...
Tonight when I am usually able to turn off (usually around 7:30/8:00 pm) I started to analyze my day and it just wasn't sitting well. It was a pretty typical day but it made me want to do better. Play (I mean really play) more with my kids. Stop the repetitive cleaning (I battle with this one because I really like a clean house). Control the yelling (by me and my boysies). Stand my ground (sometimes time-outs feel like as much punishment for me as it is for them!).
I know there's no such thing as a perfect parent and it's only natural to have other needs and interests going on but lately whenever my kids do something they know they're not suppose to I've been telling them
"I know you know better and I know you can do better" and decided that I want to apply that to myself too. Because today I realized (and accepted) that parenting is hard.
Parenting also comes in stages (I know we're currently in the very, very needy stage with 3 kids under the age of 4 yrs) and phases (yippee for our 4 1/2 month old almost sleeping through the night!) and thankfully there's two of us to share in the crazy ups and downs but there are times when I don't want to be so responsible for everyone and everything. Times when I
Tonight while I was cleaning (both our closets and my mind) I came across a book entitled Self Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I flipped through it and decided that this excerpt relates to parenting...
"Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the want of self reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired. Our sympathy is just as base. We come to them who weep foolishly, and sit down and cry for company, instead of imparting to them truth and health in rough electric shocks, putting them once more in communication with their own reason. The secret of fortune is joy in our hands." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
1) Validate (don't necessarily agree, just validate) what they do and say as often as possible.
2) Frequently give them choices (not too many, just a couple).
3) Remember their attention span goes in about 10-20 min. spurts.
4) Don't take it personally (there's a lot for them to learn and experience right now).
That's it. Oh, and be flexible. And prepared. And so grateful when you have a chance to hide and eat that cookie.