One of the things that amazes me about being a mom is that it’s the most intense on the job training you’ll ever get and it NEVER ENDS!! Just when I think I have it figured out, my kids up and change all the rules. Today I was reminded of this post I wrote over at the Barbie I Can Be page on Facebook. Reading it, I think it’s time to “challenge” myself again because sometimes mommy falls off the wagon too. One day, I’ll get this mother thing right.
I Can Be….
Recently, I decided that I my “mothering” needed a little shaking up. One of the things I pride myself on is my ability to look at my actions from an objective point of view. I tend not to gloss over my shortcomings and I am learning to accept my talents graciously. Hard, but it gets easier with practice. So, while critiquing my abilities lately, I noticed that I wasn’t being the mom I wanted to be.
There were times when I would get a flip response from my daughters or sarcastic retort and it would be a huge slap in the face. Because I knew. I knew they didn’t pick that up in the school yard or on TV, they has learned that from me and I was embarrassed. I knew I had to stop it before went further. So I embarked on a 30 Day Mom Challenge with one goal in mind. Be a better mother.
Seems silly to follow a guide to be a better mom, but you know what? It’s worked. Leading up to this challenge my daughters and I were locking horns on way too much. There was a constant power struggle between me and either one or both of them. It was exhausting. It was also my fault. I had fallen into the “I’m too busy” rut and needed to take a breath and hit reset.
The funny part is a few days into the challenge my oldest daughter found the sheet on my desk and asked me outright, “Are you doing the mom challenge? Is this why you’ve been doing some of these things?”. It felt weird at first to admit that, yes, I was following a guide. I didn’t want them to think that I needed instructions to be their mother or that my actions were less sincere because of it. I am glad now that they know, because believe it or not I am modeling something very important to them. Personal growth.
So what have I learned? I’ve learned that my children are right sometimes and that I am wrong. Period. Want to see your child’s face light up? Tell them that, in the middle of an argument say, “You’re right. I’m wrong. I’m sorry.” Talk about a game changer. I’ve also learned that I actually can discipline without sarcasm or a raised voice. I’ve learned that for every three hugs you give your child, you get six in return. Finally, I’ve learned that I’m totally ok with following a “guideline” if it means I get closer with my two reasons for being.
I want my girls to know that admitting you have faltered is the easy part, fixing it takes effort. I want them to know that just because someone hands you the title of “mom” doesn’t mean you automatically know what to do. I want them to feel better about the mistakes they make because I make them too.
I can be the example. They can know that learning, changing, and challenging our beliefs and habits is part of living, not just growing up.