I meant to keep up. But there were birthdays being had...
and bridges being built...
basketball games being played....
and life generally trudging along while I am trying to blog about it.
I got some input from the kids for Day 15. I mentioned to them that although I am aware of some of my shortcomings in the 'mom' department, I needed to make a list of the ways I 'rock as a mom'.
1. I am a decent cook. Breakfast has been known to be an event around here, we try new foods often and I enjoy baking, so cakes and cookie abound. (This was Gavin's first suggestion for things I am good at)
2. I am very good at getting my kids out and about, taking them places, participating in activities, planning playdates, enrolling them in classes, going to the park, museums, roller rinks, nature center, libraries, etc. We are on the go alot - and my kids count that as a plus.
3. I say I am sorry when I am wrong and make apologies whenever necessary. (I checked with the boys, they agreed)
4. I say "Yes" as often as I possibly can. Although it might be 'yes' with a caveat such as 'in a few minutes', 'not today, but lets look at when' or 'yes, but not in the house'!
5. I am working really hard on constantly challenging myself as a mom (like this challenge) and that makes me rock!
Day 16 was about patience. People often hear that our kids are homeschooled and one of the first things they say is 'you must have alot of patience'. Homeschooling does not give you a corner on patience any more than it does for a mom doing the morning drop-off, homework and shuttling to after-school activities. Since I was mindful of being patient on Day 16, I realized that it is completely possible to be patient. Things that I may have usually lost my temper at, I dealt with from a place of patience because that was the plan. The exercise told me that it is totally possible to choose patience. It was a strange feeling to be thinking that I would normally be nagging or yelling about something and I could simply choose not too. Very convicting, indeed.
Turning off the TV, computer and phone when my children were with me was the challenge for Day 17. I generally don't have 'kid free' time to do these things, but I am very conscious of putting these tasks into blocks of time when the boys are engaged in something else. When the boys and I were engaged in something together, I did not answer the phone, but had to remember to write down who was calling. At one point, Gavin was telling me a long story (a favorite pastime for him) and I decided to shut the computer and move to the breakfast bar with him and listen attentively. I immediately saw the value in that. Some people might say that they should not 'interrupt' what I was doing...but I am choosing to see that differently. I can get back to the task as soon as he flits away - and what if someday soon, he is not telling me as many stories? The challenges that Sigrid has presented are not meant for 'one day', but all the days moving forward.
Day 18 was to forgive yourself no matter how you mess up. Blogging puts you at risk for trying to make your life look lovely, and happy all the time because those are the moments we all want to share. But right in the middle of this challenge I had a situation with one of the kids the turned into lecturing and a condescending speech and him going to bed with that being the last thing that happened that day. It gave me the sickest feeling and I tend to hold those incidents tight and ruminate about them for days. I tell myself that I am a failure and other ugly things. I think I obssess thinking that I can change what happened - but we all 'know' that 'the past is in the past'. Leaving it there is another story. Forgiving myself means that I need to change that tape, and say something very differently to myself when things happen that I am not proud of. I am working on swapping out the ugly tapes for something I bit more compassionate - to myself. This is a very nice place to move on from this challenge.
The Joyful Mother has a lot of great resources on her site like Ask Me, a video blog, and a new program called The Mommy Meltdown Cure. If you are looking to be happier mom (and happier kids are definately a by-product of that), and need someone to help you walk that journey, I think Sigrid is your girl!